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What Happens To Hazardous Materials After They Are Collected?

Waste disposal is something most people use as a way to get rid of trash and unwanted items, but you cannot throw hazardous items into your trash. Hazardous items must be disposed of properly and there are many laws in place relating to this subject. Have you ever wondered what happens to the hazardous items that are thrown away? If so, here is what waste disposal companies do with these types of items. 


All hazardous chemicals and products must be kept separate by type. If a waste disposal company collects multiple types, their first step is to separate them. This is necessary because most of these items require different procedures for disposal, and separating them makes it easier to recycle the items.

While not all hazardous items can be recycled, many can. Paint is an example of this. You cannot throw gallons of paint in your regular trash because it can contaminate the ground. When waste disposal companies collect gallons of paint, they usually mix them and turn them into paint products that can be sold. This would be considered recycled paint, and it would work just as good as brand-new paint.

Many other hazardous items can also be recycled, including:

  • Used oil
  • Electronics
  • Household batteries
  • Light bulbs

Some items must be taken apart before they can be recycled, and an example of this is a car battery. The plastic is removed from car batteries and is turned into usable plastic, and the lead is removed from them and reused.

Neutralized or Destroyed

The other two processes used to get rid of hazardous items are neutralizing them and destroying them. When products are neutralized, they are turned from a hazardous state to a state that is safe for the environment. This is something that is done with pharmaceutical products, such as medication. One way to neutralize medication is to let the pills dissolve in water.

Some products cannot be recycled or neutralized, and products like this are often destroyed by burning them. This is a process used for syringes, certain parts of light bulbs, and other items.

To do this, hazardous waste collection companies place the items in large furnaces. The items are completely destroyed this way, but companies that do this must follow rules relating to pollution because burning things creates smoke.

If you want to do your part in this, you should avoid throwing hazardous items in your garbage. If you are not sure what items are included in this, you can contact a waste disposal company, such as Newcastle Salvage, to request a list.

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