The way we dispose certain household items has a huge impact on the environment. For most of our day to day rubbish, not much thought is needed. Recyclables go into the yellow lid, plant material goes into the green and pretty much everything else goes into the red lid bin. However, this leaves us open to making mistakes when it comes to disposing household items thoughtfully and responsibly. All too often things like mattresses and electronics are illegally dumped creating eyesores and negative impacts on the environment and surrounding wildlife.
Here’s how you should dispose of certain household items responsibly to ensure minimal impact on the environment while avoiding any illegal dumping fines.
Mattresses are one of the most illegally dumped items out there. With over 1.25 million mattresses dumped every year, a huge amount unfortunately end up in landfill. Fortunately, more and more initiatives are being created to address the problem of mattresses ending up in landfill.
For example, Mission Australia’s Soft Landing mattress program provides a recycling and refurbishment service. Soft Landing claims to recycle up to 75% of the components that make up a mattress from steel springs to foam and fabric. These materials are turned into things such as roof sheeting, animal bedding and stuffing for boxing bags.
On the other hand, mattresses that are still in good condition will be refurbished and sold at charity stores.
With the worldwide presence of technology comes millions of computers, tv’s, printers, mobile phones and tablets that are dumped every year. This leads to a huge amount of heavy metals and chemicals ending up in landfill, which eventually leaches into the surrounding environment which can affect not only local flora and fauna but into our food resources.
Many electronics have precious metals such as gold and even diamond which can be reused to produce new products. The best way to dispose of e-waste is to contact professional removalists like 1300Rubbish. They provide a fast and reliable service, collecting anything from e-waste and white goods to mattresses and office furniture. When it comes to e-waste, up to 98% of devices can be recycled for later use with appropriate recycling facilities.
Batteries and Globes
Batteries are another common household item that can result with heavy metals and chemicals ending up in landfill. Batteries can take at least several centuries to decompose. Because of this, care needs to be taken when disposing of batteries. Many places around Australia now accept batteries for recycling such as Aldi supermarkets, IKEA, BatteryWorld and certain council drop of points.
Globes on the other hand can contain chemicals like mercury which can leach into the environment. With so many light globes on the market, it’s important that they are disposed of and recycled responsibility. When globes are recycled, materials such as aluminium, phosphor, and glass can go into making new products.
While sheets and blankets can last a while, when they are eventually disposed of, they can take up large amounts of landfill. Thankfully there’s many options when it comes to your linen waste.
If you have old towels or blankets consider giving them to your local animal rescue or homeless shelter. Older sheets which might not be fit for use can make great drop sheets for when you’re renovating your home and want to protect your floor and furniture from paint and dust. Alternatively, cut up sheets and use them as cleaning cloths or rags.
The more we can reuse and recycle our household waste, the more environmentally sustainable our world will be. Unfortunately, many of our household items contain chemicals and materials that are dangerous to the environment. When these things end up in landfill, they can leach out and affect the local ecosystem and food chain. By dealing with our waste responsibility we can help to make a cleaner and more environmentally sustainable world.