Planning for End-of-Year Cleanouts
November 14, 2022

Managing end-of-year chemical waste cleanout of your hazardous materials in laboratories, colleges, schools, and manufacturing facilities always comes with new challenges. Keeping up with the constant changes to your state’s and the federal government’s regulations is crucial for your facility’s operators to ensure you remain in compliance and avoid costly fines.

Working with the experts at Environmental Marketing Services will make sure your facility follows all rules and regulations in place at the end of 2022. With the end of 2022 nearing, your facility should be planning for end-of-year chemical waste cleanouts so that disposal of these materials is possible before the year ends. Schedule now as the end of the year can often encounter delayed disposal services due to unexpected inclement weather conditions and the major holidays which interfere with the availability of disposal services.

Some of the questions your facility should answer to make sure all events are addressed, and your files are in order for your chemical waste cleanout include:

– Do you have up-to-date records for HAZMAT reporting?
– Has your facility experienced a spill that requires a response?
– Is your generator status accurate once you’ve calculated your generated waste?

How to Begin Planning Your Cleanout

It is recommended that your school, college, laboratory, or manufacturing facility work with a third-party vendor such as Environmental Marketing Services, to ensure you meet all local, state, and federal regulations. Now is the time to begin planning your chemical waste cleanout and these are some of the best practices to follow as you prepare for the end of the year.

1. Identify Your Hazardous Waste

Those in charge of your facility’s hazardous materials should have an understanding of which of these are defined as hazardous under the EPA’s regulations. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) have mandates in place that generators of hazardous materials must follow. These generators are responsible for hazardous waste from the time it is created all the way to its final destination of disposal. These wastes must be handled in a manner that does not pose a threat to human health or the environment.

Hazardous waste materials are identified as corrosive, reactive, toxic, or ignitable. When you begin identifying your waste, you can use the SDS (safety data sheet), the manufacturer’s information, or the label which provides the ingredient list.

2. Quantify Your Hazardous Waste

You will need to determine how much hazardous waste you have accumulated. This amount will determine or identify your generator status.

3. Notify

If your generator status is LQS or SOG, you need to obtain an identification number from the Federal Environmental office and report your waste activities. Environmental Marketing Service will advise if you are required to report to your state as well.

4. Implement Best Practices

Adhering to all state and federal regulations can become overwhelming, however, to prepare for your facility’s year-end chemical waste cleanout implement these best practices:

Incompatible hazardous wastes have to be separated, or segregated. You can use separate accumulations bins or drums and designate each for specific categories of your waste.

When you have segregated your hazardous waste into tanks or drums, the container has to be labeled according to EPA or RCRA regulations. The containers need to be marked as ‘non-hazardous waste’, ‘universal waste’, or ‘hazardous waste’, and state the accumulation start date along with a report of the hazardous characteristics of the contents.

Containers of hazardous waste materials must be kept closed at all times except when removing or adding waste. You should also ensure these containers are not leaking.

Store properly
All of your facility’s hazardous waste has to be stored in a dedicated, clean, and permanent hazardous waste area. This area should be away from any electrical panels, traffic areas, consumable or perishable product storage, and dock doors.

Maintain proper records
An inventory log should be maintained to assist your managers when they have to track waste generation. Each time your facility identifies a hazardous waste that is placed into an accumulation container, it needs to be listed in the log and kept in your facility’s records.

You will need to contact Environmental Marketing Services to plan the transport of your chemical waste cleanout materials. This is an important piece of the planning, as this contact should be done early to ensure the holidays or inclement weather do not delay your disposal of these wastes before 2022 ends.

Consequences of Non-Compliance With Your End-of-Year Chemical Waste Cleanouts

There can be several consequences for non-compliance when handling your end-of-the-year chemical waste cleanout. If you do not work with a third-party vendor such as Environmental Marketing Services, and your facility’s operators do not understand the various regulations in place for handling hazardous wastes, your facility could face severe consequences.

The consequences of non-compliance with your end-of-year chemical waste disposal include environmental contamination, safety and health risks, lawsuits, and penalties. The financial burdens imposed for non-compliance can be substantial along with the negative impact your facility will receive which can be even more damaging.

If your facility should decide not to follow through with routine hazardous waste pickups during the year, you should understand how critical it is for you to keep up to date and comply with all regulations. Your facility could face millions of dollars in potential fines for at-risk and non-compliant handling of hazardous materials.

Why You Should Use Professional Disposal Service for Year-End Chemical Waste Cleanout

Regulations vary from state to state and the federal government has its set of rules when it comes to handling hazardous waste materials. It can be cost-effective and extremely helpful to work with a highly trained professional when it comes to handling your year-end chemical waste cleanout. Your facility will not receive a warning when an inspector decides to show up to evaluate your procedures. When you work with a professional disposal service, you will not have to worry about compliance with your hazardous waste streams when this inspector shows up.

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