Finders, Not Keepers: What To Do If You Happen Upon Medical Sharps Out In The Open

When you go for a walk in your neighborhood, it’s not uncommon to see the odd soda can or wadded up tissue lying around, waiting for a street sweeper. But what if you happen upon something more sinister, like a used needle? Your best bet is to contact a professional, be that a health care provider, local health department, police or fire station. Many communities even have special programs for turning in such items. They will be able to give you the best information about how to dispose of or turn in the item, especially if it’s a sharp (needle, razor, syringe, e.g.).

There’s always a chance, however, that you might find such an object out in the middle of nowhere where you either don’t have your phone or don’t have any cell phone reception. Here are some tips if you ever find yourself in this situation:

Pick-up Artist

DO NOT pick up the object in question with your bare hands. This may sound obvious, but in the heat of the moment a person might be willing to pick up an item so they can throw it away quickly or so that a child doesn’t pick it up first.

Instead, use a “barrier” item to pick up the needle. Wadded up tissues, paper towels, plastic bags — anything that puts a lot of space between your bare hands and the business end of what you found is a good thing. If you want to get more creative, pick up a couple of pencil-sized, sturdy sticks and practice your chopstick skills.

It’s in the Can

Once you have picked up the needle, you want to put it in a sturdy container, such as a small box or coffee can, something that can handle the plunger end as well as the needle. Don’t put it in a plastic bag or wrap it in tissue; the needle will only poke through. Then you need to hang onto it until you get back to civilization once more.

**Under no circumstances should you try to break or bend the needle to render it safe. You are far more likely to injure yourself and expose yourself to bacterial or viral infections.

Passing the Torch

Okay, so you’re headed home and have reached the outskirts of town. The first thing you come across is a garbage can or dumpster. Should you chuck your little treasure? No. Sharps should never be disposed of in a public dumpster or regular garbage can, since they pose a health threat to anyone who has to manually handle the garbage later. Your better bet is to call your local health or police department and find out where the nearest drop-off location is. That way you can be sure the needle will be properly disposed of by professionals.

Needles and, for that matter, any medical waste in general should be treated with the utmost respect. Follow the guidelines above, and you will greatly reduce your risk of exposure. For more information, contact a company like TransChem Environmental.

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Getting Home Electricity From A Solar Panel System: Why It Is A Worthy Investment

Have you ever considered becoming independent with your electricity source? Investing in a solar panel system will give you the opportunity to enjoy electricity without paying for it, which means fewer expenses to run your household. Below, learn all you need to know about a solar panel system to determine if it is right for you.

What Makes a Solar Panel System a Worthy Investment?

A solar panel system is worthy because it runs off nothing more than sunlight after getting installed. Basically, your roof will be covered in panels that contain photovoltaic cells. The cells are a vital aspect of the solar panel system because they are able to produce electricity from the photons coming from sunlight. Electrons and atoms are separated when photons make contact with the solar panels, which leads to the electrons providing your home with electricity. The panels will have to be wired to your home before it will work.

Connecting the solar panels to the wiring in your house is done via the metal conductive plates. Wiring the panels to the interior of your house will allow you to receive a steady flow of electricity, just as if you were getting it from an electric company. The electrons captured in the panels go from the panels directly to the interior of your house.

If you don’t want your roof covered in solar panels because it detracts from the beauty, you can also get a ground mounted system. The ground mounted system consists of a big panel to power your home. You can keep the panel hidden in an area that is not easy to see. Just make sure it has direct contact with the sun.

How Much Does a Solar Panel System Cost on Average?

The price for your solar panel system will depend on how efficient you want it to be. If you want electrical independence, you will need a system that has enough watts to power up everything in your home. Total dependency on solar panels for your electrical needs will cost around $35,000 plus, which is for a 5 kW system. A low efficiency system can cost $10,000 plus.

Getting your electricity from nature is great because you won’t have to pay another electric bill after the solar panels are in place. Get in touch with a solar panel expert to get the installation procedure started! For more information, contact a company like DFW Solar Electric.

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Why Should You Recycle Glass?

Recycling is essential to maintaining the Earth’s natural resources and helping keep the landfills clear, but it can sometimes be difficult knowing exactly why certain materials should be recycled. One of the lesser known benefits is why glass should be recycled.

Here are some of the major benefits to recycling glass items you plan to throw away:

Glass is Sustainable

Glass containers are not only recyclable, but they can be recycled over and over again. This repeat process makes them a sustainable item. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 90 percent of recycled glass is used for making new containers. That means that most of the glass containers you use every day have been recycled already. This is a great benefit for recycling glass.

