Many of us from childhood were accustomed to think of a bucket under the sink as universal container, where you can throw anything you want. But not every device or tube can be disposed with other household waste. Read our tips and learn what to do with harmful waste to leave future generations clean air and water.
These tools give us health and beauty, and our house clean, while being true time bombs for the environment.
What harm can cause household chemicals, if they get to the city dump? Surfactants and abrasives, phenol, formaldehyde, chlorine, acetone, ammonia, bleaches and flavors – this is not a complete list of what is contained in the home care and hygiene products. Once in the environment, these chemicals begin to actively interact with it, impacting primarily on reservoirs. We can help nature in this case in several ways:
- Ask whether there are in your city points of highly toxic substances reception. In our country, the remains of these funds are in demand, for example, in the building materials production. Neutralizing harmful compounds, manufacturers do from the former, washing powder and cosmetics, additives for cement.
- Do not buy these products for future use. Shares in supermarkets “three bottles for the price of one” are often for products which shelf life is about to end.
- Try goods with the prefix “eco”. Today, their list is huge, the price is quite reasonable, and they can be disposed of simply by flushing the drain.
Remotes, watches, electronic gadgets and toys – all these things are useless without batteries. And what do we do when they end their life? Right, throw it in the bin! According to statistics, the family from the big city annually emits half a kilo of used batteries that in a total can be up to 3 million tons.
What hazard we have from spent batteries? First, we all know that the gadget’s battery not removed from can on time can “flow out”, ruining the device. But it’s not the most dangerous. It contains lead and mercury, cadmium, nickel, zinc and alkali. Once in the trash, and then to the city dump, a small but harmful battery begins to break down from corrosion, and the whole “periodic table” gets into groundwater and then eventually into our rivers and lakes. Yes, modern technology allows cleaning it for water supply systems. But fish, plants, and animals consume it directly, which only exacerbates the environmental situation. By the way, once in the environment, just one AA battery can poison up to 20 cubic meters of soil or 400 liters of water.
Eco-friendly choice. When you choose do not look at the brand, look at the markings. Alkaline and silver zinc batteries are considered the most secure. And it is better to pay more for rechargeable batteries and a charger for them. The problem of purchase and disposal will be solved for several years.
If you are still using disposable batteries, use our tips:
- Alkaline and carbon-zinc batteries. It is believed that if not to contact them directly, they do not cause much harm to the nature. To throw them together with normal waste or not – you decide.
- Batteries-tablets. They just do not have place in household garbage. They contain mercuric oxide and lithium.
- Lithium-ion batteries. Basically, most of our gadgets work on them. Harm to the nature is the same as “tablets”. Remember the recent scandal with the smartphones of one the most famous brand? So, if the battery suddenly swelled or dented from the fall, dispose of it immediately!
- Car batteries. They include lead and sulfuric acid, that says it all. Thanks to the strong plastic body, they can be stored in the garage, having no influence. But when you decide to get rid of a dead battery, ask where to find the nearest collection point.
The devices containing mercury
Old thermometers, fluorescent lights and even modern energy-saving light bulbs, in addition to the obvious benefits, have hidden danger – mercury. About the dangers of its vapors it is mentioned above. As well as batteries, mercury-containing devices should not be disposed of in the trash! Once in a landfill, they will almost certainly be broken and poisoning the air, and the soil, and the water.
Advices on disposal. While the device containing mercury is sealed in a glass body, it is not dangerous. To store, for example, a light bulb at home in a dense packaging is possible for a long time. But what if the closet or wardrobe is already full with the accumulated waste lamps?
First, all of your devices should be extremely tightly packed. Then call your managing. Most of these institutions have information on where all this could be disposed. Surrendering your devices at the reception at the address, you can be sure, soon they will be disposed safely.
Unfortunately, incidents occur. If mercury-containing device breaks, do not panic. For a start, firmly close the doors and open the windows in the affected room. Carefully collect the broken appliance in a glass jar with water. Then put there a rag and means of protection. Balls of mercury from a thermometer should be collected using an adhesive tape or moist cotton swabs. From cracks mercury can be extracted using a thin plate of metal. Handle the place of “accident”, with detergent containing chlorine for 4-5 days, wearing a gauze bandage and rubber gloves.
In any case do not pour anything down the drain and do not use the vacuum cleaner! Close firmly the jar and take it to the point of hazardous waste reception.
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