When you think about rubbish or trash, what comes to mind? Probably a lot of things. We will walk through this subject and explore the different types and different methods to handle rubbish removal in Adelaide.
Household Waste – This is one of the most common types of rubbish. It is what is generated daily from our own bodies and from what we cook and use. Generally this is disposed of through regular rubbish pickups, sewage, and recycling centres.
Hazardous Substances – This can range from chemicals used for cleaning or pesticides, or petrol or oil-based products. They require special handling. Contact your council or product manufacturer for the proper procedures based on the element you are working with.
Medical Waste – While most of that comes from medical facilities, it can also be generated at home if you need regular injections (like insulin) or unused medications. Never put unused medications down a drain or flush them, nor should you put them in with regular trash. Contact your local pharmacy for the appropriate method to return or dispose of drugs. Syringes and specialized medical apparatus should be handled as directed by your medical team.
E-Waste – These are electric or electronic devices that no longer work or are obsolete and have been replaced. This category of rubbish grows every day with the advent of new technology. The upside is that about 90% of it is able to be recycled and reused as other products. Check with your local council to find the best place to take these items for disposal.
Recyclables – Much of the waste we generate can be recycled. Most plastics, aluminium, paper and cardboard are the most common. Kerbside recycling is the easiest. Just separate as directed by your waste disposal company and it is done for you. There may be some items that you need to take to a specialized centre but those are fewer and fewer.
Construction and Demolition – Building new structures plus repairing and renovating existing buildings is going to generate a specific type of rubbish. Contractors and tradespeople will be able to help you dispose of this mess in the best way.
Green Waste – This is probably the easiest to handle. From leftovers from last night’s dinner to spent flowers and grass, anything that will degrade on its own is in this category. Composting is probably the best option, but if that is not feasible, this can be carted away as garbage.
Recycle, Reuse, Reduce. We hear this mantra over and over. As custodians of this planet we should be aware of what rubbish we produce and how to reduce the amount dumped in our landfills and how we can be better in the course of our daily living.
Let your rubbish problem become ours
When you think about waste materials, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the daily refuse. It is placed in bins and taken outside your home on a designated day and then a collector comes along and removes it for you. Generally this solid waste goes into a landfill. Liquid can also be waste. That can be anything from water leftover from washing dishes or a bath to sewage or the juice remaining after cooking a nice piece of roast. Basically it is anything that we don’t feel has any further value is ready for rubbish removal.
Depending on the type, there are specific methods of disposal. Most of these centre around public and personal safety. Arbitrarily disposing of solid or liquid waste materials can be harmful to the environment, human and otherwise. As it degrades, it can pose health risks that can be transmitted through insects, scavenging animals like rodents and dogs or cats, as well through the air.
So, we have stuff that we no longer need. How can we get rid of it? Much of it can be recycled like cardboard, aluminium. Food products can be sent through a disposal and ground to the point it is released into the sewer system. In certain circumstances, it can also be burned or added to a compost pile. As soon as something is identified as waste, it should be added to the group for appropriate disposal. Don’t let it hang around any longer than necessary.
Solid waste – There is organic; that is anything that will decompose on its own, like garbage. If left on its own, it will start to smell awful, which is why we rely on disposal services. There is also hard matter that just doesn’t degrade, like plastics. Some of this inorganic material can be dangerous or combustible.
Local councils will offer free hard waste collection, but there are also private companies who will gladly relieve you of your trash for a fee. There will be some specifications about how much they will pick up at a given time and exactly what it can consist of.
Liquids – Liquid waste is a bit different. Some can be reused for irrigation or other suitable purposes, but sewage must be sent to a waste treatment facility. These companies remove the water and any organic solids are then converted into fertilizers to reuse the nutrients. Liquid waste can also be disposed of in landfills by using environmentally appropriate techniques to solidify it without adding volume and allowing it to be included in landfills.
Those on septic tanks have a whole different set of rules to follow, especially when it comes time to dig up the tank and rid it of the accumulated sludge. This should only be handled by qualified, licensed professionals who will guide you it its proper handling and disposal.
Some items are obviously dangerous like those from medical facilities or by-products from manufacturing. Around the home these are things that can explode, including pressurized cans; catch on fire; are or become infectious; and those that would change as they are being disposed of.
An example would be a substance that is non-toxic in its current state, but when changed like through burning, becomes dangerous.
Some of these things are pretty obvious like petrol, paints, and chemicals. Some less obvious are broken thermometers, fluorescents including CFLs, computer equipment, and dead batteries.
There are, of course, appropriate ways to handle these things. If you have any questions, contact the manufacturer, local council, or check the EPA website.
Don’t think it is a good idea to just dump anything you don’t want. If it is hazardous, this is a crime and you will find yourself with hefty financial penalties.
Before we leave the subject of medications, if you travel, you might want to know a few things. First, keep your medications in your carryon. Luggage does get misplaced by the airlines and you don’t want to be without critical drugs. Anything liquid is limited to 3.4 ounces and should be in a sealed bag. The medication will probably be examined during pre-flight check in. If you don’t want your meds x-rayed, just tell the inspector and they can do a visual check. Nitroglycerin tablets and sprays are permitted.
If you or a loved one is having in-home care during a serious illness, there may be some waste products that should receive careful handling.
