For many people, clutter is a part of daily life. With so many products readily available at a low price point, it’s no wonder we stock our homes with things we don’t actually need. But for some folks, hanging onto unneeded possessions is a much more severe issue. Knowing how to handle biohazardous waste safely is essential if you or someone you love is struggling with hoarding disorder. Your health may depend on it.
Types of Biohazardous Waste In Hoarder’s Homes
No two hoarders’ homes look alike. However, the type of waste found in homes generally falls into one of two categories. Let’s go over them below.
People living with a hoarding disorder find it tremendously difficult to get rid of possessions. Hoarding tendencies stem from a deep, perceived need to save items, and parting with possessions can give those struggling with hoarding disorder extreme distress. And while some types of hoarding may look like over-the-top collecting, many hoarders keep materials of little or no value. Put plainly: they collect trash.
General waste hoarding can range from garbage like empty boxes and old newspapers to debris like rocks, broken dishes, and bags of racked-up dried leaves. While some folks who struggle with hoarding have possessions that hold monetary or emotional value, most also hoard this type of general waste that simply clutters a space and adds to the mess.
Fear not. While a hassle, general waste cleanup isn’t the nightmare it appears to be, especially when you seek professional help. Services like Nixxit’s Help for Hoarders provide efficient, non-judgemental support to anyone struggling with non-hazardous waste hoarding.
General waste is a nuisance, but the right support can mitigate most of the harm. However, not all waste is created equally. While stacks of newspapers may be annoying, they don’t pose a serious health risk or threat to those that inhabit the hoarder’s home. Biohazardous waste, on the other hand, can be incredibly dangerous.
Biohazardous waste can include solids, liquids, or sharp items. Some common examples are:
- Used PPE
- Contaminated Towels or Sheets
- Blood Storage Viles
- Human or Animal Blood
- Bodily Fluids, like Urine or Saliva
- Tattoo Needles
- Medical Syringes
- Used Bandages or Menstrual Products
- Moldy Items
- Rotted Food
- Drug Paraphernalia
Exposure to many of these items could have damaging implications for your health. There are also strict guidelines for handling and disposing of biohazardous waste, so it’s important to do your research before attempting to clean an area where you suspect there may be this type of dangerous waste. When in doubt, call a professional. Nixxit does not handle biohazardous materials, but many specialized services have the tools and knowledge to do so safely.
7 Steps to Safely Dispose of Biohazardous Waste
- Use Personal Protective Equipment. PPE can include gloves, medical masks or respirators, goggles for eye protection, and clothing that covers all skin and protects against liquid.
- Create a “Clean Space.” Your clean space is where you can safely enter and exit the contaminated areas of the house. The dedicated clean space could be a hallway or entry room that you clear out and sanitize first.
- Assess and Identify Biohazards and Contamination. Before you dig in, it’s important to have a plan. Assess the house and identify areas of significant contamination.
- Disposal and Cleaning. Remove items that you cannot save from the space for disposal. If there are items that you can salvage, clean them thoroughly.
- Go Beyond the Surface. Biohazardous material and contamination can sneak into unsuspecting areas of a home. Check beneath floorboards or behind walls.
- Use Sanitizing UV Lights. UV light can kill viruses and bacteria. While using these devices cautiously is important, they can help sanitize a hoarder’s home.
- Follow Local Regulations. Disposal regulations differ from one city to the next. Familiarize yourself with local laws to ensure proper disposal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here, we answer all your burning questions.
How Do You Handle Biohazardous Materials?
Handling biohazardous materials with care is essential for your health and the health of the planet, as mishandling can lead to fires and dangerous chemical spills. In general, it’s essential to always wear PPE, ensure thorough ventilation in the contaminated space, and dispose of materials correctly. We recommend not combining biohazardous materials, especially if you’re unsure of their compatibility. Follow any listed safety instructions, if applicable.
Is Hoarding a Biohazard?
While hoarding itself is not necessarily a biohazard, hoarding behaviors can increase the risk of exposure to biohazardous materials. Biohazards can include used needles, fungi, plant and soil materials, and chemical waste. Hoarding may increase the likelihood of these items appearing in a hoarder’s home.
What Are Some Safety Concerns With Hoarders?
Hoarding can become dangerous when the person no longer knows what possessions they have or where to find them. If a room is overflowing with belongings, it’ll be harder to identify when something is wrong. For example, mold or animal waste could be in a space, and the homeowner wouldn’t know.
How Do You Clean Biohazards?
First, always wear proper PPE, such as gloves, goggles, and a face mask. If you have the necessary supplies and knowledge to clean up the specific biohazard, proceed cautiously. For liquid biohazards, cover the area with an absorbent like paper towels and pour disinfectant around the spill. Dispose properly.
Need Hoarder Cleanout Services in the Bay Area? We Can Help.
If you or someone you love is struggling with hoarding disorder, hope is not lost. Treatment is available, and recovery is possible. An essential part of the road to healing is decluttering and clearing the hoarder’s home or unnecessary possessions and waste. That’s where Nixxit comes in. Nixxit provides compassionate, professional junk removal services in the Bay Area, including hoarder cleanout services. If you feel in over your head, we’re here to lend a helping hand. Reach out or book online today!
Need Help with a Hoarder Cleanout in the Bay Area, CA?
Nixxit Junk Removal can help with your hoarder cleanout needs in the Bay Area.
- 10+ Years of Experience Working with Hoarders
- Locally Owned and Operated
- Sensitive and Discreet Approach
- Full-Service Removal and Sorting
- Donation and Recycling