All forms of making, from electronics and crafts to DIY automotive, invariably produce some type of waste product. Not everything can be endlessly upcycled into something new. From exhausted batteries and spoiled paint products, to that unlabeled bottle of mysterious liquid in your basement, the question of what to do next with waste product and liquids in particular (oils, fuel, degreaser, etc.) can be challenging.
All of these products and more fall under the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) column, and thankfully, most municipal governments and counties have facilities to properly handle HHW disposal and treatment (quite often including recycling). So whether you decided to flush your vehicle’s radiator DIY-style, or have spent hydraulic fluid from your homemade flight simulator or submersible, call up your local government or search online for a collection site near you. Likewise ask your nearby automotive store, gas station, or hardware store if they have a collection program in place. You’d be surprised to learn what they accept. When drop-off or pick-up events take place (pictured above), they have the added benefit of spreading awareness and building community.
Some tips about HHW and your DIY projects to consider:
- Never pour waste down storm drains, as they might connect with nearby rivers or streams.
- Ask yourself, “Would I dump this on or bury this in my yard?” Probably not.
- Don’t mix things! A good general rule to follow. Because, well, you never know!
- Keep liquids in separate, labelled containers.
- Befriend your local retailers, most of them will help you dispose of spent product properly. (For example I take batteries to a local hardware store, and metals to a nearby machining shop for recycling.)
- Most importantly, have fun making – then act responsibly with the world around you!
Do you have other pointers or tips to share? Leave a comment below.
Image courtesy armyenvironmental