Hazardous waste management is one of the most important aspects in a lot of industries and should never be treated lightly. Waste can become more dangerous and reactive over time, so having a qualified environmental management team handling the proper disposal is crucial. There are a few myths out there about hazardous waste handling and disposal, primarily stemming from the confusion that arises when a material is labeled “non-hazardous” yet still needs to be handled by a qualified contractor. Here are some of those myths, along with clarifications.
1. If a Product is Labeled Non-Hazardous, It Can Just Be Thrown in the Trash.
This is not necessarily the case. In an industrial setting, all waste needs to be evaluated prior to disposal. Local guidelines may differ – some business waste in one municipality may be considered regulated or prohibited, and in another municipality it is not. Cross-check with local environmental regulators or pair with an experienced environmental management team to be sure. Never throw waste in the trash without a thorough evaluation first.
2. If a Waste Product is Sent as Non-Hazardous, No Paperwork is Necessary to Prove Proper Disposal.
This will depend on your own responsibilities and guidelines. A great example to follow is to have a “cradle-to-grave” tracking method for all waste, hazardous and non-hazardous, and specify this with your disposal vendor up front. They should be able to provide you this paperwork.
3. Once Hazardous Waste is Accepted at the Disposal Facility, It is No Longer the Responsibility of my Company.
Under CERCLA guidelines, your company is still liable for clean-up even after you have paid for proper disposal because of “cradle-to-grave” rules for hazardous waste.
4. I Can Just Pour Old Paint on Cardboard, Allow It to Dry, and Throw It Away.
Check with your local and state regulations before simply doing this. In most states, it is illegal to dry oil-based paints and throw them away, and some municipalities have regulations forbidding this for latex paints as well.
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No matter what kind of environmental issue you may have, AEG Environmental can help. We handle every situation with care, dedication, and a commitment to exemplary customer service. When you have an emergency, you can rely on us! Need training? We can handle that too! We train in a wide variety of environmental management areas so that your company can remain compliant with EPA, DOT, and OSHA. Make sure to check out our blog for the latest and greatest in the waste management world! You should also follow us on social media for updates.
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