Dealing With Hazardous Materials: What’s Safe For The Skip Bin Or Drain?

Moving house? There’s a lot of packing and sorting ahead, but there’s a lot of “stuff” you need to get rid of as well. Don’t just assume you can toss it into the skip bin, or throw it down the drain, for that matter. A lot of what you need to get rid of is likely classified as “household hazardous waste.” You need to break the list of items down according to origin and figure out how to get rid of everything safely.

In the Bathroom

Starting off in the bathroom, everything you find in here can be safely discarded in the sewer. This includes lotions, aftershaves, hair care products, bathroom disinfectants and cleaners. By all means get rid of the “past due” medicines in the cabinet, by flushing them into the sewer*.

In the Kitchen

Walking into the kitchen, things become a little bit more complex. Used cooking oil must be put carefully into the skip bin and never flushed into the sewer. Oil does not mix with water and will contaminate the aquifer. This goes for floor care products as well and any polishes that contains solvent. Disinfectant and drain cleaner can be sent to the sewer, as can ammonia or any window cleaners.

In the Garage

In the garage you’re sure to find a lot of items that have been discarded or that are just taking up space. Be careful how you dispose of them. Antifreeze can be flushed to the sewer, but items such as brake fluid, gearbox or engine oil must be taken to your local transfer station. These items need to be professionally disposed of for environmental reasons. Similarly, old car batteries can be taken to the transfer station for processing, as they contain corrosive acid.

If you have any paint that you no longer need, you can either commit this to the skip bin or take it to the transfer station. Old barbecue gas cylinders must be taken to the transfer station, as must unused fluorescent light bulbs. The gas within cylinders needs to be released by a professional to minimise any risk of combustion, while broken glass in skips can cause injury to cleaners.

Important Points To Remember

*Note that whenever you get rid of chemicals down the sewer you should mix them with a lot of water so they are completely diluted. Only flush these items through your sink or toilet, as long as your system is connected to the public network. Do not flush if you have a septic tank, as this will cause damage to the nearby environment. Similarly, do not flush anything down the storm water drain, to avoid polluting the aquifer.

Whenever you have something that is liquid and plan to place it in your skip, then you will need to process it first. For example, add material to all paint cans to soak up the liquid first. Kitty litter or garden soil are two good ingredients to help you achieve this. Think of the mess these liquids could cause if a lid were to break open otherwise!

Think of the Operator, Please!

Remember that when your skip bin is collected the operator should not be subjected to a massive cleanup operation in order to send the skip to the next customer. Consequently, take care when discarding those liquids. For more information, contact a business such as Magic Bins.