Nonprofit Insurance Program

Proper Disposal of Hazardous Waste

By Alexa Connelly
September 18, 2012

How do you know if a substance you are using is hazardous? The product is considered “solid waste” if it will no longer be used for its original form. This can be oil, gas, or solid material. If you have questions check with the Department of Environmental Quality.

Oh no! You just realized the product you were using is hazardous. First, refer to the label to see if there are disposal instructions, or warning techniques. Next, attempt to use as much of the hazardous material as possible, and then reuse it! Paint thinners can be left to settle, and then be separated. Some facilities offer to recycle fuel oils and motor oils. Third, be careful selecting your disposal approach. If liquid wastes spill on the floor, absorb it with sawdust or kitty litter. Aerosol cans can be emptied by turning the can upside down and spraying the contents into a paper towel until pressure is lost, then wrap the can in multiple newspapers to dispose. Some chemicals can be poured down the drain, but not with septic tanks. Allow the water to run, empty the contents, and continue to let the water run. Antifreeze can be flushed down a toilet if a sewer system is in place. NEVER dispose of batteries in traditional garbage, but instead find a collection system.

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