Most people don’t usually think about the things they dispose of. Most waste around the
home simply finds its way into a nearby wastebasket before ending up with the rest of
the trash. However, some household waste requires special handling. Trash collectors
can refuse to collect some of these items and even give you a fine for improper
disposal. Here are four weird types of waste that need special handling and ways to
get rid of them without a hassle.
Most of the time, we use every drop of a household chemical—cleaning products,
insecticides, paints, and more—and then toss the container it came in. But we
sometimes don’t, or can’t, and we end up with several bottles, jugs, cans, and other
containers of expired or useless chemicals.
Never flush them or pour them down the drain. This can lead to poisoning the water
supply, killing plants and wildlife, and worse. Look up the local rules for safe disposal of
chemicals. There may be a drop-off point or periodic day of collection in place already.
Of course, it’s even better to avoid the issue altogether by buying nontoxic, eco-friendly
cleaners in the first place.
As cannabis becomes legal in more places, cannabis waste disposal is becoming a
bigger issue. Cannabis waste doesn’t just mean the residue or ash that remains after
product use. It refers to the waste generated at different stages of its growth and processing.
Soil, oils, buds, clippings, expired edibles, smoking paraphernalia, and even
packaging are considered waste and require unique disposal.
For instance, cannabis soil must be cut with other compost. Consumers can mix used
cannabis materials with cat litter or coffee grounds, seal the mixture in a container, and
toss the container. You should never flush or toss cannabis waste down drains.
While tires are not hazardous waste per se, the combination of rubber, plastics, nylon,
metal, and more inside modern tires is an unhealthy addition to the environment. You
can dispose of old tires at the retailer selling you new ones.
Tires you dispose of properly often end up recycled to provide material for roads,
playgrounds, and more. You can also recycle tires yourself by converting them into
receptacles for raising plants and the like. With some creativity, an old tire can go from
an eyesore to an engaging piece of outdoor furniture or decor.
The fourth of our four weird types of waste that need special handling is another set
of wheels: bicycles. While trashing a bicycle might seem unlikely, it can be necessary.
Don’t just leave it by the curb with the trash—the collectors probably won’t even accept
it. The best thing to do is find a bike exchange where your old bike can serve someone
who really needs one. Bicycle shops and charities can find new owners for old bikes
and even repair and restore an old one that seems to be on its last legs. Bicycling is
already an admirable, eco-conscious activity. Pay it forward by offering your bike to