Guide to Household Hazardous Waste

Household Hazardous Waste

Household Hazardous Waste

If not disposed of correctly, hazardous waste can not only become a health hazard but also damage the environment. That is why you must ensure that hazardous chemicals are appropriately stored and disposed of correctly after use.

Ensure that you fulfil the appropriate criteria when disposing of hazardous waste or hire a rubbish removal company.


What Is Hazardous Waste?

Hazardous waste is any form of waste that may contain toxic substances that are harmful to human beings, animals and the environment in general.

Some of the products that we use every day within the household are considered hazardous. These include cleaning solvents, bleach, pool and garden chemicals, and batteries, among others.

When they are exposed to the environment, such wastes could be explosive, corrosive, flammable or have the potential to react with other materials. That is why it is essential to ensure that you store and dispose of your household hazardous waste safely.


Transporting Hazardous Chemicals

It is essential to take caution when transporting household items such as bleach that may contain hazardous chemicals. Here are some tips on safe transportation;

  • Avoid carrying the chemicals together with food substances and water.
  • Follow segregation and separation rules when transporting different classes of chemicals.
  • Secure the chemicals in the vehicle to prevent them from spilling.
  • Keep a record of the chemicals that you are transporting.
  • If the substances are flammable, make sure you have the appropriate placards and signs to warn the public on the same.
  • Ensure that you have adequate knowledge of emergency procedures in case of an emergency during transportation.


Storing Hazardous Chemicals

With a lack of proper storage, hazardous chemicals within the household can have various adverse effects including;

  • Poisoning or injury to a person if they inhale, drink or have the chemicals spill on them.
  • The chemicals may release toxic fumes, explode or ignite putting yourself or others within the household in danger.
  • You are likely to get fined for environmental damage if the chemicals leak.
  • The chemicals may contaminate water bodies within your compound or the neighbourhood if they spill.

That is why you need to ensure that you store the chemicals or any other hazardous products within your household correctly, incorporating all the appropriate control measures to reduce risks to the members of your family and the environment.

Storing Hazardous Chemicals

Below are some tips on how to store hazardous chemicals correctly.

  • Keep flammable substances away from potential ignition sources.
  • Apply the appropriate placards and signage to warn people that the substances are hazardous.
  • Have the appropriate clean-up and spill containment systems in case of accidents.
  • Have fire fighting equipment within reach.
  • Store chemical substances separately to prevent them from interacting.
  • Secure chemical storages with locks and all the other appropriate methods to prevent unauthorized access


Disposing Hazardous Waste

Since hazardous materials can be explosive, flammable, toxic or corrosive, it is not safe to dispose them in your general waster or recycling bin.

They can cause fires in bins and garbage trucks, endangering the lives of the truck drivers and the general community.

The toxins may also have harmful effects on the environment. That is why it is essential to ensure that you dispose of hazardous materials correctly.

After you have depleted a particular chemical, it is important to dispose of the container safely to prevent any incidents, accidents and contamination.

Some measures to take before disposing of chemical containers include the following;

  • Check the labels on the container for advice on the appropriate modes of disposal.
  • Rinse the empty container thoroughly to remove all traces of the chemical.
  • Don’t burn the containers. Instead, uncap them and crash them after thorough rinsing.
  • Containers marked returnable should be returned to the supplier.

Disposal of Hazardous Waste

The site where you choose to dispose of the hazardous waste or their containers should meet the following criteria;

  • A depth of not less than 50 cm
  • At a strategic location where the hazardous waste cannot contaminate the surface or underground water, livestock, crops or homes
  • The pit should be level, preferable with a clay liner at the bottom.
  • Spread lime at the bottom of the pit.
  • If the hazardous waste has a risk of leaking, place a heavy-duty plastic liner in the pit.



Alternatively, you can hire a hazardous rubbish removal company like to remove your waste. They are experienced in collecting, treatment, transfer and disposal of hazardous waste materials and chemicals.