It comes as no surprise to you that all Hazardous Waste Service companies are not created equal. It is important that you understand the vendor who is interested in handling your wastes. This is important for a single reason, your ultimate liability.
The waste management regulations are specific about your liability for hazardous waste management. You, as a generator of hazardous waste, are responsible for your waste, forever. If a hazardous waste management facility becomes a site of environmental contamination under federal or state regulations, you will likely be financially responsible for the clean-up if you shipped any waste to that facility.
You want a competent company who can assist you in understanding the regulations. You want a company that is concerned about your ultimate liability. In environmental law, no one can remove you from that liability on a direct basis with the federal government. Vendors may say that their company takes on your ultimate liability, but as a practical matter the federal government will approach you, the waste generator, and you will have to take third party legal action against your service vendor. Do not be fooled by the transfer of liability offer that some companies make.
The size of the company does not really affect the quality of the environmental services. Just because a firm is a national company, does not mean they have cornered the market on environmental knowledge, fiscal responsibility, or business ethics. Large and small companies both can make errors in advising clients about environmental matters. Competency is not directly related to the size of a company.
Actions steps for selecting a Hazardous Waste Service Vendor
Get to know your environmental service vendor personally and directly. Take the time to really understand the ethical standards that they apply when servicing clients. Ask a lot of questions. Make sure you feel comfortable with the answer. If you are not comfortable, look at some other vendors.
Check references. Don’t just look at the list. Make some phone calls. Ask the tough questions about hazardous waste services, price, business ethics, financial stability, and environmental regulatory knowledge.
Contact state regulatory agencies and request a copy of the compliance file for that vendor. Take the time to do the extra work. There are civil and criminal penalties associated with hazardous waste management that can be applied to you personally and to your company.
Make sure you exercise good sense in Hazardous Waste Service vendor selection. Purchasing environmental services based on price alone is not prudent. Violations of environmental laws have put many people in prison and ended the operating life if businesses. Don’t choose that route by being careless.
- Be proactive. Be careful. Protect the environment. Follow the law. It’s the right thing to do.