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March 19, 2023

How to Properly Dispose of Hazardous Waste in a Dumpster Rental

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When you want to use a dumpster rental in Charleston or any other location, you want to make sure you understand the dumpster rental restrictions. One of the major restrictions you will run into has to do with disposing of hazardous waste. Some forms of hazardous waste can never go into a roll-off rental, while for others, there is a process to deal with them properly. Before you can deal with hazardous material, you have to make sure you are actually dealing with hazardous waste. It’s important to read labels and figure out what you’re dealing with, and then figure out the best way to dispose of it. Let’s look at some of the common household hazardous waste and how to deal with it when you rent a roll-off dumpster.

Classifying Hazardous Materials

When you look at what the Environmental Protection Agency has to say, there are three types of hazardous waste you might encounter, which include:
  • Mixed Radiological
  • Listed Radiological
  • Characteristic
Both mixed and listed radiological waste is likely going to be industrial waste from the manufacturing process. This type of waste often comes from iron or steel production, petroleum refining, and any process using radioactivity. Characteristic wastes are very common and come with hazards, such as they can be flammable, corrosive, toxic, or reactive. These types of hazardous waste are commonly found in homes and you might have to dispose of this type of waste when you rent a dumpster. Within the Characteristic waste category, a Globally Harmonized System is used or a GHS. There are 9 GHS symbols that you will find on labels, which include:
  • Flammable Materials
  • Oxidizing Agents
  • Corrosive Materials
  • Explosive Materials
  • Compressed Gases
  • Toxic Materials
  • Harmful Materials
  • Hazardous to the Environment
  • Health Hazard
Each of these labels will mean something different but will signify that you have a hazardous material that you need to dispose of.

10 Common Hazardous Waste Materials Encountered When Renting a Dumpster & How to Dispose of Them

1. Pool Chemicals

Many households have pool chemicals, such as chlorine. These items can actually be recycled or used up in your swimming pool or a neighbor’s swimming pool. You can also donate pool chemicals to a local community pool. Do not dispose of pool chemicals in a dumpster rental. Instead, if the options above don’t work, take your old pool chemicals to a local household hazardous waste facility. If you’re not sure where your facility is, a dumpster rental company in your local area can probably advise you.

2. Railroad Ties

Sometimes, properties have railroad ties that have to be disposed of. These can be difficult to get rid of and you can NEVER dispose of railroad ties in your dumpster rental. Since railroad ties are treated with toxic preservation creosote, they are hazardous materials. The EPA does state that you might be able to toss out creosote-treated wood with your normal trash pickup. However, some local governments have specific instructions and guidelines for disposing of railroad ties. Always check with your state or city waste management program before you get rid of those railroad ties. In some cases, you can donate railroad ties to a local Habitat for Humanity. They might be able to reuse them in some building projects. Other local organizations may take them and reuse them in landscaping projects. Make sure you wear gloves and protective clothing when dealing with creosote-treated wood and never burn railroad ties.

3. Batteries

Normal single-use batteries can be disposed of in your normal trash in most states, except California. These are the typical AA, AAA, C, and D-size batteries, along with many others. Other batteries will likely require special handling. If you have rechargeable batteries from electronic devices, they can be hazardous in your regular trash. These batteries can leak corrosive and toxic chemicals and they might catch fire. It’s best to recycle electronic batteries through a retailer, such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Best Buy.

4. Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs)

CFLs contain mercury, which means they cannot be tossed out in a dumpster rental. This material can leak out into the environment. If you need to get rid of CFLs, you need to find a CFL recycling program. Don’t toss these out in your roll-off dumpster rental.

5. Oil-Based Paints and Other Solvents

It’s common to need to toss out oil-based paints and other solvents when cleaning out your home. Some of the items that can fall into this category include:
  • Oven Cleaners
  • Home Deodorizers
  • Varnishes
  • Polishes
  • Flooring and Carpet Cleaners
  • Waxes
  • Disinfectants
  • Oil-Based Paints
When you need to dispose of these items, it’s best to use them up or just take them to a household hazardous waste collection program in your area. Your local solid waste management facility can provide you with a full list of household solvents and the proper way to dispose of them.

6. Asbestos

When you need to update a home that was built before 1980, you might run into asbestos. This is a big deal as asbestos is very harmful and should not be handled by anybody except a professional. It’s best to leave asbestos alone, but if it must be removed, you need a professional that has the experience to do this for you. Make sure you have qualified asbestos testing done before you decide to go to work on an older home. With a proper test, you can get a game plan together of how you want to handle getting rid of the asbestos in your home. A good resource for disposing of asbestos is found at Asbestos.com.

7. Car Chemicals

Another common thing you might think you can toss out in a dumpster rental, but you shouldn’t is car chemicals. These commonly come in a few different forms including gasoline and motor oil. Other fluids you need for your vehicle also fall into this category. The best way to dispose of car chemicals is to use them up yourself. You can use them in your vehicle or for a friend’s or neighbor’s vehicle. However, if this isn’t possible, gasoline and diesel should go to a hazardous waste facility. You can recycle motor oil at many of the top automotive parts retailers including AutoZone and O’Reilly Auto Parts. While you never want to put car chemicals in your dumpster rental, you also never want to pour them down a drain or in a toilet.

8. Appliances with Refrigerants

Many appliances in your home have refrigerants. Any refrigerator or freezer manufactured before 1995 will specifically contain chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants. Window air conditioners will likely contain hydrochlorofluorocarbon refrigerants. These substances are not good for the environment and you cannot just toss them out in your dumpster rental or at the curb with your regular trash pickup. When you have to get rid of any appliance that has refrigerant in it, you need to find a company that can safely drain out the substances. This will likely be a local appliance removal service or retailer. Many stores will take your old appliance at no cost or at a very low cost if you purchase a new appliance from them. Some won’t require you to purchase anything to haul it away for you, but they will charge a fee.

9. Pesticides

When you have weed killers, pesticides, and other chemicals you use in your yard or garden, they cannot be tossed out in your roll-off rental. Instead, you need to follow the pesticide disposal guide from the National Pesticide Information Center. Often, you can take these hazardous chemicals to a hazardous waste facility in your area, as long as the chemicals were created for residential use and not commercial use.

10. Bathroom Cleaners and Bleach

Maybe you need to toss out bathroom cleaners or bleach. If so, you don’t want to put these in your dumpster rental. These chemicals are made of strong acids, which can be harmful to human skin and can be corrosive. Of course, you can share your unused materials or use them up instead of trying to dispose of them. If you have less than five gallons of bleach to get rid of, it is safe to flush it down a clean toilet. Just don’t mix it with any other chemicals. The container from bleach can be recycled, too. It’s important to be very careful with bathroom cleaners and never mix them. When you combine things, such as ammonia, bleach, and lye, it can release dangerous gases in your home. Anytime you are dealing with something that has been labeled as a hazardous material, it cannot go into your dumpster rental. Instead, you want to set aside these items, as you are cleaning up, and make sure you dispose of them properly. When you rent a roll-off dumpster from Waste Removal USA, we cover all the dumpster rental restrictions including hazardous waste. Our team will answer all your questions and make sure you get the right roll-off container for your needs.

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