Finding waste disposal services
One of the first things a new homeowner seeks to discover is the day and time of garbage pickup. Nobody wants their trash hanging around longer than necessary. In recent years, though, garbage disposal has become a major issue, so you'll need to know far more than just when the garbage truck goes by. Many municipalities limit the number of trash cans or garbage bags a household can put out each week, and certain items require special disposal protocol and facilities.
Solid Waste Disposal
Most household waste is solid waste of some sort. This includes biodegradable waste such as foodstuffs, recyclable waste such as cans and papers, and hazardous waste such as light bulbs and medications. In an effort to save landfill space and conserve resources, many municipalities now encourage homeowners to compost biodegradable waste and separate recyclables from garbage. Recycling is generally collected by the municipality in much the same way as waste, but collection may take place separately.
Some municipalities also make provisions for hazardous waste materials, but disposal may be the responsibility of the homeowner. The same holds for larger items such as furniture and toys. If you have such items to dispose of, call your municipality first to see what the guidelines and provisions are. If they won't handle waste, they can usually at least refer you to a company that will. If they can't, check the Internet or Yellow Pages for waste disposal services.
Don't forget that furniture and toys may be donated to a number of charitable organizations, many of which will pick the items up from you. Of course, the items have to be in fairly good condition, but in many cases, the adage holds true: "one person's trash is another's treasure."
Hazardous Waste Disposal
Most people think that hazardous waste refers only to chemicals or industrial byproducts, but the truth is, many household waste items can be considered hazardous. Batteries, medications, paints, electronics, light bulbs and spray cans are just a few of the hazardous items commonly included in household waste.
Check with your municipality for the guidelines regarding hazardous waste disposal. Often, communities host a "hazardous waste day" on a semi-regular basis, during which homeowners can put out their hazardous waste for collection. Many electronics and department stores also provide battery disposal receptacles and may even collect other electronic waste.
If your municipality doesn't have provisions for hazardous household materials, contact one of the many hazardous waste disposal companies found in most areas. It may be tempting to sneak hazardous waste in with your regular garbage, but this can be incredibly detrimental to the environment and may result in hefty fines if you're caught.
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