If you live in Melbourne, then it might seem a bit ridiculous to you that you have three separate kinds of waste collection (and three separate bins to match) and yet there are still some things you can’t just roll out onto the front of your curb and be done with. Unfortunately, the reality of waste disposal and recycling is more complex than just dividing things up into general waste, green waste and recycling bins and in fact, the way that you dispose of certain things can have an impact on both the environment and human health. In this article, we take a look at four common household items which require special care when disposing of.
Although some councils have begun allowing low mercury alkaline batteries to be thrown out with household waste, generally speaking, batteries of any kind should not be thrown into the bin. Batteries contain heavy metals, acid and lead which can leach from landfills and pose a threat to both the environment and human health. Whilst some scrap collectors like Metal Men Recycling accept car batteries, in most instances, they need to be disposed of at a hazardous household waste collection point.
Household appliances contain a whole host of potentially harmful substances including refrigerants, HCFCs, CFCs, HFCs, mercury, and insulating foams, so they shouldn’t be placed into landfill. If they’re still function, investigate donating your old appliances to a charity. Broken down units are an abundant source of metal, so scrap metal buyers around Melbourne including Metal Men, will give you cash for them and even provide a pickup service.
Adhesives and glues
If they are disposed of whilst in a liquid state, adhesives and glues can contaminate the environment with solvents and toxic chemicals. If you only need to dispose of a small amount of glue or adhesive, simply open the container and allow it to dry out before throwing out, or spread out thin layers of adhesive on cardboard or newspaper until the amount left in the container is depleted enough to dry out on it’s own. Larger amounts will need to be disposed of at a hazardous household waste collection point.
Light bulbs aren’t made of the same glass that food jars and bottles are made of, so they can never be recycled. If you have a broken light bulb, carefully wrap it in newspaper and place it in your general waste bin. However, if you have an intact bulb, CFL, fluorescent tube, of metal halides, then it’s possible to dispose of these through a specialised lighting recycling program. These programs recycle the lighting to recover valuable materials such as mercury, ceramic, glass, aluminium and phosphor which would otherwise go into landfill and in the case of mercury, pose a threat to the environment and humans.