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4 Things You Need to Know About Hazardous Waste Disposal
For homes and businesses alike, the appropriate disposal of hazardous waste is all-important. Hazardous waste can pose a great danger to the environment, which is why laws are in place to govern how it is disposed of and to prevent fly-tipping. But what exactly do you most need to know about hazardous waste, particularly to ensure that yours is safely disposed of?
How can I determine whether my waste is hazardous?
There are many different types of hazardous waste, typically classified as such on the basis of the damage that it is capable of causing to the environment. Waste that consists of certain hazardous components, but that is otherwise non-hazardous is also deemed hazardous overall. Common examples of hazardous waste range from unset concrete, asbestos and oil-based paints to car batteries, fridges and light bulbs – and we’ll explain in more detail below about how various forms of hazardous waste should be disposed of.
Why is it so bad to simply throw such waste into the bin?
While many people do throw hazardous waste into the bin or a skip, this creates an extremely high level of risk to the environment and local wildlife, and isn’t good for the health of humans either. This is due to the tendency of hazardous waste that is disposed of in this way to end up in landfills, with the dangerous elements in the materials potentially leaking into the ground and nearby water sources, through which they can get into the food chain.
Types of hazardous waste that you should be aware of
One of the most common categories of hazardous waste is spent engine oils and batteries, which it is very important to dispose of correctly due to the destruction that oil can wreak on natural habitats and water supplies. Indeed, it is the most frequently reported type of water pollution, with a mere 10 litres of oil capable of covering the entire surface of a one-hectare lake. There is also a broad range of ‘toxic products’ that are classified as hazardous, including weed killer, solvents, bleach, petrol and diesel. Small quantities of these can be disposed of at your local Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC), but larger amounts will need to be dealt with by a licensed hazardous waste specialist. With an estimated hundreds of thousands of annual deaths said to be caused by acute exposure to toxic chemicals, it’s fair to say that the risks posed by them shouldn’t be underestimated. However, they are just some of the many examples of the hazardous materials that need to be disposed of responsibly, also including the likes of bonded asbestos products, unused paint and fluorescent lamps.
Always take hazardous waste disposal seriously
Remember that it isn’t just the environment, but also your finances that could take a hit as a result of the incorrect disposal of hazardous waste, given the hefty fines that can be imposed. Here at Able Skip Hire Ltd, we are unfortunately unable to accept hazardous waste items such as refrigerators, freezers, tyres, asbestos roofing sheets, unsealed oil or paint cans, due to the highly specialised requirements for the safe and legal disposal of such waste. If we do find any of the aforementioned types of waste in our skips, we will return them to you or an extra charge may apply. It is therefore important to contact your local council to ask for details about the best and safest way to dispose of these types of waste materials.