Consequences of Hazardous Waste Mismanagement
June 4, 2020

A waste management program can become complicated. Keeping all your waste products separated and ensured to go through the proper disposal procedure can seem impossible. There are, however, written guidelines to follow to help with this process. You can also check work with a hazardous waste disposal service like Environmental Marketing Services, that will provide you assistance to make sure you comply with all local, state, and federal policies.

Hazardous waste mismanagement is both dangerous and expensive. Your company or organization must manage your waste internally according to all government regulations. You will put your employees at risk, the public at risk, damage the environment, and face stiff fines if these regulations are not followed.

Hazardous waste mismanagement could have these consequences for your company.

Hazardous Waste Mismanagement Leads to Failed Inspections

If your company is not following protocols for handling your hazardous waste materials, you are breaking compliance. When you do not abide by the laws put into place, you will eventually fail an inspection routinely done by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act), and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).

Hazardous waste mismanagement will eventually lead to a failed inspection by one or more of these agencies, which means you will be fined. Failing an inspection is not only costly, but it also disrupts your production. A failed inspection can damage your reputation, and if more than one failed inspection occurs, you could face a shutdown of your operations.

Work with your local hazardous waste disposal service to ensure you do not experience a hazardous waste mismanagement inspection. During an inspection, you can expect to provide the following:

  • Characterization of your hazardous waste activities 
  • Identification of all types of hazardous waste managed on-site at your facility
  • All records pertaining to how you manage hazardous waste disposal
  • Documents verifying all handling of hazardous waste materials and their disposal
  • Identification of all units you have that generate, store, treat or dispose of hazardous waste materials. This means all identification labels must also be in place on storage containers of your hazardous waste materials

All documentation must be up-to-date and ready for an inspection anytime one occurs. You may not have notice of an inspection until they appear on your site, so you must maintain current records. Not having current data means you could be hit with a hefty hazardous waste mismanagement fine.

Hazardous Waste Mismanagement Leads to Organizational Expenses

If you fail inspection due to hazardous waste mismanagement, you not only face paying a stiff fine, you face additional expenses. Long-term expenses can occur if you are found to not be in compliance with governmental hazardous waste regulations. One impact can result if someone is injured on your site as a result of mismanagement as your insurance premiums will increase. This increase would be on top of any liability claims charged for the injury.

Another expense you could face is in having to clean up any improper disposal acts you’ve done with your waste materials. Chemicals, such as picric acid or ether, become even more dangerous if not disposed of properly and right away.

When picric acid is allowed to dry, it can form unstable crystals that are sensitive to heat, friction, and shock. These chemicals could create an explosion if not attended to properly and on time. The damage caused by a mismanaged disposal of this chemical could cost you incredible expenses.

Ether is another example of a dangerous chemical if waste is mismanaged. This chemical is exceptionally volatile and can catch fire or explode easily. Ether vapor can be ignited not only by an open flame but also by other heat sources. Hazardous waste mismanagement of this dangerous chemical could cost your entire business.

Another cleanup that will become more expensive to dispose of is old paint drums. Paint pigments in paint thinner will also become solid if you allow your drum to sit in storage too long. A solid form will be a more expensive disposal, as will solid paint.

If hazardous wastes are not disposed of properly, they can become environmental dangers. Leaking drums or ones improperly disposed of can impact water and soil, which in turn endangers wildlife and human life in the area. These situations are taken very seriously by government agencies. If your hazardous waste mismanagement threatens the environment, wildlife, or human life, you’ll have to pay to clean up and the fines will be quite significant.

Hazardous Waste Mismanagement Increases Employee Risks

Hazardous waste mismanagement can lead to the exposure of toxic chemicals, dangerous reactions with compounds, spills, fires, or explosions. All these possible occurrences are potential risks for your employees that could even be fatal. The area surrounding your site could also be in danger of hazardous waste mismanagement.

When you need to transport or dispose of your hazardous waste materials, contact your local disposal service to ensure regulations are followed. They have the knowledge and experience to handle these dangerous wastes safely and ensure you are not charged with hazardous waste mismanagement.

Hazardous Waste Mismanagement Endangers the Environment

Not only is human life at risk with hazardous waste mismanagement, so is your environment. Leachate, contamination, and pollution are all results of hazardous waste mismanagement that negatively impact your environment.

Toxic waste is harmful to plants, animals, as well as humans. If your hazardous waste mismanagement ends up causing these dangerous waste materials to seep into your ground, streams, or even the air, you are endangering your entire environment and all living things.

It is your duty to yourself, your business, your employees, the community you live in, and the environment to have a proper hazardous waste disposal plan. Talk with Environmental Marketing Services today to set up a waste management plan, so you remain in compliance with all government regulations.


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