Monthly Archives: March 2016

Chemical Waste Management

Chemical waste management is critical if we are to protect the environment. Chemical waste is, simply put, waste that comes from harmful chemicals. These chemicals, if not disposed of in the proper way, could harm your health, your community’s health and the health of the environment.

Chemical Waste and Hazardous Waste

Most chemical waste is actually considered hazardous waste by the Environmental Protection How-to-Dispose-of-Chemical-Waste-Junk-King-Sonoma-CAAgency (EPA) here in the United States.

Both chemical waste and hazardous waste are regulated by the EPA’s Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act designed to protect human health and keep our environment free of harmful pollutants.

You can actually think of hazardous waste as a more potentially serious form of chemical waste in that hazardous waste is a solid, gaseous or liquid material deemed hazardous because of its reactivity, toxicity, ignitability and corrosivity.

These are things like industrial pesticides, diesel fuels, corrosive paints and harmful chemical solvents that if not disposed of properly could wreak some serious harm.

http://www3.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/

Disposing of Chemical Waste 

Chemical waste is produced by industries around-the-clock and it’s actually a byproduct of the process that creates many of the appliance and conveniences of 21st-century life.

While these things are still dangerous, there’s a way to dispose of them safely so that consumers can reap the benefits of these products and companies can comply with the EPA’s guidelines.

  • Three Classes of Chemical Waste

All three kinds of chemical waste can be disposed of via chemical waste containers, yet before knowing which container each one goes into you need to know what kind of waste you’re dealing with.

The first kind of chemical waste is what’s known as general chemical waste, and this can be handled by your local chemical waste treatment facility. The second kind of chemical waste is known as highly reactive chemical waste, which can also be handled by the same chemical waste treatment facility that handled your general chemical waste.

And the third kind of chemical waste is what’s known as chemically contaminated solid waste. This includes things like disposal lab-ware or tissue papers and towels soaked with chemical solvents. Oil-soaked rags and products containing mercury are other examples of chemically contaminated solid waste.

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  • Treatment, Storage and Disposal (TSD)

The Environmental Protection Agency has strict rules that factories need to follow in terms of how chemical waste is treated, stored and responsibly disposed of.

The treatment and disposal part of TSD refers to the fact that chemical waste can alter its shape or chemical composition in a way that could threaten human health or jeopardize environmental safety even after that chemical waste is put inside a chemical waste container. Because of things like vapor expansion some chemical waste can spill or overrun the chemical waste container itself.

To counteract that possibility, chemical waste containers should typically be filled to about three-quarters capacity so that vapor expansion or transportation of the chemical waste container doesn’t cause problems like spilling, leaking or chemical reactivity.

Chemical waste must also be stored in a safe way before its processed, recycled or disposed of at a chemical waste treatment facility. The chemical waste treatment facility will probably also require that you list the class of chemical waste in the chemical waste container – from the three classes above – as well as itemize a content list of everything inside the chemical waste container itself.

In terms of storage, chemical waste containers should be appropriately sturdy, leakproof, properly labeled and stored safely to forestall any problems. Screw tops with secure lids might be required for liquid chemical waste as well. California’s Toxic Substances Control department provides info on treatment storage and disposal facilities, found here.

Disk Erasure Before Computer Disposal

There is a right and a wrong way to handling computer disposal.  Right now there are millions of computers collecting cobwebs all across America. You might have a few relics from the 1990s at your home office or crowding out your office storage spaces right now even.

Computer Disposal: Things You Should Know 

It seems pretty easy: Just chuck that old computer into the garbage bin and watch it get whisked away with the rest of your weekly pickup.

Hang on, though, don’t old computers contain a lot of heavy metals and personal information that – if it fell into the wrong hands – could jeopardize your future? The answer: Absolutely.

  • Computers as E-waste

Computers are actually a form of electronic waste along with things like batteries and cell phones. With the high rate of tech turnover these days there’s more and more e-waste making its way to landfills and recycling centers.

We really have to be careful in how we dispose this stuff because a lot of our appliances contain harmful heavy metals like mercury, cadmium and maybe even lead. When household appliances and electronics become e-waste we should really be responsibly recycling these things rather than heaping them up on the curb for weekly pickup.

The problem, as we’re coming to realize, is that computers that don’t make it back into circulation and instead wind up at landfills actually pose an environmental hazard.

Some of the heavy metals that are housed in computers can eventually make their way into the Disk-Erasure-Before-Computer-Disposal-junk-Kng-Sonoma-CAsoil and local water supply, which obviously isn’t good for anybody.

