Since the onset of the coronavirus, people are spending more time in their homes. To keep themselves busy, many homeowners have resorted to doing home renovations and other DIY tasks. Although this is an excellent way to pass the time, it has resulted in the accumulation of potentially hazardous wastes such as aerosols, paint cans, leftover paint batteries, and other flammable items. The main problem with this is that people don’t know how to store such waste safely.
Since most of the stuff mentioned above is potentially dangerous, it is not advisable to dispose of them using traditional means. It is also illegal to pour them down the drainage system or bury them into the ground in most cases. Instead, consult the local authorities before you take further action.
There are several organizations that can help with the disposal of hazardous waste. Some of the waste you may get help disposing off include;
Laser and printer inkjet cartridges; these can be dropped off at Harvey Norman or Australian Post offices for recycling.
Paint; you will find local areas where you can drop up to 100 litres of leftover paint. You could ask the local recycling center near for such places where you can drop any leftover tins of paint.
Motor Oil; there are several drop off points for used motor oil in Australia. All you need to do is put your used oil in a container that seals perfectly and drop it off at your nearest oil recycling facility.
Gas cylinders(LPG); These includes gas cylinders used for camping, BBQs, lamps and patio heaters. They all can be returned through the trade in programs most retailers offer.
Batteries; Aldi stores will take your batteries for safe recycling. However, if you have big batteries such as car batteries, it would be best to take them to Battery World. There are also some other providers who give this service. It may be worth asking around for recommendations.
However, before the authorities respond, you’re going to need to devise ways to safely store hazardous waste.
Tips for safe storage of hazardous waste material
Here are some top tips to help you in the handling and storage of hazardous waste material.
- Ensure that you prominently display the name of the hazardous waste. More importantly, read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly.
- Use sealed containers that prevent the contents from leaking out. The packaging should also be tight enough so that other substances cannot go inside.
- Use containers that are compatible with the type of waste stored. For example, the container must be heat-resistant if whatever is inside is flammable. Similarly, it must be waterproof if the contents can contaminate the surroundings.
- Ensure that the storage area is inaccessible to unauthorised personnel. Demarcate it as a restricted area to make containment easier.
- Implement preventative containment measures for all containers used to store hazardous waste.
- Limit the amount of hazardous waste in your home by continually looking for ways to safely dispose of it.
- Educate the people who are likely to handle the waste. This includes all the adults in your household and the older kids. Invest in emergency response training.
- Update your contingency plan frequently.
It is crucial to adhere to the tips mentioned above because of the potential health and legal repercussions. For instance, careless disposal of hazardous waste can attract a seven-year prison sentence or a $1 million fine, or both. Health-wise, the noxious fumes produced by these substances put you at risk of contracting respiratory diseases.
If you don’t welcome the idea of storing hazardous material in your home, it would be best to hire a professional to do it for you. Australia has several companies that offer such services, and give you peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to handle dangerous stuff or deal with the authorities.
When choosing a waste disposal provider, it is crucial to ask them to produce relevant licenses and permits. This offers an assurance that the government approves of their services. Next, look at their experience in the industry and reviews from previous clients. If they have an excellent track record, hire them. Any company without reviews should be red-flagged.