Finding the Hidden Hazardous Wastes in the Household


Around the house, most people are pretty well-informed when it comes to basic waste and recycling. Items like paper packaging and drink bottles are easily disposed of in the regular waste collection program provided by local council. However, homes tend to also accrue more hazardous items. Often they’re specialty chemicals that have single purposes and are may not be used for long periods of time.  Keeping hazardous materials in the home is often necessary, however every effort should be made to minimise the chemicals on hand, in case of any potential accidents.


Identify the hazards

The three main places hazardous waste will be found in the home are likely the kitchen, laundry and garage.  In the kitchen and laundry, it will be harsh cleaning chemicals, like bleach that pose a risk – especially where children are concerned.

In the garage, items like pesticides, paint thinners, oils and other acids can be found. These are often the lesser used chemicals and so require waste management. It’s worth considering how often the materials are used – if it’s rare and they pose a risk, they may be worth disposing of.

Other, less frequently occurring, examples of hazardous waste may also be found. Items like televisions, large batteries, printers and computer monitors should be properly disposed of when no longer required. Local waste management sites have different methods of dealing with these items which are not the same as regular landfill.


Keep them separate

Separate all chemicals by type, to minimise risk in the event of an accident. Further to this, all chemicals should always be labelled as thoroughly as possible. As they age, containers may become unreadable due to use, so this should always be considered when contemplating waste management.


Waste Disposal

Check with local waste management authorities on their programs for recycling hazardous materials. Most will provide helpful guides online detailing how different items can be disposed of, or recycled. 


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