Before you throw certain items into the garbage, you really should think about whether or not it is safe. There are numerous items that should never be placed into a regular landfill. The following common household items are considered hazardous and must be disposed of in a different matter:
Light bulbs are very dangerous to the environment and can cause major damage to the air. They can leak mercury into the atmosphere after they are broken. This is particularly true for fluorescent bulbs. When you need to dispose of bulbs, find out where the nearest household hazardous waste facility is. You may also be able to drop off old bulbs to home supply stores to recycle, and you may even get a discount on new bulbs when you bring back the old ones.
When you change the oil in your car, you should always be sure to never put the old oil in the trash. It is actually against the law to dump used motor oil on the ground. It is very damaging to the water supply, especially if you live near a lake or river. It can also be harmful to animal life. The best way to dispose of motor oil is to put it into a plastic container, such as the empty bottles the new oil came in. Drop it by an oil recycling center in your area. They are often found at automotive shops or a car service stations.
Electrical items contain metals and other items that can be very toxic to the ground. They are made from lead, mercury, and other dangerous minerals that can very easily leech into the ground, affecting the water that eventually makes it into your home. Items to never throw into regular trash include televisions, cell phones, radios, computers, printers, and the like. Rather than placing them into the trash, consider sending them off to be recycled. E-waste recycling centers are very common today with the bulk of electronic items on the market. You can contact your town’s municipal office to see if this option is available in your area. You may also be able to trade them in for cash, sell them, or donate them to charity.
All old paint and paint cans are another example of hazardous household waste, particularly oil based paint. Paint is full of chemicals that can be very dangerous for people and animals. You can return the paint to the store, save it for a different project, or donate it to a service organization in your area. If you just want to throw it away, you can take it to a hazardous waste dump or recycling point.
If you have anything to dispose of that you are unsure about, be sure to call your local sanitation department to make sure it is safe before putting it into the regular trash.