  • Old Computers and Personal Information

What we’ve been talking about is more of a macro view of the problem of treating e-waste and your old laptops, desktops, tablets and cell phones as regular trash.

Your trusty – now obsolete – computer, though, likely still contains account numbers, passwords, your social security number, and maybe even compromising tax information. You don’t want that out there.

There’s no need to freak out….since you can follow a step-by-step process to backup your data, permanently remove all personal files from your soon-to-be-recycled computer, and physically remove or securely erase the hard drive.

There are a lot of ways to go about that last one – i.e., clearing the hard drive – and a lot will depend on whether you want to repurpose your old computer, simply recycle it or pass it on to a hard-up school district.

Ways of Clearing the Hard Drive 

It’s really important to back up your data on an external hard drive, flash drive or with something like Google Cloud storage before you wipe the slate clean, so to speak.

Clearing your hard drive really, really limits the chances that you’ll be the victim of identity theft and, if you’re dealing with a company-provided computer, also helps protect the company and yourself against nasty things like legal penalties and possible intellectual property violations. Who wants to deal with that nonsense?

  • Wiping the Slate Clean

Backup and restore features are actually worked right into Windows 7 and Windows Vista, and if you’re a Mac user you can always use the USB connections on the device to backup personal information on external hard drives and flash drives.

After you’ve backed everything up, you can make use of a program like Darik’s Boot and Nuke to wipe your hard drive and transition it along that proverbial assembly line and closer to being responsibly recycled.

If you intend to give your computer away for reuse by, say, a cash-strapped school district, then make sure that you either install a free operating system on it or restore your old computer to factory settings.

Junk King handles e-waste disposal - /contact/

The Many Benefits of Organizing Your Garage

The-Many-Benefits-of-Organizing-Your-Garage-Junk-King-Sonoma-CALet’s face it – garages are often the very definition of out of sight, out of mind. If you’re like most people, organizing your garage is at the bottom of your to-do list; that is, if it’s there at all! Getting your garage in shape, though, doesn’t have to be a dreaded task.

The best way to dive into a garage reorganization is in small separate tasks. Most of the clutter that lives in your garage falls into one of four categories. Set out to tackle one category per weekend, invest in some bins and shelving, and in just one month you’ll have a streamlined space to be proud of. Start with the two easiest areas and the results will inspire you to finish the job.

  • Sporting Equipment

What garage’s dark corners aren’t filled with bikes, ski equipment, golf clubs, and other sports equipment and paraphernalia? Organizing your garage by putting all your equipment together not only makes it neater, but makes everything easier to find. Install some wall tracks that can hold hooks for golf bags and bike racks with shelving above to hold bins for balls, helmets, and other gear.

  • Tools

Over time, even the non-carpenters among us seem to accumulate a large number of tools. Keep a small collection of the most common ones in an easy-to-tote-around tool box. For the rest, peg board and hooks is the way to go. Add a tool shelf or two for over-sized saws, sanders and the like.

  • Personal Belongings

Now it’s time to get down to the more difficult phase of organizing your garage – purging it of clothes and memorabilia. It never fails that an item that’s been stored in a bin for five years is suddenly something you can’t live without. Start with the clothes. The pros recommend sorting clothing into three piles: keep, maybe, and donate. Since these items have probably been stored in the garage for some time, aim for having the donation pile be the largest one. Everything else should be placed in clear, labeled bins and stored on shelves. For decorations, pictures and other keepsakes, place like items together, tuck them into plastic bins, label and store.

  • Junk

Yes, one man’s junk is another’s treasure, but since this is about organizing your garage, be honest about how much of what you have qualifies as junk. Old furniture, electronics, broken or unused toys, can all be picked up and hauled away by a reputable junk removal service.  If you’re having trouble letting go, take the advice of expert organizer Peter Walsh and, before you get started, write down everything you remember that is in the garage. When you come across something you forgot about? Junk it.

The Benefits of Organizing Your Garage

The results that come from the hard work of organizing your garage are extremely rewarding. Less clutter means less stress, and it can also mean a higher resale value for your home. Well-outfitted garages are a plus when it comes to selling your home. And once you finish, it’s just a matter of occasional maintenance to keep things in place. To get started on organizing your garage, visualize the neat and well-organized outcome and then dig in. Who knows, you may even find space for something else – your car!   So contact us at Junk King let us help you haul away that garage junk.