It Saves Natural Resources

Earth’s natural resources are not only saved when recycling paper and conserving water, but recycling glass as well. Glass is made from soda ash, limestone, sand, and various other natural resources. By recycling your glass, manufacturers of glass containers and items don’t need to use more of the Earth’s resources to make these items. This lets the raw materials get conserved and used only when absolutely necessary.

A Lot of Items Are Made From Glass

Still not convinced? Consider how many items can be made of glass. Not only are a lot of beverage containers made from glass, but pickle jars, mayonnaise jars, and a lot of other food containers also contain glass. There are also many other items made from glass, including decorative tiles, home decor items like vases and bowls, dishes, windows, and even landscaping materials.

Recycling is Simple

Inconvenience should never be the reason you don’t recycle glass, since so many options are available. If your local waste management company provides a recycling bin, you can put all types of recyclable items in the bin, including your glass items. Most recycling centers also accept all different types of glass items, so you can bring them along with your paper, plastic, and aluminum.

You can even get money for your glass items at certain recycling centers. Additionally, some recycling centers have pick-up programs, where they will pick up all your recyclables for you so you don’t need to worry about it. This is great if your waste management company doesn’t offer recycling bins or if you have too much to fit in the bin.

Everyone uses glass items regularly, and will throw them away. It only takes a minute to put the glass in a separate container to be recycled and there are many benefits in doing so. To learn more, contact a company like Quantum Resource Recovery with any questions you have.

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Key Steps When Cleaning Out A Foreclosure Owned By A Hoarder

Buying a foreclosure can offer you a great financial deal on a fixer-upper. But the previous owner hasn’t always left the home in the best condition. Often, the bank will go in and clean out the mess left behind. However, if the foreclosure hit market quickly, there’s a chance you will have some work ahead of you.

Here are a few key steps when trying to clean out a foreclosure that was previously owned by a hoarder or otherwise incredibly messy person.

Rent a Roll Off Dumpster

You will need a roll off dumpster that the rental service will drop off in your driveway for your use. Ask for a dumpster that has an opening door at one end for easier loading. Make sure the dumpster is positioned directly under some of the upstairs windows to save yourself trips downstairs and outside.

What should you throw away? Everything. It doesn’t matter if something looks like it is good condition, you don’t know the product’s history and if the rest of the house was nearly uninhabitable, that item is likely similarly compromised. It’s much easier to start with a clean slate.

Enlist family and friends to help you throw away most of the items. If you come across large spots of mold or anything that resembles human waste, it’s time to call in professional help.

Hire a Professional Cleaning Service

If you’ve found mold, you need to call in a mold inspection team to see what type of mold it is and whether it’s throughout the home. The inspectors will likely be able to get rid of the mold for you, but it might require you stopping your cleanup efforts for a few days.

In the case of extreme dirt or human waste, call in a professional cleaning service. You might have to look hard to find one that is qualified to deal with the human waste aspect, as that requires decontamination procedures. But for extreme dirt, nearly any cleaning service will do the trick. This will give you extra helping hands and access to industrial-grade cleaning supplies.

Check All the Nooks and Crannies

You’ve thrown away all the junk and the cleaners have finished up. You stand back and take in all of your hard work and smile at the progress. But, wait — are you sure you checked all the nooks and crannies?

Make sure there aren’t any out-of-the-way cupboards, closets or other nooks that could have been overlooked during the cleanup process. Pay close attention to the basement, particularly if the lighting isn’t great. Use a flashlight or work light to make sure there aren’t any storage areas you’ve missed.

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When Planning Your Next Home Construction Project, Don’t Forget To Remove Your Waste Responsibly

When planning a home improvement or repair, homeowners likely spend a lot of time selecting just the right materials for the job. Whether it’s new shingles for your roof or new floor tile in the kitchen, you want to make sure that the materials you select are durable and will give your house the look that you want. While picking out the right materials is obviously key to any successful construction project, one area some homeowners may overlook is what to do with the old materials that are being replaced. If you are about to rip up a large amount of floor tile or roof shingles, you will need somewhere to put all of that debris. Here are 3 reasons to consider renting a roll off dumpster.

Keep the Project Site Clean and Safe

If you are installing a brand new roof or taking on another project of similar size, you are going to have a lot of old housing materials to dispose of. Things can quickly spiral out of control if you just start moving this debris anywhere that it can fit. You might even create a potential safety hazard if you leave awkward parts lying around on the project site. Someone could easily trip and fall. Renting a dumpster gives everyone involved in the project a designated area to take all debris so that it stays out of the way.

Roll-Off Dumpsters Will Save You Time and Energy After a Long Day of Work

The beauty of renting a roll-off dumpster from many waste removal companies is that after you are done loading the debris into the dumpster, the company will arrive and remove the dumpster for you. This can be a godsend after an entire day or week of back-breaking hard work on a home improvement project. You can simply sit back and relax while someone else removes the old materials for you. 

