The Nitty-Gritty on Hazardous Wastes

Typical Australian households produce various hazardous wastes. Household Hazardous Wastes (HHW) are now considered a fast-growing waste stream in its own right. In Perth, an estimated amount of 15,000 of HHW is generated in the metro area alone. While this figure poses less than what commercial industries produce, most of these wastes are stored or manage dimproperly.

What is Hazardous Waste?

Hazardous wastes (controlled wastes) are those that pose potential threats to the environment and public health. Materials testing positive for the following are considered hazardous:

  • Toxicity
  • Corrosiveness
  • Reactivity
  • Ignitability

Hazardous wastes refer to solids, liquids or contained gasses that pose dangers when improperly disposed or stored. Examples of hazardous wastes are car batteries, oil-based paints, pesticides, cleaning products and vehicle fluids.

Hazardous Wastes Act of 1989

The Hazardous Wastes Act was introduced in 1989, aiming to regulate the import and export of hazardous wastes. Under the Act, hazardous wastes are disposed safely both in Australia and overseas so both communities are protected from the harm.

The Act was developed for Australia’s compliance with the Basel Convention. It is currently administered by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC).

Proper Disposal and Storage

Certain hazardous wastes should be disposed differently compared to regular household waste. Some hazardous rubbish must be incinerated while others must be disposed of in landfills. Liquid wastes are disposed of in underground injection wells.

Disposing hazardous wastes are often costly due to its sensitive nature. It requires safe handling and processing to prevent harmful exposures.

The following are proper methods of disposing hazardous wastes:

  • Clinical and medical wastes — These wastes are destroyed to prevent further infection from viruses and pathogens.
  • Asbestos and asbestos products — Due to its threat to human health, asbestos and products with this material should be buried in landfills.
  • Contaminated soil — Soil from contaminated sites must be disposed of in landfills

At Kwik Skips, we strongly believe in proper disposal of wastes, particularly hazardous ones. For more information on our managing hazardous wastes with our skip bins, contact us. We provide a free quotation on our services and discuss the complete details of our delivery and pick-up times.