Hazardous waste is terrible for our fragile natural environment.
Hazardous wastes are often poisonous or toxic byproducts of manufacturing, automotive garages, mining, laboratories, hospitals, construction and our own households, among a long list of other sources. This waste can take many forms, including liquids, solids and sludges – waste can even be unseen, like radiation.
If hazardous waste and chemicals aren’t disposed of in the right way, they can have serious effects on the environment, from local flora and fauna to even our own food resources. Mercury, for example, tends to accumulate (especially in water) and contaminate the fish we eat.
Here at Skip The Tip, we’re dedicated to the proper disposal of all waste, from standard household rubbish to dangerous toxic waste. We want to keep the environment clear and clean for future generations – so, in this blog post, we’re going to share our top three do’s and don’ts for hazardous waste and chemical disposal.
Let’s keep our environment clean – read on!
The Do’s of Chemical Disposal
Hazardous wastes and chemicals can’t be disposed of in landfill – so you can forget about taking a trip to the tip! In this section, we’re going to run through the “do’s” of hazardous waste and chemical disposal.
DO store hazardous wastes in a safe manner before pick-up
Since hazardous waste can’t be disposed of in a traditional (or simple) way, you need to make sure your waste is being stored in a safe manner until it can be picked up or transported to the appropriate disposal centre.
For example, Australia stores radioactive waste at more than 100 licensed sites nationwide. Until radioactive waste is taken to one of these storage facilities, it’s common practice for radioactive rods and products to be stored in pools of water near the reactor until a permanent location is ready.
Not sure where to store chemical waste until pick-up? You can find out more via the Australian Government.
DO put up safety signage to warn others about the dangerous waste
Image: Safety Signs Australial is signage. If you’re storing chemicals and waste, naturally, you don’t want people touching it or getting exposed.
It’s important to display bright, recognisable and highly visible signage like the one above to stop people from walking into restricted storage areas and touching the dangerous goods.
Want to go one step further? Consider taking an OHS & environmental safety course to ensure your business is certified safe. Educate yourself about the dangers of toxic waste and proper disposal in Australia, so you – or your business – don’t have to pay the price.
DO dispose of waste in a safe, appropriate manner
Even some household items can’t be disposed of in a regular bin or tip-trip. Old computers and batteries, for example, contain dangerous pastes and liquids that can’t be broken down.
Make sure to do some research and find out the best way to dispose of gadgets, damaging chemicals and liquids. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Recycling Near You – computers, phones, tablets and more can be easily recycled in your local area. Recycling Near You allows you to plug in your postcode and find an appropriate recycling point
- ALDI Australia – you can actually recycle your household batteries at your local ALDI shopping centre. Collect them over time and drop them off on one of your weekly shops
- Planet Ark – printer ink cartridges can be recycled through Planet Ark and Australia Post
The Don’ts of Chemical Disposal
Now that we’ve covered the responsible precautions you need to take with chemical waste, it’s time to cover the irresponsible no-no’s.
DON’T dump hazardous waste in the bin
Hazardous waste is becoming an increasing problem in Australia. In fact, the number of dangerous chemicals and waste being produced is growing around 9% each year with the growing population and manufacturing industries.
With more growth comes more opportunities for people to improperly dispose of hazardous waste and materials.
Toxic, poisonous and hazardous waste cannot be put in a normal bin. It must be disposed of in a responsible, safe manner so that it doesn’t end up poisoning our natural environment.
DON’T attempt to burn hazardous materials
A common method of toxic waste disposal is incineration (burning). Some professional businesses take this dangerous task on themselves… but we cannot recommend this course of action.
For one, chemicals and toxic waste can be explosive or flammable. Second, toxic waste incineration releases chemicals including dioxins, furans, and heavy metals into the environment.
This puts the natural environment, our pets and our families at risk.
DON’T pour chemicals or solvents down the drain
Pouring old milk and juices down the drain seems like natural instinct at home. Unfortunately, pouring chemicals down the drain can be just as enticing. It seems like a quick and simple method of removing the chemicals from sight, and of course, your burden.
Pouring chemicals down the drain is a one-way ticket to the ocean.
The ocean covers more than 70% of our planet, but due to the dumping of toxic waste and our poor disposal decisions, there’s just 13% of the ocean has marine life.
Keep chemicals out of the ocean – dispose of them responsibly!