Things You Probably Didn’t Know Were Hazardous Waste

Every business creates waste. Some are aware that the waste they create is considered hazardous, but others don’t realize it. They’re throwing away items they use every day without considering whether or not those items are hazardous. If you’ve been throwing everything from your business in the normal trash, there are likely things you probably didn’t know were hazardous waste mixed in. Keep reading to learn about some of these items so you can dispose of them properly in the future.

Computer Monitors

Many offices update their computers and think they can haul the old monitors to the junkyard with the rest of their corporate trash, but that isn’t the correct disposal method. Computer monitors contain chemicals, especially heavy metals, which can leak into the environment. The most common heavy metal found in computer monitors is mercury, one of the most toxic heavy metals in the world. Toxicity, which is just a fancy word for poison, is one of the characteristics of hazardous waste. Contact a hazardous waste management company or research local donation options so you can safely dispose of this toxic material.

Printer Ink Cartridges

No matter what your business does, you probably have a printer somewhere. Autobody repair shops print repair descriptions and receipts, restaurants print signs with weekly specials and discounts, banks print out paperwork for new customers to sign, and so on. When your business empties a printer ink cartridge, you may just want to pull it out of the printer and throw it away. However, most ink and toner cartridges have chemical components that are extremely flammable, which is another characteristic of hazardous waste. The cartridge itself isn’t flammable, but since it contained flammable elements, many places require that you dispose of cartridges as you would other types of hazardous waste.

Nail Polish Remover

If you own a salon or spa that offers nail services, you probably have nail polish remover located throughout your shop. Once you’ve finished using a bottle, you probably don’t think twice about throwing it out with the rest of your trash. However, most nail polish removers contain acetone, which is highly flammable even after evaporation. And as previously mentioned, flammability or ignitability is one of the four characteristics of hazardous waste. Since some of that flammable material is probably still coating the inside of the bottle, the container is considered hazardous and needs to be disposed of accordingly, such as with a waste management company.

Tanning Bulbs

Another popular industry that utilizes something you probably didn’t know was hazardous waste is the tanning sector. People go to tanning salons all the time for different treatments, and few consider whether anything they come into contact with is hazardous. While the tanning bulbs themselves are not hazardous, throwing away broken ones do pose a hazard risk. This is because your tanning bulbs contain mercury, which is extremely toxic. As we said before, you must dispose of toxic materials safely so they don’t leak into the environment and cause severe damage.

If your business is throwing away computer monitors, printer ink cartridges, nail polish removers, or broken tanning bulbs with regular trash, you need to reconsider how your company handles waste. These waste items all have hazardous characteristics, and you should check with local authorities to learn how to legally and safely dispose of them.


Dianne Pajo

Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.

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