Monthly Archives: September 2018

Clearing Up the Confusion Around Household Hazardous Waste

Household hazardous waste is one of the most confusing parts of responsible waste removal for most people. You know all about recycling (plastics, paper, metals, and glass) and having your mattress hauled away and perhaps donated, but what do you do with that left over motor oil or that paint can collecting dust in the basement? That’s a big question mark for a lot of people. But, first off, what is household hazardous waste? The truth is that the sheer breadth of consumer products that qualify make it hard to pin down what household hazardous waste even is.

Nailing Down the Definition of Household Hazardous Waste

Household Hazardous Waste The Environmental Protection Agency offers the following definition for folks: household hazardous waste (HHW) is any leftover household product that can ignite, react, or explode or that can corrode and cause toxicity issues if improperly disposed of. As you can probably already tell based on that definition, this could include the likely suspects like paint and household cleaners but it can also encompass outdoor pest control (e.g., certain pesticides) and automotive care products (e.g., gasoline, fluid, or oil). One of the most common types of household hazardous waste is batteries.

Universal Waste

The Environmental Protection Agency considers batteries universal waste (a subcategory of household hazardous waste) because they’re still dangerous to dispose of improperly in terms of soil contamination (even with removing all that mercury) but they’re also extremely common and used to power millions of electronic devices. Four types of universal waste could be considered household hazardous waste by the EPA: batteries, outdoor pesticides, lamps, and other mercury-containing equipment like fluorescent light bulbs. The bottom line is that a lot of the stuff on your garage shelf could probably be considered household hazardous waste. Oil-based paints, drain cleaners, antifreeze, and rodenticides might all require special treatment.
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Responsibly Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste in California

So, now that you’re looking through your garage or cupboard of cleaning supplies and wondering what to do with it all, how do you dispose of this stuff? Once you’re sure that you’re actually dealing with household hazardous waste and not a recyclable or reusable item, the next steps would be to use up what you have and/or use a household hazardous waste collection service in your area. The interesting part about all of this is that the Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t actually regulate HHW. Household hazardous waste collection programs are usually funded at the state level. The California Department of Toxic Substance Control takes household hazardous waste extremely seriously and says that in California it is against the law to dispose of household hazardous waste by pouring it down the drain or popping it in the trash and simply treating it as solid waste. Surprisingly, even abandoning or dumping your HHW like certain electronic waste is considered a crime. If improperly disposed of, HHW can harm the ecosystem (animals, plants, water, and soil) as well as human health. The state of California has put together this extensive list of household hazardous waste that includes electronic waste like old computer monitors (e.g., cathode ray tube monitors) and cell phones that Junk King can haul away. Pool cleaners, oven cleaners, and glues and adhesives are some surprising items that made the list. Once you know that you have hazardous waste on your hands (hopefully not literally!), take it to a nearby household hazardous waste collection facility for safe processing (solvents can sometimes be incinerated and used as energy) and/or disposal. Junk King is here to help. Contact Junk King for clean out services, e-waste removal, or donating gently used items.

Four Practical Considerations for Handling Curbside Waste Collection

Curbside waste collection is convenient, efficient and economical. In general, this garbage management process involves acquiring a bin from a qualified provider. Then, the collected trash will be collected from outside a residence or other building. The waste collection method is economical because you won’t need to purchase a dumpster. In addition, a dump truck will come to the property to collect the trash for disposal and you won’t need to handle this process personally.

However, you should realize that the benefits of curbside garbage removal will only be convenient if you uphold ideal practices. Poor planning can compromise your potential benefits. Here are some of the critical issues that you should address for efficient curbside garbage management.

Garbage Container Selection

Curbside Waste Choosing an ideal container for garbage placement is crucial for efficient curbside collection. Poor choices could lead to littering of the area around the container and collisions with the waste management company. Smaller bins are available for residential use. You should estimate your waste volume during the period of use to avoid inconvenience.

Waste Collection Frequency

It is important to determine the optimal intervals for curbside waste collection. There are different options to match the needs of different homes and commercial operations. Under ideal circumstances, the garbage can be picked up once a week. However, this option is not always ideal. You should discuss the options available and choose the best match. For instance, if your home does not have predictable waste accumulation, you can reduce the collection frequency or opt for on-call collection. If your property tends to produce high volumes of waste, you should consider more frequent weekly pickup.

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Unacceptable Curbside Waste

Waste collection and disposal companies handle almost every form of garbage produced in standard residential and commercial environments. However, there are some materials which can cause complications if they are disposed of like general waste. For instance, throwing away hazardous materials such as chemicals and asbestos in a standard landfill will contaminate the environment. In addition, there are some materials which are inconvenient for collection and disposal. Therefore, the waste management company might have restrictions. You should discuss the acceptable and unacceptable materials with your service provider.

Pests Invasion Prevention

You should prevent the access of rodents, strays and other pests into your collected waste. These creatures can compromise the cleanliness and appeal of your property. In addition, they will create more work in managing the trash. Fortunately, you can take some time to prevent pest invasion. You should avoid throwing leftover food in your garbage container. The smell will attract harmful pests, and they will wreak havoc on your property. You should also think about using a collection bin or dumpster with a cover to limit access. In addition, you should note take out your trash to the curbside before the collection day.
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Proper garbage management is crucial for the sanitation and appeal of your property. Therefore, if you are interested in learning how you can take advantage of curbside waste collection to make your life easier, you should contact our experienced experts at Junk King Marin for more information.