Sand is a non-toxic substance that does not require as much care as perhaps acetone, sulfuric acid, or other hazardous materials.
However, there are still several ways to dispose of sand safely that is no longer in your use.
In this blog, we will guide you through the process of disposing of sand with care. We will also shed light on how you can recycle leftover sand or repurpose it for future use.
There are mainly two ways to dispose of sand. You can either opt for curbside collection or deposit it in a landfill for a fee. But before we dive into the details of each of these ways, let’s look at the properties of sand.
The Properties of Sand
White, tan, or ground sand is a non-toxic, inflammable, non-hazardous substance. It is not explosive or combustible. It does not cause severe skin burns or itchy and irritated eyes.
It does not pose any threat to the environment, and most authorities do not consider it a hazard.
However, most sand is derived from quartz rocks and contains crystalline silica, a known carcinogen.
It also poses a health risk to people with lung problems such as asthma or young children whose lungs are still developing.
If you have sand lying around in a bucket or sandbox for more than a year now, you should dispose of it.
Sand collects dust particles and gets contaminated quickly. Hence, we recommend disposing of and replacing sand at least once a year.
How to Dispose of Sand
As mentioned earlier, there are two ways in which you can dispose of sand:
a) Curbside Collection
A night before the garbage collector comes to your house to collect trash, you should collect sand in a spill-proof garbage bag or a container and seal it.
Do not put any other trash materials in the same garbage bag or container. Label the sand container or bag clearly and make sure it does not weigh more than 45 pounds.
If your sand has been contaminated with a hazardous substance, you must let your trash collector know about it.
Proper disposal measures need to be taken in such a situation. It would be best to read up on your state laws for non-hazardous waste disposal since several states have varying requirements.
b) Landfill Deposit
Let’s say you work for a school playground, and it’s time to dispose of sand from several sandboxes to add in a fresh layer.
In such a situation, where you deal with more than 45 pounds of sand, get in touch with your local landfill authorities.
It would be best if you did not dispose of large amounts of sand with the rest of your trash. Instead, you should collect it in bags or containers and transport it to a local landfill in your area.
There, you will be able to deposit it for a small fee, depending on the sand’s weight.
If you do not have a vehicle or any transportation mode to carry the sand to the landfill, you ask the landfill authorities if they offer pickup services for a large amount of non-hazardous waste.
3 Ways to Reuse and Recycle Sand
Just throwing your sand in your garbage can sound like a good idea, but your trash collector may not be ready to haul away a trash can filled with sand due to its absolute weight.
Since sand is a non-hazardous material, it is safe to repurpose and reuse. Here’s how:
Sand is an abrasive material and can be applied to icy roads to provide adhesive friction. It can create traction on the ice at any temperature.
You can use it whenever rock salt proves ineffective. Fill a large sealed storage container or old garbage cans with sand.
When the weather gets too cold and chemical de-icers no longer work in melting snow off your driveway, you can sprinkle the sand.
2. Compost Pile
Using sand as one of the components of your compost pile will allow you to aerate the pile. Add sand to your compost pile, and be sure that the sand does not make up more than one-fourth of your compost amount.
Sand can also add weight and volume to your compost pile to fill it out, along with inserting the mixture with trace minerals into the pile.
In any type of soil, added sand will also help increase drainage. The fine particles in the sand will help break up any clumps or clots in the soil.
Natural sand that contains little organic matter and some silt is best for growing plants. Sand makes the oil loamy or sandy, depending on the percentage of mud and sand.
Even though sand does not provide any nutrients to plants, it can anchor plants well.
Sand is also known to warm up much more quickly than cold and heavy clay soil, especially during spring. This makes sandy soil much easier to dig through than clay soil.
You can use leftover sand for your plantation. Mix the sand with pea shingle and place it in the plants’ base that you would like to pot and take inside for the winter. This will help drain the soil and aid plant growth.
What to Do with Leftover Sand?
Instead of dumping leftover sand in a landfill or handing it over to your garbage collector, you can use it for several home improvement projects.
In this section, we will look at the six ways in which you can use leftover sand to avoid wastage:
1. Create Beach Vibes with a Fire Pit
If you have some extra space in your backyard, you can bring the beach to your home! You can build a fire pit and lay down sand as the foundation.
Not only will your yard look aesthetically pleasing, but the sand will not catch light if fire sparks fall to the ground.
A beachy fire pit is a lovely way to entertain your guests. Whether you want to host an evening soiree or a beach-themed birthday, a fire pit with sand will make your event a success!
2. Build a Sandbox
It’s a great idea to make a sandpit for them from leftover sand if you have small children.
Fill a sandbox with sand, add a couple of toys and plastic spades and watch the little ones stay entertained for hours!
If you already have a play area in your yard, you can use the sand to fill around the swings. If your kids like running barefoot and fall often, and will protect them!
3. Cleanup Spills
If you accidentally spilled some oil, grease, or any kind of thick liquid like motor oil on a surface, you can sprinkle dry sand over it.
Dry sand absorbs the liquid from t hard surfaces such as pavements and garage floors.
4. Build a DIY Zen Garden
If you have a few empty spots in your garden where nothing ever grows, why not build a Zen garden?
Fence off an open space in your garden and use the sand to create patterns around trees, flowering plants, pretty succulents, or water features like a fountain.
5. Make Textured Paint
If you want to revamp your room differently and give it a makeover, you can add innovation to your paint job! Mix some sand into your paint and paint your walls.
This will give the painted surface an added, rough texture. The sand will provide a specific type of roughness to the paint that will look great on the interior and exterior walls.
6. Create Sand Walkways
You can create a sand walkway from the pavement to your main door.
This will ensure that your guests don’t step on your plantation on the way over to your place. Line a sand walkway with colorful plants and place several giant stepping stones for a beautiful finish.
The best way to dispose of sand is to get in touch with your local authorities, such as your garbage collection company or landfill site.
They will ensure that they deposit the sand safely and securely.
If you think you can use leftover sand in any of your home improvement projects or plantation and compost, you can go ahead with the idea as it will minimize wastage.
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