Proper hazardous waste disposal not only makes good business sense, but it is also the law. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act run through the government agency, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has created a framework for proper management of hazardous waste material disposal. A business that does not follow these laws faces serious fines and expensive cleanup costs when it is discovered disposal has been handled improperly.
There are benefits to properly reusing, recycling, and disposing of your hazardous waste material other than just complying with government regulations. Your business can benefit from hazardous waste disposal through both economic and environmental advantages.
Economic Advantages and Benefits of Hazardous Waste Disposal
Your business can increase its production efficiency, along with reducing your costs attached to waste management and the purchase of new raw materials. This increase can be seen when you recycle your hazardous waste materials. Recycling used wastes both eliminate the generation of waste amounts and helps you avoid regulatory requirements set by the RCRA.
In a business environment, every one of your pennies counts, and recycling makes good financial sense for your company. If you use more packaging materials, aluminum cans, pallets, paper, or any other operational supplies, then there is more waste to haul away. Many waste disposal services charge less to take away recyclables than your trash. Check with your local hazardous waste disposal service to see if you can benefit from recycling.
Depending on your location, you may also be eligible for tax credits, grant opportunities, or state incentives for making green business choices. These small savings can quickly add up to increase your business revenue. Good recycling behaviors also gives your business a positive public image.
Benefit from Positive Public Image for Proper Hazardous Waste Disposal
A businesses’ image is critical to its success. When your company accurately follows hazardous waste disposal and practices recycling, it builds loyalty with the public. When a company is seen as eco-friendly, and that it supports management to reduce dangerous effects on the earth and human health, it improves the company’s reputation significantly.
Benefit from Positive Employee Image for Proper Hazardous Waste Disposal
Employees today are mainly generation Z and millennials, and they are extremely environmentally conscious, and most practice recycling at home. When these individuals come to work and aren’t given the option of practicing those same recycling practices, it can be disheartening.
It may seem like a small effort; however, applying environmentally-friendly policies in your workplace can have a significant boost in your employees’ morale. This practice can even have a positive impact when seeking new employees for your business.
Benefit from Positive Community Image for Proper Hazardous Waste Disposal
When your company makes environmental decisions to manage your hazardous waste materials properly, it affects your local community. If your business’s waste contributes to filling the local landfill, it contributes to water and air pollution. Depending on the nature of your business, there are impactful methods you can use to conserve resources and properly manage your waste materials:
- Solar panels can reduce electricity consumption if you have available land or roof space
- Cut down on quantities of packaging, or use eco-friendly packaging
- If your business uses company cars, you could use hybrid vehicles to cut your fuel consumption and conserve energy
- If your business deals with food service, you could consider a composting project. Check with your local hazardous waste disposal service on how these projects can be initiated or for other waste management ideas
Almost any business can benefit from a more efficient hazardous waste or general waste management program. Check with your hazardous waste disposal service about an independent waste management advisor, who can perform a waste audit on your business.
An advisor can analyze your practices from your on-site generation to vendor pickup. They can help identify landfill diversion options, equipment utilization, and logistical inefficiencies to help you reduce your company’s carbon footprint and help you create measurable savings.
Benefiting From Hazardous Waste Minimization
Signing a hazardous waste manifest means you’ve signed for two things; that your business has followed all of the DOT’s (Department of Transportation) regulations and that your business is doing what it can to minimize waste. There are many other benefits of practicing proper hazardous waste compliance:
- Save money- When done properly, proper hazardous waste management leads to better management of inventory and materials. When you have better-managed inventory, it will reduce the costs associated with waste management, hazardous waste removal, and your purchases
- Change RCRA regulatory status- When your hazardous waste disposal is minimized, it can change your RCRA regulatory status from large to small which can lead to being conditionally exempt from small quantity generator
- Bring in new customers- When you portray an environmentally conscious image to customers, it can create a more extensive customer base
- Reduce your likelihood of worker exposure or workplace accidents involved with hazardous materials
- Protect the environment- Reducing and properly handling your hazardous waste can diminish the demand for landfill space. This decrease will also save natural resources and energy use, as well as reduce pollution
Benefits of Hazardous Waste Management for Businesses
Our world is becoming more globally aware of proper hazardous waste disposal procedures, from cleaning up toxic spills to emergency response, to lab pack disposal to industrial cleanups. Proper disposal practices are necessary for business owners of all types.
Waste management, when not done correctly, not only costs you money, it requires effort and time as well. Recycling your waste improves efficiency, environmental impact, and your image, as has already been discussed. When you throw away your commercial waste, it will cost your business in the long run.
Some of the benefits you will experience with proper waste management include:
- Less purchases- Recycling your materials extends their use. If you have substances that can be filtered such as paint solvents, or motor oils, these materials can last longer than you might think. You do not have to dispose of these materials after one use. Materials such as cardboard and paper can be reused as packing material instead of discarded. Your local hazardous waste disposal service can help you with other ideas to reuse some of your materials instead of throwing them away.
- Consolidate your waste pickups- Talk to your local hazardous waste service about consolidating your pickups. You can invest in equipment such as compactors or balers to help you put some of your materials into smaller sizes so you can store it longer before needing pickup.
- Lower costs- If you can reduce your pickups, it can reduce your collection fees or costs. For some businesses, reducing waste initiatives can allow your business to negotiate lower costs or fees with their hazardous waste disposal service.
Green initiatives have proven a business can improve its public image, and there are a number of practices you can implement for waste disposal that would fall under these initiatives.
Using environmentally friendly packaging, such as minimal plastics and recyclable products. These ‘green practices’ will also help you meet regulatory and legal obligations. When a business generates waste, it must abide by specific standards on how they dispose of materials.
If your business generates hazardous waste, you must be careful about your disposal practices, as a slip up could cost significant financial penalties. Violation of the RCRA rules and regulations could cost a civil penalty of up to more than $70,000 per day, per violation. If you were found in violation of the Clean Air Act, it could cost more than $93,000. Along with financial penalties, your business could incur legal costs.
If your business is found to be in violation of hazardous waste disposal, it will damage your reputation. These types of violations typically get released to the local news, and the public will be made aware of your practice. The public reaction could result in a decrease in your sales.
You can avoid these concerns by working with your local hazardous waste disposal service to ensure your waste is properly handled and that you do not generate an excess of harmful materials. Working with this service will give you peace of mind knowing your company is complying with proper disposal regulations.
You may think your business is too small to be a significant generator of waste. What you should realize is that waste management works for companies of all sizes. No matter how you develop your plan for your waste, working with your local hazardous waste disposal service should be included in your plans. They will have a number of strategies your business can use to reduce and reuse the materials in the best economical method.
When you understand how your business generates waste, you can begin making small changes to target more eco-friendly practices. You will understand the areas that can reuse or reduce materials. Small changes can be significant benefits to your business, such as using email for messaging employees rather than sending paper memos to staff members. Other small changes could be using air dryers in the restrooms rather than hand towels. All changes, no matter how small, can end up in significant savings and benefits.
Environmental Benefits of Proper Hazardous Waste Disposal
We all have to take steps to be more environmentally friendly as it is critical to us as individuals as well as to businesses. When you don’t properly follow waste management policies and dispose of hazardous materials according to regulations, it harms your environment.
When hazardous waste is managed properly through your local hazardous waste disposal service, it eliminates waste and minimizes the intensity of greenhouse gases. Your planet benefits, so you benefit when there is less methane and carbon monoxide in the air you breathe.
It is up to all of us to make our world better and allow us to enjoy its benefits for the years to come.