Hazardous Waste Disposal
March 18, 2024

Commercial organizations that produce hazardous wastes in any amount are considered ‘hazardous waste generators. Whenever hazardous waste materials are stored or treated, they must be done under the regulations set forth by the RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.)

Six Steps Required for Hazardous Waste Disposal

Six steps must be followed to comply with hazardous waste disposal:

1. Identification

Title 40 of the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) under section 261.3, you will find the description of the hazardous waste identification regulatory program. This information will include an outline of the process needed to be followed when identifying the type of hazardous waste you are handling.

2. Count

Counting hazardous waste is done by obtaining a sum of the total weight of the materials. This count will place you in one of three categories:

Large Quantity Generator– If your facility generates 1,000 kilograms or more each month of hazardous waste materials, more than 1 kilogram each month of acutely hazardous waste, or more than 100 kilograms a month of acute soil or spill residue, you are considered a large quantity generator.
Small Quantity Generator– If your facility generates more than 100 kilograms, but not more than 1,000 kilograms each month of hazardous waste materials, you are considered a small quantity generator.
Very Small Quantity Generator– A very small quantity generator is a facility that generates 100 kilograms or less of hazardous waste materials each month, 1 kilogram or less of acutely hazardous waste, or less than 100 kilograms of acute soil or spill residue.

3. Notification

Large-quantity and small-quantity generators have to notify the EPA of their hazardous waste disposal activities. Check with your state’s rules and regulations as some states are authorized to operate their own hazardous waste disposal program. If your state has one of these programs, you will also have to notify them as well of your activities.

4. Management

There are specific regulations attached to the different generator categories when dealing with hazardous waste materials. Also, specific waste types and business sectors have requirements unique to their hazardous waste disposal methods. Check with the experts at Environmental Marketing Services to learn how your hazardous waste process needs to be managed.

5. Transportation

Any large quantity or small quantity generator is required to have a manifest when transporting hazardous waste materials off-site. There are forms, reports, and policies in place to track hazardous waste from the generator’s site to the off-site waste management facility where any hazardous waste is disposed of, treated, or stored.

6. Dispose-Treat-Recycle

Large and small quantity generators of hazardous waste materials are typically allowed to recycle their hazardous waste on-site if they follow waste accumulation time limits and other regulations outlined in 40 CFR. These generators can also treat hazardous waste on-site in an accumulation unit to render it less hazardous. Your facility must be familiar with regulations under the (TSDF) Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility listed in 40 CFR part 270. If you are unsure of these regulations, check with Environmental Marketing Services to ensure you are in compliance with the laws.

Methods of Hazardous Waste Disposal

The public became conscious of hazardous waste disposal in the mid-1900s because:

– More hazardous wastes were being produced
– Disposal methods were becoming more expensive
– The capacity of disposal sites was dropping
– Disposal facilities were becoming the targets of protests

These concerns were why the RCRA was created and an outline was generated for a model of environmentally safe, sound, and cost-effective methods to manage and dispose of hazardous waste materials.

These are a few of the methods created for hazardous waste disposal for different types of hazardous waste materials:

Hazardous Waste Fuel Blending

Fuel blending involves mixing hazardous waste and commercial fuel that meets specifications for an industrial furnace, cement kiln, or incineration. The process of fuel blending is an approach to environmental sustainability by using alternative fuel methods. It is a two-pronged approach for waste management facilities to meet sustainability objectives and lower overall pollution.

Hazardous Waste Incineration

There are a number of processes used in treating hazardous waste at disposal facilities, including incineration. Hazardous waste incineration uses an enclosed device that controls flame combustion. This process is a thermal treatment for hazardous waste disposal. Hazardous waste incineration will destroy toxic organic elements in hazardous waste as well as reduce the volume of the waste that requires disposal.

Non-hazardous waste incineration is required in some states and strongly encouraged in others. The process is not dangerous but can impact the environment if not disposed of appropriately. Non-hazardous waste incineration can include spent non-contaminated wash water, waste from farms and factories, as well as corporate waste.

Deep Well Injection

Deep well injection is an alternative liquid waste disposal technology. This process places untreated or treated liquid waste into geologic formations. These formations do not allow the migration of the contaminants to flow into potable water aquifers. The formations are underground and can range from deep limestone or sandstone to shallow soil layers. The waste injected can include saltwater, wastewater, or water mixed with chemicals.

Wastewater Treatment

Wastewater treatment treats much of the water used in businesses, industries, and homes. The treatment process is necessary before this water can be released back into the environment. Wastewater treatment is the process of reducing pollutants in these used water sources to a level that nature can handle. Harmful substances in these water sources as well as stormwater runoffs can harm our lakes, rivers, and groundwater supplies if not treated properly.

Chemical Lab-Packing Service

Chemical lab-packing service involves a team of trained experts who can come to your facility to identify and sort materials to be transported. The team will properly categorize and pack up like chemicals to minimize overall disposal expenses. The ‘lab pack’ typically involves a 55-gallon steel or fiber drum that is filled with various small quantity containers of chemicals. The smaller containers inside the drum are carefully sorted and then padded with material to safely transport them for disposal.

Reactive Chemical Disposal

Reactive chemical disposal involves disposing of reducers, oxidizers, and water/air reactive chemicals. Reactive chemicals are any wastes that can easily explode, release toxins, or undergo a violent reaction. This hazardous waste disposal management program minimizes the risks of explosions or the release of toxic gasses or fumes during the disposal process.

High Hazard Chemical Disposal

High hazard chemical disposal involves disposing of materials such as poisonous gasses, banned pesticides, biological agents, and other materials categorized as high-hazard. Waste experts performing high-hazard chemical disposal will wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) when handling these materials. There are strict precautions taken to ensure these professionals and the surrounding area are safe. Contact the experts at Environmental Marketing Services if your facility requires high-hazard chemical disposal as you should not perform this disposal without professional guidance.

Picric Acid Disposal

Picric acid disposal must be addressed through your safety department. This chemical must be hydrated with no crystal formations before disposal. If your facility’s picric acid has become dry or there are crystal formations visible, call Environmental Marketing Services immediately for stabilization and disposal. This acid is dangerously explosive and picric acid disposal should be handled by experts.

Expired Ether Disposal

Expired ether disposal is another dangerous process. Ether can become extremely explosive over time. Containers of this chemical should never be kept for more than one month if they’ve been opened. If your supply of ether is unopened, it should not be kept for more than one year. If your facility has a small amount of ether, you can dispose of it by allowing it to evaporate in a safe fume hood, if your quantity is large, you need to contact the experts at Environmental Marketing Services.

Hazard Waste Disposal Professionals

If your facility generates hazardous waste that requires disposal, you need to contact the professionals at Environmental Marketing Services. Your facility will benefit from these services and eliminate the need for specialty disposal equipment and training. We have more than ninety years of combined experience in the industry and are ready to find you a cost-effective and innovative solution to all your disposal needs.

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