Know your hazardous liquids, glass, tyres waste

Certain wastes have properties that make them hazardous or potentially harmful to human health or the environment. Some liquid wastes can also be hazardous. In some cases, the ‘hazard’ relates to the activity being carried out with the waste (e.g. transport and handling), while other wastes are inherently hazardous across a range of activities.

Hazardous wastes may be found in different physical states such as gaseous, liquids, or solids. A hazardous waste is a special type of waste because it cannot be disposed of by common means like other by-products of our everyday lives.

Types of hazardous liquid:

  • Automotive waste (used oils and greases)
  • Paints and solvent
  • Mercury-containing wastes (thermometers, fluorescent lighting etc..)
  • Pesticides
  • Aerosols
  • Cleaning agents

Cars, trucks, farm machines and boats all need regular lubricating oil changes.

Around 500 million litres of lubricating oil is sold in Australia each year. While some engines, such as two-stroke lawn mower engines burn oil completely, others like motor vehicle engines and machinery produce large volumes of used oil that can be reclaimed and reused. Industry and the community generate at least 250 million litres of used oil in Australia each year.

Disposing of used oil the wrong way has the potential to pollute land, water and infrastructure, so we need to recover and recycle as much of it as possible. Consider that it takes only one litre of oil to contaminate one million litres of water and a single automotive oil change produces 4 to 5 litres of used oil.

Although it gets dirty, used oil can still be cleaned and re-used. In fact, recycled used oil can be used as an industrial burner fuel, hydraulic oil, incorporated into other products or re-refined back into new lubricating oil.

A solvent can generally be described as a liquid that is used to dissolve another substance. Although solvents can be used safely, health problems can result from skin contact with solvents or from inhalation of their vapors. In addition, many solvent vapors are flammable and explosive.


Solvent exposure can occur both on workplaces and industrial facilities, as well as inside and outside households as we can get in contact with dangerous substances that could pollute the air, water and soil, or even our furniture. Some profession such as painting, dry cleaning, and rubber manufacturing are at a greater risk for exposure. They can suffer of either acute reactions (toxicity to the nervous system, liver, or kidneys; dermatitis; respiratory impairment), or chronic long-term ailments such as neuropsychiatric effects, eye cataracts, and an increased risk of cancer.

It is not harmful to environment as such. It’s totally recyclable.

The major environmental impact of glass production is caused by atmospheric emissions from melting activities. The combustion of natural gas/fuel oil and the decomposition of raw materials during the melting lead to the emission of CO2.

Glass is not Biodegradable which is a big concern . But if it is recycled then it wont harm environment.One of the main problem of plastic products is its surface area is normally huge comparing weight. When it accumulates in the ground, it hamper the flow of necessary nutrition elements which is necessary for tree . Excessive plastic below ground will slowly kill the flora diversity. But surface area of glass materials is not so big as plastic products.

Plastic is severely harmful for marine life as the amount of dumping plastic is increasing. Glass settles in the ocean floor because of its weight and will remain for as long as it could be.

Some glass cannot be recycled via your kerbside recycling bin, because the glass is toughened and melts at a higher temperature than normal glass bottles and jars.

  • broken glass (unless it’s broken bottles)
  • ceramics such as pyrex
  • china
  • corning ware
  • drinking glasses
  • light globes
  • medical or laboratory glass
  • mirrors
  • oven-proof glass
  • plate glass (window panes and windscreens) 
  • white opaque bottles.

Just 5 grams of glass from drinking glassware is enough to contaminate an entire ton of recyclable glass, so it is important to get your glass recycling right.


Source: Sustainability Victoria

The mercury in a fluorescent bulb can be released as both dust and vapor if the light is broken. This heavy metal is dangerous to people and animals and easily migrates through the environment in the air, water, and soil. … Although the mercury level will dissipate over time, carpeting acts as a trap for the contaminant.

Scrap tyres are used as a supplement to traditional fuels such as coal or wood fuel because of their high heating value.

The fumes that are being released from tyres burning have been shown to be extremely toxic to human health and harmful to the environment.

Tyre dust contains two main classes of chemicals — organic and inorganic.

These organic chemicals are especially toxic to aquatic creatures (such as fish and frogs), and depending on the levels, can cause mutations, or even death. Latex (a component of rubber dust) has been implicated in latex allergies and asthma.

Some of the inorganic chemicals in tyre dust are heavy metals (such as lead and zinc).

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