Every once in a while, I find myself standing in front of a trash bin with an object in hand, wondering to what kind of waste separation bin it belongs. Does it belong to paper? Or perhaps a plastic? Or perhaps it can be categorized as organic? Wait, is it hazardous?
In this article, we will take a closer look at somewhat common items that have kind of unclear waste separation pins on them.
Hazardous Waste: Because We Love a Good Danger Zone
Let’s start with a headache-causing one, hazardous waste. That bad boy of the waste world. You know, the stuff that makes you feel like you’re living on the edge when you handle it. I mean, I too, like to live dangerously.
Old school memes, anyone?
But seriously, let’s talk about some safe and responsible ways to dispose of these thrilling, yet not-so-safe substances.
Let’s say the most obvious thing first – no, they do not belong to any of your trash bins. And also, for the love of god, don’t throw it in your garbage disposal.
- Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Events: You can pretend you’re attending an exclusive party for the world’s most dangerous substances. These events are held by local authorities, and they’ll take care of all your hazardous waste disposal needs.
- Permanent HHW Collection Facilities: In case you miss the event, you can drop off your hazardous waste at a permanent collection facility. Just like a secret clubhouse for dangerous waste, these locations are ready to take in your hazardous materials anytime.
E-Waste: The Tech Graveyard
Is your laptop beyond repair? Don’t throw it out the window just yet. I know, dead electronics, a.k.a. e-waste, can be a massive headache to dispose of. But since you don’t want your precious electronics to end up in a landfill (unless you want to make some scavengers happy), so let’s talk about alternatives:
- Take-Back Programs: Manufacturers are often more than happy to take back their dead soldiers. They’ll usually recycle them, refurbish them, or use the components in new products.
- Local Electronics Recycling Centers: Drop your e-waste off at a recycling center, and it’ll be taken care of in the most eco-friendly way possible. Goodbye, old friend.
Bulky Items: When Size Matters
Bulky items are those things that seem to have been designed specifically to make your life difficult when it comes to disposal. Think mattresses, furniture, and that giant statue of a stormtrooper you bought on a whim.
Side note: If you do have a giant statue of a stormtrooper and you don’t want it anymore, I’ll be more than happy to take it off your hands.
- Local Bulky Item Collection: Some waste management companies offer free or low-cost pick-up of bulky items. Give them a call, and they’ll send a team of burly individuals to do the heavy lifting for you.
- Charitable Organizations: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? If your bulky items are still in decent condition, consider donating them to a charity or thrift store.
Medical Waste: Because No One Wants to Find a Syringe in the Trash
Last but not least, we have medical waste. This is a complicated one because a part of medical waste belongs to a general waste bin, while other specifics do not. For example:
- Sharps Disposal Containers: For needles and other sharps, invest in a designated sharps disposal container. These babies are puncture-resistant and will keep everyone safe from accidental stabs.
- Pharmaceutical Take-Back Programs: Many pharmacies will gladly take back unused or expired medications. No need to flush them down the toilet and risk creating mutant sewer creatures.
That’s it, fellas. I hope that now you are a bit more familiar with non-compatible waste stuff and you will think twice before throwing that unused chunk of plutonium into your trash bin.