Things We Didn’t Know Were Illegal To Throw In The Trash

By Aaron Love 8 months ago

Paint

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You might not be aware, but putting old paint cans in the trash can actually be illegal in some areas. This is because many cans of paint contain chemicals that could be present in the paint remnants can actually be harmful the environment and even some people's health too.

Batteries

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Although batteries do seemingly appear pretty small and harmless, they should never be thrown in the trash. Most batteries contain a load of toxic metals like lead and mercury which could get in to the soil and water supply after they're disposed. Try and find a battery bin in a local store so they're disposed of correctly.

Televisions

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You might be a little surprised by this, but old televisions are also typically banned from your ordinary trash bins. This is because they can also contain a load of hazardous materials and toxins. You should instead take them to an electronic recycling center so they're safely disposed.

Phones

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Discarded phones, like televisions, shouldn't be placed in to the trash cans either. They can also contain a load of hazardous materials as well as some valuable materials that could be reused. Most areas offer some e-waste programs and drop off locations to prevent any pollution.

Motor Oil

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Another item that you could get in trouble for throwing in your trash is used motor oil; this is again down to the effects that the oil can have on the environment. If it was to leak into the soil it could become contaminated and possibly damage the land in the long run.

Pesticides

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Unwanted pesticides should never be strung in to the trash as a result of the potential harm they could cause to the environment. Their use is already questioned in general and most municipalities will provide a location where pesticides can be taken or collected so they're managed safely.

Light Bulbs

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There are a few types of light bulbs that should never be thrown into trash cans as a result of them containing mercury. Fluorescent bulbs and lamps are the most common to include mercury and throwing them in the trash could end up releasing the toxic element out in to the environment.

Thermometers

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Thankfully the old mercury thermometer are no longer used and are really a thing of the past. That's probably for the best as they were incredibly toxic and we were meant to put them in our mouths! Either way, if you were to still have an old one you'd need to find somewhere safer to dispose of it.

Old Tires

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Discarded tires should never be thrown in the trash as they are actually one of the biggest fire hazards at waste sites. Besides this, they are also breeding grounds for some of the little pests in and around the landfill and in general they can cause some harm to their environment as they sit.

Refrigerators

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Refrigerators are usually prohibited from standard disposals as they contain items known as refrigerants which can actually harm the ozone layer and damage the atmosphere too. Like most of the items in this list, these appliances should be taken to specific recycling centres

Needles And Syringes

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It's probably needless to say that needles and syringes should be disposed in a much safer way than just throwing them in the trash. They can become contaminated after use and if a sanitation worker or member of the public catches themselves on it it could be a serious health risk.

Propane Tanks

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Although most of us don't tend to keep propane tanks in our home, if you do, you definitely shouldn't put dispose of them in your ordinary trash cans. Many areas will actually prosecute anyone found doing so as they can actually explode if they're left within other trash.

Prescription Medication

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You might think that you're able to just throw your old medication out into the trash when you no longer need to take it, but this can be incredibly dangerous! It could result in some people being poisoned or even going hunting through your trash in order to try and get some free meds.

Car Batteries

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Car batteries are another piece of equipment you might have in your home that are actually too dangerous to be discarded into the regular trash. They also contain some toxic lead; however, most of the parts ARE recyclable and many garages will dismantle the parts for further use and disposal.

Antifreeze

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Antifreeze is another item you might have in your home or car which can contain some hazardous materials. If the item is disposed of improperly it could contaminate the groundwater. Likewise with the car batteries many auto service centres will have some a collection and recycling facility for these.

Cooking Oil

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Pouring cooking oil down the drain is often regarded as being quite dangerous for the environment, but it turns out that placing them in the trash can be bad too. Instead, cooking oil can actually be repurposed in order to make biofuel. There might be some collection programs around to help you.

Fireworks

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It probably won't surprise you to hear that old or unused fireworks are actually illegal to be placed in the trash. They're obviously quite dangerous and if they're unused, run the risk of potentially exploding. They need to be carefully handled and disposed of in order to avoid running any risks.

Animal Carcasses

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Obviously there might come a time when one of your pets might unfortunately pass away, or maybe your cat has caught some smaller animals. Either way, you should never place any form of carcass in the trash, this is prohibited in order to try and reduce the risk of pests and disease forming.

Old Mattresses

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Although it isn't necessarily illegal, the garbage men are unlikely to come and collect an old mattress you've left out on the street. This is because they take up a lot of room in the landfill, instead you should try and look in to getting them recycled responsibly just to make sure.

Old Fire Extinguishers

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Used fire extinguishers, even if they're completely empty, should never be discarded as casually as placing them in your garbage. You might want to get in contact with your local fire department or the manufacturer to get some guidance as to what you should do with the piece of equipment.

Paper Documents

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Although it isn't necessarily illegal, discarding paper documents in the trash, especially those with sensitive information on, could be quite the security risk. It could leave you open to identity theft so you might want to consider investing in a paper shredder to keep yourself safe.

Gasoline

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Gasoline is obviously used in order to keep your cars running and in some cases to start fires. For that reason alone, you should probably realise that it isn't safe to throw in the trash. You don't want to be the person at fault for causing any form of fire or accident, do you?

Smoke Detectors

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You might not know this, but most smoke detectors contain a small amount of radioactive material which is used in order to, no surprise, detect the smoke! Some manufacturers will offer some recycling programs for old detectors or you could head to a local hazardous waste facility instead.

Mothballs

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Mothballs are these small round discs of a solid chemical pesticide which are used to kill of moths and their larvae. However, as they are a pesticide they shouldn't be discarded in the trash. Instead, you should follow any label instructions which should describe the right way to get rid of them.

Asbestos

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Materials that contain asbestos are very seriously watched and you should 100% AVOID putting them in to your trash cans. You need to be careful handling it too, as handling the stuff can actually lead to some serious health problems. I would suggest getting a professional in to deal with it!

Disposable Lighters

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Most disposable lighters are usually non-recyclable and should be handled with some levels of responsibility. The problem with throwing away these lighters is that if they have any form of liquid left inside them they could be seen as a fire hazard and potentially cause some issues in the landfill.

Aerosols

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Any form of aerosol can, whether that be paint, repellent or deodorant should never be placed in the trash. This is because they could be an explosion risk and although you wouldn't expect it to be too serious, you don't want to become responsible for any injuries that could occur.

Construction Debris

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The problem with throwing away any form of construction debris like drywall, insulation or concrete is that they are too bulky and heavy for any form of standard disposal. Local waste management facilities might be able to help you by arranging someone to come and pick it up for you.

Plastic Bags

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A lot has been said in recent years about the dangers of plastic bags and people are now advised to use reusable in place of plastic bags to reduce environmental pollution. With time, I'm sure there will begin to be greater implications for people who throw their plastic in the ordinary trash.

Human Waste

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Any form of human waste should always be disposed of responsibly and as far away from the ordinary trash can as possible. Human waste always needs to go through some sewage treatment in order to try and manage the health and safety of the public and avoid any disease outbreaks.