Friendlier for the Environment

Many companies that offer dumpster rentals have the means to help recycle at least a portion of the debris that they encounter. These companies often have contracts with various recycling facilities in the region to help dispose of these materials so that everything doesn’t just end up in the local landfill. Having a professional handle your debris cleanup will give you the peace of mind of knowing that you did what you could to lower the impact of your project on the environment.

When planning out your next big construction project, don’t forget to plan for waste removal. Renting a dumpster is a great way to keep the project safe, while doing your part for the environment. It’s also just nice to have someone else come and haul away all of your garbage after a hard day’s work. For more information, contact Tri-State Disposal or a similar company.

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Why Document Shredding Is Important For All Businesses

Identity thieves are opportunistic criminals. They wait for people and businesses to take a misstep and grab all the information they can. Most people think of identity thieves as individuals lurking behind a computer screen and waiting to grab personal information on the internet. They are and do, but traditional information hijackers have used simple sources, such as a trash dumpster to gather their biggest haul of informational goodies. Once you make the decision to toss out papers with sensitive client or customer information and forego document shredding you have no control over who may climb on in the dumpster and retrieve it. To be completely safe and sure that the information stays secure the documents need to be destroyed.

What Information Should Undergo Document Shredding?

You need to think in terms of the documents you may have lying about in your own home. What are the ones you would not want in just anyone’s hands? Contracts, applications and any types of documents that give very personal and detailed information, such as addresses, phone numbers, banking account numbers, social security numbers, just to name a few. If you have clients that have not been in contact with you in a long while and want to clear out your files, then you have to have to do a bit more than just toss the old information in the trash bin.

How Document Shredding Works

You can do the paper shredding yourself with a small home and small office unit if there are a limited number of documents, but you will need a qualified service to help in cases where the paperwork is steady and in large amounts. A large mobile unit is brought out and the documents can be shredded on the spot. There is a strict protocol for handling the documents so that you can be sure they have been handled securely.

How Document Shredding Helps the Environment

The shredded documents will ultimately end up as a part of recycled paper products, reducing the footprint and impact on the environment. Less product going to the landfill is better for the world. It will keep information from getting in the wrong hands and make the world a more beautiful place. You cannot beat that!

A plan to protect the sensitive information of your business and that of your client needs to be a priority. Your customers and clients will appreciate that you take the extra step of paper shredding to safeguard their important information. For more information about document shredding, visit Vital Records Control.

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3 Things You Should Do If You Own An Older Home

Owning an older home often comes with a lot of fun quirks, such as laundry elevators, pantries under staircases, and cute peaked bedrooms on the upper floor. Older homes also come with some precautions as well, including lead paint, harsh chemicals, or even mold issues. Learn 3 things you should do if you own an older home, and feel more confident every day.

Have your home inspected for lead

Lead was banned for use in residential homes due to its harmful effects on the body, and can continue to be dangerous in even small amounts. If your home was built before 1978, it may have lead paint on the premises. Even if you have repainted and remodeled your home since then, lead could still remain in your structure.

Lead pipes can also still exist in your plumbing, especially if you have copper pipes (copper replaced lead pipes in older homes). You must have your home inspected for lead should you choose to sell, and you have to disclose all information regarding lead exposure in your home. You can find out if your home has lead in it by checking for any recorded information in city records, and you can have a lead inspection performed on your home as well by a company like Kirby Environmental.

Watch out for chemicals

If you are thinking of remodeling your old home and getting carpeting, then you may be exposing your family to a harsh chemical known as 4-PC. This chemical exists in your carpet backing, and is largely what contributes to that lovely new smell carpet can give out. The chemical can take weeks to fade, and can put your family at risk by causing headaches and respiratory issues. Keep your home well-ventilated with fans and open windows as your new carpet begins to lose its fresh smell, and keep young children away from freshly carpeted rooms.

Inspect your home for mold

Older homes are especially prone to mold issues, mainly because of how old they are and the many opportunities for water damage to leave behind mold spores to grow and thrive. Have your basement, walls, closets, and other prone areas inspected for mold, even if you don’t suspect any mold present. Mold could have been painted over or hidden by previous homeowners to try to mask the problem, and you can be left with spores floating freely in your air to cause illness in your family. Invisible signs of mold in your home include:

  • a musty smell in certain areas of the house
  • soft or rotting wood or drywall
  • sneezing or increased allergies while indoors
  • headaches while in the home

Owning an older home can be a lot of fun, but there are concerns that come along with them as well. Follow a few things you should do to make sure your family stays safe in your home, and you can enjoy your lovely, old house for years to come.

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