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Your Guide to Hazardous Household Waste Disposal in Ireland

Author(s): Pavitar Singh & Emma Kelly, 28/06/2024

Your Guide to Hazardous Household Waste Disposal in Ireland

Every home accumulates hazardous waste over time. From the cleaning products tucked under the sink to paint cans and batteries lying around the garage, these materials pose a threat not only to our health but also to the environment. Proper disposal of hazardous household waste is crucial in mitigating these risks. But first, it's important to understand what hazardous waste is. By definition, hazardous waste exhibits characteristics such as toxicity, reactivity, corrosivity, and ignitability. Recognising these traits helps identify hazardous items within our homes and ensure they are handled appropriately.

What Household Items Are Considered Hazardous?

Households commonly hoard a variety of items classified as hazardous. According to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these include:

  • Electronic waste (e-waste)

  • Batteries

  • Pesticides

  • Fluorescent bulbs

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Epoxy Resins

  • Silicones

  • Cleaning Agents

  • Cleaning Detergents

  • Antifreeze/Coolants

  • Bleaches

  • Medicines

  • Pharmaceutical Waste

  • Herbicides/ Pesticides

  • Aerosol waste (such as deodorant, spray cans etc)

  • Engine Oils

  • Adhesives/Glues

The diversity of these items underlines the importance of identifying and segregating hazardous waste to facilitate proper disposal.

Source: Freepix

Safety Tips for Handling Hazardous Waste

Safety should be paramount when dealing with hazardous household waste. Always read and follow the instructions on product labels. Wear protective gear, like gloves and masks, when handling these materials. Ensure adequate ventilation in storage and handling areas to prevent the build-up of noxious fumes. Most importantly, never mix different hazardous wastes, which can cause dangerous reactions.

Disposal of hazardous household waste should never be taken lightly. Due to its nature and potential risks, regular recycling collection services do not cater to hazardous waste. Fortunately, many municipalities have established local disposal facilities specifically for these materials. These facilities ensure that hazardous waste is treated, recycled, or disposed of in a manner that minimises its impact on the environment and human health.

What Is the Irish Legislation on Hazardous Waste Disposal?

In Ireland, hazardous waste disposal is governed by a comprehensive legislative framework. The Waste Management Act 1996, along with subsequent amendments and regulations, outlines responsibilities for hazardous waste management. This legislation mandates that hazardous waste be collected, treated, and disposed of in a manner that protects the environment and public health. It also emphasises the importance of waste minimisation and adopting sustainable waste management practices. For households, this means adhering to specific guidelines for hazardous waste disposal and participating in national take-back schemes and local hazardous waste collection events when available.

Dispose of Hazardous Waste with KeyGreen

At KeyGreen, we are committed to helping you dispose of hazardous household waste safely and responsibly. By familiarising ourselves with hazardous items, adhering to safety protocols, utilising local disposal facilities, and understanding the legal framework, we contribute to a safer and healthier world. Remember, every small action counts in the fight against pollution and environmental degradation. Contact us today to find out more about our waste management services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I throw small amounts of paint down the drain or in the regular bin?

No. All paints must be disposed of through designated hazardous waste collection points, even in small quantities. This prevents contamination of waterways and soil.

Are batteries considered hazardous waste?

Yes, most batteries are classified as hazardous due to their chemical components, including lead, mercury, and cadmium. They should be recycled at appropriate collection points.

How do I dispose of outdated medication?

Outdated or unused medications should not be thrown in the bin or flushed. They can be brought to pharmacies participating in take-back programs or to hazardous waste collection events

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