What is your role in the problem – important link?
According to US Government figures, an average family contributes about 20 pounds per year of hazardous waste. The “big business” is always blamed, but when we add it up, an average neighborhood could contribute more hazardous waste than average (i would assume in affluent areas, this might not be the case). It’s not that we don’t care but we just didn’t realize these everyday items were hazardous.
You may not think of your everyday trash as hazardous. However, when you throw out household batteries or light bulbs, you add to the dangerous waste.
Below is a complete list of things that are considered hazardous.
Used motor oil (polymer), paint thinners for aerosols or other types of paint, CFL Florescent lamps, and even some household batteries contain mercury.
You can help by:
Set aside an area for the collection of old batteries, and a separate box to dispose fluorescent bulbs. Please do not dump solvents or cleaning products down drains or into water supplies. Find out from your city if hazardous waste can be disposed of there. The Fire Stations in my region take these items at specific times every weekend.
Different methods are required for handling electronics. Your locality may have an annual day for electronics recycling. Ask your local authorities when you will be able to dispose of old computers, printers and cell phones. No one of these should go in with the regular garbage. Local authorities want us collect such items to dispose of them properly.