Reuse and Recycle: What To Do With Household Hazardous Material
Household hazardous materials are corrosive, ignitable, reactive, or toxic. Former property owners often leave these items behind on properties awaiting demolition or foreclosure, and their tenants may leave behind common household chemicals.
Hazardous waste items, however, are not limited to abandoned buildings. Homeowners accumulate a variety of hazardous waste in their occupied homes.
Most household waste can be recycled, reused, and safely handled by a waste management company. Improper handling of certain waste items may compromise the safety of a community. Poor waste disposal practices lead to more significant environmental problems like contaminated water or bad indoor air quality. For these reasons, people must understand which items in their homes pose a danger to human health and the environment.
What are examples of household hazardous waste?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a list of household hazardous waste.
The items include:
- motor oil
- automobile batteries
- paints and solvents
- household cleaners
- drain openers
- compressed gas tanks (such as propane and oxygen)
Other hazardous household items include:
- household cleaners
- pool chemicals
- propane tanks
- fire extinguishers
- lead paint chips
How do I dispose of household hazardous materials?
Hazardous waste items can be safely recycled, treated, and disposed of in a landfill or incinerated at a treatment facility. Environmental recycling companies like Hazman in Tonawanda, NY, offer solutions to residential homeowners who want to dispose of potentially hazardous materials.
But, residents do not always know the recycling options available to them.
Sheri Veltri, manager at Hazman, explains that disposing of household hazardous waste can be confusing for homeowners. “Homeowners need to know that there are places where they can safely dispose of household hazardous waste.” Veltri, an experienced professional in the business, says that the alternative is too “risky and harmful to human health.” For example, Veltri says, “It is dangerous to pour waste down a drain because water treatment plants can’t filter out toxic chemicals. Companies like ours make it easy for homeowners to dispose of hazardous waste.”
Veltri continues, “Hazman offers several options for homeowners. People can drop off hazardous materials to our facility (no appointment needed) or schedule a time for our team to pick up the waste.”
“It’s important for people to understand that when a recycling company receives household hazardous waste, it does not end up in a landfill,” says Veltri. “When residents drop off hazardous waste, a portion of it is burned to power electrical wind turbines.”
Hazman offers even more options for people looking to recycle household hazardous waste in Western New York.
Other environmental services include:
- Tank Removals
- Contaminated Soil Handling & Disposal
- Asbestos Abatement
- Lead Abatement
What resources are available to people outside of Western New York?
An online resource is available to people in North America who need to dispose of or recycle hazardous materials. Earth 911 has one of the most extensive recycling databases in North America. The website is easy to use and comprehensive. Users search for the item they wish to dispose of and include a zipcode.
The recycling options on Earth 911’s website are comprehensive. Homeowners can choose from over 350 items that can be recycled or incinerated. Recyclable materials include batteries and electronics to construction materials like gypsum drywall and carpeting.
Companies like Hazman and resources like Earth 911 help people reduce human exposure to hazardous waste and protect the environment’s health.