Essential Rules for the Disposal and Transportation of Hazardous Waste
Visiting a site and taking inventory feature among the most important initial steps for hazardous waste management. Misrepresentation can be tremendously costly and dangerous, which is why the types of waste have to be identified before the proper waste disposal and transportation procedures take place.
Hazardous Waste Identification
Whether the client is looking for asbestos removal or the management of other waste varieties, proper identification is the first and the most important step of the process.
Several questions have to be asked. Is the waste solid? Is it excluded from the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations? RCRA was issued in 1976 and it amended the Solid Waste Disposal Act. It addresses primarily the management of solid and hazardous waste varieties.
Hazardous waste varieties include:
- F-list waste: the result of numerous manufacturing and industrial processes
- K-list waste: is also known as source-specific waste. These are specific industry waste products like the ones resulting from pesticide manufacturing.
- P and U-list waste: also known as discarded commercial chemical products like pesticides and pharmaceuticals.
- Toxic, corrosive, flammable and reactive waste varieties.
- Batteries and mercury-containing equipment.
- Waste that contains radioactive components.
Is Asbestos Considered Hazardous Waste?
Rules need to be followed for proper asbestos removal but is this variety considered hazardous waste? Currently, asbestos is not regulated as a hazardous waste variety. Rather, asbestos is labeled as a hazardous substance.
The first rule of proper asbestos removal focuses on its placement in suitable packaging that will prevent the release of asbestos fibers in the air. Appropriate hazard markings need to appear on the package.
Only licensed disposal sites have the right to handle asbestos waste. Only trained and accredited professionals can deal with the process of asbestos removal. The same rule applies to construction workers and demolition professionals that will have to work on the site.
Hazardous Waste Transportation
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a set of strict rules guiding the transportation of hazardous waste.
RCRA hazardous waste should be handled by entities that have an EPA identification number, can maintain all of the required transportation and disposal records and that have the ability to take action in the case of hazardous waste spills or other extraordinary circumstances. The transportation of hazardous waste can occur by rail, aircraft, motor vehicles and vessels.
Under RCRA, hazardous waste can be disposed at a range of land disposal units (LDUs). The most common types of LDUs used include landfills, surface impoundments, waste piles and injection wells.
Landfills are sites that can be used for the disposal of non-liquid hazardous waste. These units are designed to minimize the risk of spills or the release of toxic substances into the environment. Surface impoundments are naturally-occurring depressions or man-made excavations. These are used solely for the temporary storage and treatment of liquid hazardous wastes.
Waste piles are simply piles of solid hazardous waste. This is a temporary disposal option. Finally, an injection well is an LDU regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, designed to guarantee drinking water safety.
Strict adherence to procedures can guarantee the safe and efficient removal of hazardous waste from numerous commercial and residential sites. As already mentioned, proper accreditation of the entities dealing with such waste and the ability to do correct identification before getting started will both feature as key prerequisites for the success of the waste removal campaign.