Knowing how to dispose of hazardous waste is imperative for citizens and business owners alike. Hazardous waste can be harmful to humans, animals and the environment. They can be found in the form of solids, liquids, gases or sludge. Many laws have made disposing hazardous waste an easy process. There is no excuse to pollute.
1. Understand hazardous waste. Hazardous waste cannot be disposed like normal trash in landfills. Instead it must be disposed through the proper networks to prevent human and environmental harm. Look at the four characteristics of hazardous waste:
- Ignitability means that the waste can easily catch on fire. It is considered flammable if the flash point is less than 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Corrosive wastes are acids/bases that are capable of corroding metal containers.
- Reactive wastes are unstable under normal conditions. They can cause explosions, toxic fumes, gases or vapors when heated.
- Toxic types of wastes are potentially fatal or harmful when absorbed or ingested. They can pollute groundwater if not disposed of properly.
2. Be responsible with your waste. Responsibility in disposing these types of wastes isn’t just for your carbon footprint. Many counties and states attach legal responsibility towards disposing hazardous waste.
- Companies who don’t adhere to the laws are subject to fines and other legal action.
- Automotive products. This includes antifreeze, fluids, motor oils, and gasoline.
- Fluorescent light bulbs. Many of the older models contain mercury.
- Household cleaners. This includes ammonia, drain cleaner, and rust remover.
- Paint products.
- Garden chemicals.
- Swimming pool chemicals.
Disposing of Household Hazardous Waste
- Harsh chemical cleaners
- Weed killers
- Check the waste management’s location tracker to see if your address is eligible.
- There are various different types of receptacles that can be used for different wastes. For instance you can request special containers for used batteries, syringes, and extra durable bags for heavier waste.
- Check with your auto garage if they’d accept used or spare fluids from your car. Some will even accept antifreeze and recycle it.
- These can be a recurring event or a one time drop-off.
- You should always consult with waste management about a potential hazardous waste. It is not recommended to dispose hazardous waste manually.
- Use baking soda and a steel wool pad instead of using intense counter top cleaners.
- Consider using non-aerosol products like those with pump sprays. Instead of using an aerosol air-cleaner, keep an open box of baking soda in a room or create potpourri out of scrap orange peels.
Disposing of Commercial Hazardous Waste
- Conditionally exempt small quantity generator (CESQG). This means that you are exempt from hazardous waste management regulations. You must generate less than 220 pounds a month to fit this category.
- Small quantity generators (SQG). Your business is deemed SQG if your establishment generates between 220 and 2,200 pounds a month. This classification must comply with EPA requirements for managing hazardous waste.
- Large quantity generators (LQG). The EPA considers any business that generates 2,200 pounds or more of hazardous waste a month to be LQG. This classification must adhere to the strictest rules deemed by the EPA.
- There are opportunities in networking and public recognition for your companies environmental efforts.
- Lean manufacturing is a reduction tactic that emphasizes eliminating wastes that don’t add value.
- Energy recovery is enacted through gasification. Gasification converts materials containing carbon into synthetic gas. This type of gas can be used as fuel to generate electricity and other features.
- Environmental Management Systems (EMS) is a system for assessing a company’s environmental footprint.
- Green chemistry is a designing outlook that strives to create products and chemicals that reduce or remove hazardous substances.
- Zinc can be gathered from smelting furnaces.
- Used oil, hydraulic fluids, refrigerator compressors and more can be recovered from cars and fridges.
- Batteries can also be recycled.