The world produces 400 million tons of toxic waste every year. Don’t believe us? Check out this live toxic waste count.
Chemical waste harms the environment, damages natural resources, and finds its way into our food sources too. We all want to do our part to dispose of hazardous materials in a safe way, but how?
If your company’s production cycle generates toxic waste, don’t worry. There are safe, sustainable ways for you to dispose of your hazardous materials. Keep reading to learn about the top four environmentally friendly waste management solutions for your toxic waste.
1. Electronic Waste? Yes, You Can Recycle That
Electronic waste refers to any post-consumer electronic and digital device or device component. Most of us rarely think about what happens to our old computers and smartphones after we upgrade to the next model. However, e-waste is one of the fastest-growing types of waste, increasing at a rate of 5% every year.
At work and home, we all contribute to electronic waste. Did you get a new phone recently? What about a new computer system for the office?
Frequent tech upgrades are the norm, which means that we all have a lot of electronic waste on our hands.
Electronic waste hurts the environment twice. First, it relies on damaging mining practices to produce the materials to make computers. Second, when you toss your old computer in a landfill, it can cause toxic pollution.
Here’s the good news: recycling your company’s old computers, through this company from Georgia, is one of the best ways to keep toxic waste out of the environment and reduce demand for new materials. Even better, it’s one of the easiest ways, too!
Electronic waste is valuable to tech companies. The more post-consumer materials they can recycle, the less they have to obtain through expensive mining. Many electronic companies are eager to receive your old electronics and recycle them for you.
2. Medications? Flush Them Down
The best way to dispose of any medication is to return it to your local pharmacy. However, that option might not be available for you. Whether you live far from your nearest pharmacy or it’s closed due to COVID regulations, you don’t want to have leftover medications sitting around in your house or at work.
Leftover medications pose several health risks, including:
• A child finding and eating them
• Getting medications mixed up and taking the wrong one
• Having a co-worker take an expired or incorrect medication
• Developing addictions to certain medications
Disposing of medications is an environmental risk as well. The chemicals can leech into the environment and impact wildlife. That’s why you should never just toss old medications into the trash.
If you can’t take your old medications to a pharmacy drop-off, check the FDA’s flush list. This is a list of medications that are not safe to dispose of in the garbage. Instead, flush them down the toilet — and don’t forget to make sure they all got flushed down.
If your medications are not on the flush list, they’re safe to dispose of in the trash. However, you still need to take extra precautions with them.
Any trash bags that contain medications have to tie closed. Don’t leave any space at the top where pills or pill bottles could fall out. Never put old medications in compost or organic waste.
3. Pesticides? Take Advantage of Buy-Back Offers
Corporate farms and small family farms face the same environmental problem: how to handle pesticides.
The Environmental Protection Agency carefully regulates which pesticides are safe to use. As new research emerges, the EPA updates its regulations. This means that the pesticides that you’ve had sitting around for a while may no longer meet your state’s safety regulations.
Fortunately, when the EPA bans a certain pesticide, it may offer a buy-back incentive to farmers to donate their unsafe pesticides. You may be able to drop your toxic pesticides off to the EPA and receive compensation. The EPA can dispose of your hazardous materials, and you’ll be compensated for your loss.
Since pesticide regulations can update frequently, be sure to stay updated on your federal and state regulations. That way you won’t miss a buy-back offer when it comes.
4. Let a Pro Handle It
Maybe you have too many kinds of toxic waste to sort. Maybe you’ve got a hazardous material that you don’t know how to dispose of safely. When in doubt, it’s best to let a professional toxic waste disposal company clear away your dangerous substances.
Our friends at HCI Environment point out that you never really know what kinds of toxic waste you’re going to run into with your company. You might face:
• Biohazardous waste
• Chemical spills
• A hidden meth lab on company property
• Post-disaster chemical hazards
• Toxic waste discovered during property renovations
In all of these cases, don’t be tempted to DIY your waste management solution. These substances are unpredictable and dangerous. Keep away from the area until the pros have cleared all the toxic waste out safely.
Keep Toxic Waste Where It Belongs
We all have a responsibility to take care of our environment. Even if your company produces hazardous material byproducts, you can still be eco-friendly.
With these waste disposal solutions, you will be able to choose the environmentally-conscious toxic waste management method that’s best for you.
There’s so much more that your company can do to take care of our planet. Are you ready for more eco-friendly tips and tricks? Then check out the rest of our blog, where you’ll find more incredible insights on how you can go green.