Ways different businesses need to think about hazardous waste management
One need only look at one of the news headlines from 2020 to understand the importance of regulated waste management. An agribusiness firm called Simplot was fined $775,000 for placing its hazardous waste in calcium sulfate byproducts, which violated federal law and left a waste deposit that was 200 feet high and covered 400-plus acres.
While few companies in the US are in that precarious a situation, it’s still important for all to meet the challenge of proper waste disposal. It can help both employees and the environment equally. Training is an important part of this, but so is knowing what is actually considered hazardous waste for individual industries. The following five industries, in particular, need to pay strict attention when it comes to safe disposal policies and procedures.
This is clearly one sector that needs strict regulations, especially for cleanup of accidental spills or leakages. Containment berms are often used by industrial companies, as are programs for landfill leachate treatment, waste disposal and tank and pit cleaning.
The right technology and equipment for the individual utility is essential here, as radioactive waste, nuclear waste and mercury processing often occur – and they are all heavily regulated by EPA and OSHA. To that end, varied sizes of containers and materials need to be used, and transportation and preparation programs need to be strict and clearly in place.
Reagents and solvents are a key part of the hazardous waste for labs. While lab packs are the most obvious solution, and the most common, labs still need to follow regulations to the letter when disposing this waste.
Oil and Chemical
For accidental spills in these industries, the effect on ecosystems – especially bodies of water – can be devastating. For this reason, cleanup crews need to not only handle the waste properly but also need to do this quickly and in the safest manner possible.
This broad industry has plenty of hazardous waste concerns, including ones where their waste cannot be disposed of in a landfill (such as cosmetic companies, pesticides and electronics, among others). Finding professional waste disposal is paramount for these businesses, which also need to make sure expired products are removed and destroyed before they are sold to the public.
Making sure that your employees know the rules about hazardous waste is an important step to making sure emergencies are handled well and that regulations are followed. We offer an online training certification course on hazardous waste safety that takes into account EPA standards through the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).