The chemical waste sector makes up about 12% of the manufacturing industry in the US. It's the most significant share within the industry. Yet, it doesn't even include other hazardous materials from different sectors like transportation, healthcare, or municipal services.
With so many dangerous substances present in communities, it's essential everyone plays a role in carefully disposing of them. Fortunately, chemical disposal companies are there to help.
Keep reading to learn all about what these companies do and how they protect neighborhoods around the US.
What Is Hazardous Waste?
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states waste can be a solid, liquid, or contained gaseous material. Someone can get rid of the waste by disposing, burning (incinerating), or recycling it. Waste can be the byproduct of manufacturing. But, it can also be a commercial product.
At times, even recyclable and reusable materials can be considered waste. Some specific small businesses that produce hazardous waste include:
Furniture manufacturing and refinishing
Pesticide application services
Vocational and educational shops
The EPA has strict guidelines on what is and isn't hazardous waste. They also guide businesses on how to dispose of waste to mitigate spills and contaminations properly.
In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has rules and regulations businesses must follow to ensure workplace safety. All American workers have dutiful rights under OSHA when working with dangerous materials.
Moreover, disposing of any hazardous waste in the regular trash is illegal. Even small batteries and old medication should have proper disposal. They can cause harm to your family, your garbage collector, and your community. This is true for consumers and businesses.
What Do Chemical Disposal Companies Do?
Chemical disposal companies specialize in waste transportation, waste disposal, and emergency chemical spills. The improper disposal of hazardous waste threatens everything in the environment. Thus, the government places a priority on correct disposal.
Some chemical waste disposal companies assist consumers. For example, if your household has these items to dispose of:
Propane gas cylinders
You can call a chemical waste disposal company to get rid of them properly. Conversely, some companies assist commercially with business waste. Businesses produce significantly more waste than consumers. So, these companies are equipped to handle large amounts of hazardous waste.
Before proper destruction, a chemical disposal company needs to transport the waste to a facility to handle the materials. This requires careful logistics and a variety of transport options. For example, they need to transport bulk liquids, sludges, and solids.
They also need separate holding containers for different chemicals and materials. Expert waste collectors know not to mix any chemicals. Options to transport by truck and train are also necessary.
In addition, all containers need to meet government standards to ensure they don't leak or spill.
After transport, hazardous waste needs proper disposal. Disposal methods vary depending on the chemical or substance. Chemical disposal companies can handle many different substances, such as:
They are professionals at treating and processing waste before disposing of it. Some trash will end up in a landfill or incinerator. But, these companies can even recycle some materials, which is even better for the environment.
Emergency Chemical Skills
As leaks and spills happen, chemical waste disposal companies need to prepare for an accident or emergency. Response services can contain and control spills. They also can recover products and handle storage failures.
If there is a hazardous waste emergency after a fire or storm, a chemical disposal company can help too.
Laboratory Waste Disposal
Laboratory waste is still hazardous waste. But so far, this article has been chiefly discussing chemical waste. However, laboratory waste often consists of more than just chemicals. It can also include biological and clinical waste.
Therefore, lab chemical disposal companies need to separate waste into several categories. For example, chemicals, sharps, glassware, biological samples, and general lab waste cannot mix. In addition, because sharps and glass can puncture bags, collectors need to put them in special containers.
Hazardous waste also needs to be apart from non-hazardous waste. This encourages the recycling of non-hazardous trash.
Hazardous Waste Permit
The EPA has a six-step process for companies who want to obtain a hazardous waste permit. First, before applying, they must hold a public meeting. In this meeting, they discuss their operation plans and precisely how they will handle the waste.
The public can ask questions and make suggestions during the meeting.
Then, the company can fill out and submit both Parts A and B of the application. The application is extensive. Next, the permitting agency will review the application. The public will be able to check the application too.
The agency may issue a Notice of Deficiency (NOD) to the applicant during the review. The company must complete the missing information for the application to proceed. Once the agency approves the application, the public will review it. Then, the public can request a hearing through the permitting agency.
Finally, after public review, the agency will decide whether to grant or deny the permit. If the company receives the permit, the agency will continue to monitor the company's operation to ensure legal compliance.
All chemical waste disposal companies must have a valid permit from the EPA to operate. Further, each state has its own rules and regulations disposal companies must follow. This may include additional licensing.
Know Who To Call
Chemical disposal companies are responsible for handling all types of hazardous materials. So whether a household or a large company needs assistance, a chemical waste disposal company is who you need to call.
For any hazardous waste services, contact us at HCI. Our trained professionals take your matter seriously and will help with regulatory compliance during collection and disposal.