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Understanding the Different Types of Waste: Hazardous vs. Non-Hazardous

When it comes to proper waste management and cleanup, knowing the difference between hazardous and non-hazardous waste is vital. Data from the Government of Canada found that solid waste generated in the country increased by 4.8 million tonnes from 2002 to 2018.

Different types of waste require specific management processes and procedures, and that's why understanding the differences is so important.

Read on to learn more about hazardous versus non-hazardous waste so you can make the proper decision for your waste management needs.

What is Hazardous Waste?

Several factors determine what makes something hazardous waste. First, anything that can easily catch fire, or its ignitability, is considered hazardous.

Next, corrosive waste is also considered hazardous. This waste is acidic or alkaline and can corrode metal, human skin, and many other types of materials.

Third, reactive waste is hazardous and can cause an explosion or a release of gas or toxic fumes. Finally, toxic waste that is harmful or even fatal upon exposure is hazardous. Most batteries, lead, mercury, oils, and solvents are just some examples of hazardous waste.

Non-Hazardous Waste

Most non-hazardous waste has little to no harmful impact when it comes into contact with the skin or when it's breathed in. Construction site waste like old fencing or lumber is not considered hazardous, for example.

General waste that includes paper, cardboard, and plastic is also non-hazardous. Everyday items including food, discarded clothing, and general office products (unless they are electronics) are typically non-hazardous.

The proper method of waste management must be used for both types of waste. This is not just to protect the people disposing of the waste, but also the surrounding community and ecosystem.

How to Clean Hazardous Waste

Canada has very specific requirements when it comes to identifying and cleaning up hazardous waste. All businesses must separate the waste and clearly identify it as such.

Safe operating procedures (SOP) must be followed by employees and waste management services. The waste should be disposed of according to the local jurisdiction and current laws. Hiring waste management experts is the best way to ensure that hazardous waste is disposed of properly.

How to Clean Non-Hazardous Waste

All forms of waste are managed locally in Canada. Recycling non-hazardous waste whenever possible is encouraged.

If you need to clean non-hazardous waste, prevention and reuse should be the first priority. Using products that can be recycled can help to keep the volume of non-hazardous waste down. When in doubt, hire a professional waste management company to help you handle the different kinds of waste you produce safely.

Start Cleaning up Today

Knowing the difference between non-hazardous and hazardous waste is crucial to a safe cleanup. Once you identify these waste types, you can take steps to ensure that everything is disposed of responsibly.

To learn more about our waste management services, contact the expert team at D.B.L. Disposal Service today.


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