If the patient is receiving chemotherapy or radiation, they may have items that have bodily fluids (like blood, urine, etc.) or used in the clean-up process. The definition of medical waste is pretty broad.
There are a number of reasons to be concerned with this issue. Friends and family visiting the patient don’t want to be confronted with blood drops or other fluids. There could be the risk of infection. Also, the risk to the environment from improperly disposing of the waste is significant.
There are some basics to disposing of these materials.
Your medical provider should give the patient a medical waste container. This can be used for anything connected with body fluids or solid waste. This would include the disposable gloves that caregivers use. The medical provider should also supply the home with a “sharps container”. This is a specifically designed storage bin for needles or other sharp objects used in connection with the treatment. Do not put sharps in with other waste products.
Let your rubbish problem become ours
We have become an electronics society. Much of our lives revolve around mobile phones, computers, tablets, smart watches. Technology is always changing and evolving. That poses the question of what to do with outmoded hardware. This is commonly known as E Waste.
E Waste generally is defined as televisions, printers, laptops, phones, tablets, keyboards, modems, microwaves, landline telephones, scanners, video games, and all of the cords and bits that go along with them. That’s not all. Consider air conditioners, electric fans, vacuums, electric knives, shavers, sewing machines, drills, lawn mowers, exercise equipment with electronic components. These are only the household items. Then we have the commercial area that will include large copiers, telephone systems, plus food and drink dispensers.
Since the fall of 2012 Adelaide bans all E Waste from landfill disposal and South Australia followed suit in 2013.
The good news is that at least 90% of this equipment can be recycled. So, when you upgrade, recycle your old electronics. Contact your local waste management company to see if they know where these products can find a new home.
As these electronic devices are disassembled, all of the metals, glass, and plastic are repurposed but not necessarily in another electronic device. That means part of your old laptop could be in the next necklace you buy, or the plastic outdoor chair for your porch.
By recycling we won’t need to mine for the limited resources; we can simply repurpose those outdated appliances and equipment. Here are some suggestions to best implement your recycling strategy:
If you are interested in how various pieces of equipment are sorted out for reuse, here is a short list.
Recycling is taking rubbish and turning it into new things.
It saves on energy consumption, air pollution and landfill space.
It also means we won’t need to rely on newly extracted raw materials. Its goal is redirecting rubbish and environmental responsibility.
Not everything is recyclable, but quite a bit is.
If the product is not appropriate for recycling, at least consider whether it is reusable or in some other way can reduce the amount of trash in our community.
Sooner or later every home will need some construction. It can be from remodelling to update a kitchen or bath. It can also come from a change in family status. Adding family members through birth or having elderly relatives move in means adjusting space and frequently adding rooms. It can also come as a result of an unfortunate event like a burst pipe or leaky roof.
The bottom line is that construction is going to come with its own form of stress on the occupants, workers and contractors. Part of that pressure comes from having to deal with the mess, the leftovers, the rubbish removal. This can include wood, concrete, dirt, metals, flooring, glass, and others.
It is always best to have a tidy worksite from a safety perspective as well as to appease your neighbours and family. The volume can seem insurmountable.
Being responsible for the waste management at a construction site should be an integral part of the project. Granted, the volume in a construction project is considerably larger than normal household waste. In construction projects for commercial enterprises, it will be even greater. It will also probably weigh more. This will have a serious impact on landfill sites.
As a result regulations are in place to require builders to recycle onsite waste. Many are creating their own management plans. These efforts will allow the construction companies to:
These are all issues to be considered when taking on new construction or renovation projects either through a contractor or your own efforts.
Let your rubbish problem become ours
Its definition is simple; green waste is anything that is biodegradable.
This is a substance that is organic and will be broken down by natural processes, generally bacteria.
It is important to note that in Australia there are different rules in each state about what is classified as green.
Check with your local council to see what is and is not acceptable.
There are also bins available for sale, which is the preferable method.
Whichever you choose, a pile or a bin, keep it moist. The liquid will help break down the material.
Even if you don’t have a proper place for a compost bin, there are a number of things you can do.
Small amounts of garden waste can be placed in standard garbage or green waste bins to be picked up by your local waste removal company. Bins are restricted in capacity and if you have a lot of seasonal clean up, it may well exceed the limit. Check with your landlord or local council about the best way to proceed.
There are services that provide green waste removal. Generally they offer bins, bags and skips. These companies are more flexible with their collection schedule and you can work out an arrangement that suits your needs.
You can also find the nearest tip and take it in yourself. If you don’t have a vehicle or cart appropriate to transport your waste, you will need to rent or borrow one. It will take time. Depending on the tip site, you may also be charged a fee for the privilege of dumping.
Did you ever think there were so many different types of rubbish and waste and how many ways there can be to dispose of any one of them?
Generating the rubbish is the easy part. Getting rid of it in the most ecologically responsible method becomes more problematic. Sometimes it is physically difficult, expensive, or undesirable. It is hoped that this article will give you some good ideas about how to make it more palatable and economically feasible while still being socially responsible with your rubbish removal in Adelaide.
If each person only improved by one small amount, eventually we will see a tremendous impact on the amount of waste generated. There will always be rubbish, but the less we have to deal with, the better.
Let your rubbish problem become ours