How You Should Handle Hazardous Waste

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There are many different forms of hazardous waste in the United States, ranging from nuclear waste stored in the desert to oil. However, there is also the management of low-damage but large-scale waste such as batteries, lightbulbs, and common objects containing mercury produced in large numbers. If you have any of these types of waste, here is how they are handled.


The way that household batteries are handled is meant to prevent lead and other metals from leaking into the environment. You will need to carefully store your batteries in a box and make sure they do not break before sending them to a recycling center. Your town or city most likely has a recycling center available for batteries. These recycling centers will separate the acids and heavy metals so that the components can be recovered rather than sent to a landfill. Batteries can easily cause a fire, especially once they hit a trash dump, so it's important to find your local battery recycling center and make use of them rather than throwing the used batteries away.

Light Bulbs and Lamps

Incandescent, CFL, or fluorescent light bulbs and lamps can damage the environment by leaking various gasses into the environment and producing shards of glass once they inevitably break. These wastes can be recycled in a variety of ways. Local home improvement stores may offer recycling options, and the town or city that you live in should also have options for disposing of light bulbs. The recycling centers that handle light bulbs will separate the glass and the metal from the wiring, while also serving as a safe space to release the various gasses. Always make sure that your local recycling center accepts light bulbs for processing, as not every center can handle them.

Mercury-Laden Objects

Mercury-laden objects such as certain lightbulbs and thermometers are more difficult to deal with, as not only is mercury highly toxic to the environment but most recycling centers don't accept it. Until you can find a recycling center, store them safely. You will need to wrap the mercury-laden object with some insulating material such as cat litter or paper so that if any breakage occurs, everyone touching the storage container is safe. Just as with typical light bulbs, once these objects are sent to the recycling center, they are separated into their components and the individual parts are either stored or sent for further processing.

If you have certain lightbulbs, mercury thermometers, or non-rechargeable batteries, then you will need to know how to handle them once they've reached the end of their life. This means storing these waste materials safely until you can find a recycling center, which will then separate the components. By doing this, you will reduce your negative environmental impact on the earth. Reach out to a company like Ohana Environmental Construction Inc that provides hazardous waste management services for more information. 

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