If you have some car parts or materials laying around and you are ready to get rid of them, be sure you know how to do so safely and according to local and federal regulations. There are certain auto parts and materials that are too hazardous for conventional trash disposal. If you are attempting to dispose of these particularly dangerous or harmful car parts, you must follow proper protocol.
Continue reading to learn the top 3 most hazardous parts of a vehicle and what you can do to ensure their tossed out responsibly.
Dangerous Car Parts and Materials
A car in general is arguably dangerous, so the rest of it can certainly pose a wide range of risks. But when it comes to hazardous materials, there are 3 auto parts in particular that must be disposed of according to local, state, and federal regulations. These car parts are airbags, batteries, and gasoline.
The law deems airbags, or Supplemental Restraint Devices (SRS Devices), as an automotive part that contains a reactive hazardous waste. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and subsequent regulations, the law does not allow you to simply throw an airbag out in your regular trash pickup container, whether it is new or deployed. If you do, you can be cited for illegal disposal of a reactive hazardous waste. What makes airbags hazardous? Well, they contain a long list of constituents that are combustible and potentially explosive, including propellants, ignitable chemicals, and more.
All airbags must be disposed at a certified airbag handler, approved hazardous waste disposal center, or designated airbag collection facility.
Car batteries are another hazardous auto part that should be disposed of responsibly and in accordance with all local, state, and EPA regulations. Car batteries contain chemicals and metals that can be toxic to the surrounding environment. After three or four years, your car battery will need to be replaced. Be sure you have the proper instructions on how to get rid of an old or broken car battery in your community.
Car batteries can actually be recycled, so choose a local scrap metal recycling center or auto salvage lot to take yours.
Although not actually an auto part, gasoline is an imperative part of driving your gas-powered car, and it is common to find yourself with an old stash you no longer need. You might have some old gasoline laying around for a lawn mower or scooter you no longer have. Or perhaps you are siphoning old, dirty fuel out of a fuel-powered equipment. Regardless of why you have old cans of gasoline or diesel fuel on your hands, it is your responsibility to dispose of it safely, and you guessed it, while adhering to all local and state laws.
Locate a designated gasoline disposal facility or hazardous waste disposal center in your city. They will instruct you to transfer your gasoline or diesel into a government-approved container, like those traditional red plastic cans you see around.
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