The world generates a lot of waste. According to National Geographic, the US, in particular, is the king of trash. Each person generates roughly 4.4 pounds of trash per person each day, amounting to a staggering 250 million tons of trash per year. While most of the trash you generate is picked up by a garbage removal service, do you know that not all waste is equal? So it’s essential to put some thought into what you toss into the trash.
That’s because some of the trash we generate can cause environmental damage or pose a safety hazard if not disposed of properly. Certain items shouldn’t be left on your curb with the rest of your trash and picked up by your garbage removal service without alerting them that these items should be handled with care. So, for health, safety, and environmental reasons, here are five things that should never end up in your garbage.
Electronic devices have become part and parcel of our lives, but once we are done them, they should never be tossed in the garbage because they are not very environmentally friendly. The list of electronic devices you should never toss in the trash includes old TVs, DVD players, cell phones, desktop computers, laptops, printers, video game consoles, and more. It’s all classified as e-waste, and it’s dangerous to the environment because it can cause heavy metal pollution in landfills. Fortunately, there’s a designated and acceptable way of disposing of e-waste — you can donate it for reuse or drop it off for recycling at a designated facility. Regulations for the disposal of electronic equipment vary from town to town, so it’s important to check proper procedure before dumping your electronics.
What do you do when you remove dead batteries? If you don’t dispose of them, you can end up with quite a big stash that takes up a lot of space since we all use batteries for all sorts of things. However, you’ll need to think twice before tossing them along with the rest of your trash. Fortunately, rechargeable batteries like nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride batteries can be recycled. This is a better use for them because they can contaminate the environment if they end up in landfills.
Paint contains chemicals and toxins that contribute to land and air pollution, so you should never dispose of it by tossing it in the trash. The list of paint products that should not be disposed of improperly includes oil-based paints, varnishes, stains, paint removers, coatings, and strippers. These items should also never be disposed of down the drain. If you have any unused or leftover paint products, you can take them to a disposal facility in your area or inquire with your municipality about the proper way to dispose of the items.
Motor oil is one of those items that doesn’t belong with your regular trash, and this is often enforced by law. You should also not pour motor oil down the drain or on the ground as it can potentially leak into groundwater systems. When motor oil ends up in the groundwater, it can hinder the effectiveness of the wastewater treatment process and can upset the balance of aquatic ecosystems. To dispose of motor oil properly, you can drop it at a local automotive shop for recycling or locate other local recycling and disposal resources.
Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Fluorescent light bulbs can be very environmentally friendly when we are using them because of their energy efficiency. However, they are challenging to dispose of because they contain chemicals that can be harmful. For instance, most fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury which is released when the bulb gets broken. This is why all fluorescent light bulbs should be taken to a designated facility for safe disposal.
Besides knowing these five things that should never be tossed in your garbage, you should also know that there are state and local laws that govern what you can and can’t throw in your garbage. Typically, prohibited items tend to be flammable, hazardous, or dangerous to people or the environment. Some of these products are unavoidable because they are needed for one thing or another. The most important thing is to have a plan for how to dispose of these items.
The best way to do so is by scheduling pickup with a local garbage removal service or finding a drop-off facility that will dispose of the items properly. If you need help disposing of such items, you can save yourself the hassle by giving us a call. We will take care of them for you.