Industries, factories and workshops involved with the manufacturing of chemicals, dry cleaning, automobile repair shops, oil refineries and electroplating units are said to emit hazardous wastes in their solid, liquid and gaseous state which, in turn, poses substantial and potential threats to public health and the environmental as a whole. It is the moral and legal responsibility of the creators of these hazardous wastes to ensure their proper and safe disposal, following all norms associated with them, so as to avoid the spreading of pollution in any form or risking the lives of millions of people across the globe. Generally, wastes which are ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic come under the category of hazardous wastes, and improper dumping of these can impose serious health issues on the whole of mankind. Letâs look at what are the seven mistakes to avoid while disposing hazardous wastes:
1. Accumulating hazardous wastes for too long
The ‘Environmental Health and Safety’ manages the accumulation of wastes at the accumulation grounds or their fixed locations. Many regulations are attached to collecting these wastes in the proper manner before shipping them further, like monitoring hazardous waste training, weekly inspection logs, contingency planning and others. The time period for picking up the wastes from these generator areas are fixed and should be followed meticulously. A 90 day time limit, starting from day 1 when accumulation begins, has been fixed and the container should be dated accordingly with a 90 day clock attached to it. However, for Veterinary school or Centennial campus, a 180 day limit applies for its validity.
2. Missing the mark
Without a label or name, nothing holds significance. Similarly, all hazardous wastes should be marked with the wards ‘A Hazardous waste@’ or the contents of it should be provided in full detail on the container holding these wastes and should be monitored at a satellite accumulation point. In case of recycling reagent bottles, the manufacturer’s tag should be defaced, proper labeling should be provided for the waste content and the additional waste should be compatible with the previous one.
The duty of making containers for the waste contents and defacing the inappropriate markings lies on the generator. Even, ensuring the EPA warnings on hazardous wastes and adding DOT required marks before dispatching them from the site is the whole and sole responsibility of the manufacturers.
3. Not manifesting precious metals
A hazardous waste manifest is mandatory to be used before shipping precious metals, like silver, to the re-claimers as they are managed under 40 CFR 266 precious metals standards.To ensure that all applicable regulations have been complied by, these agreements or contracts should be reviewed by the Environmental Health and Safety, as they are the only authorized department having the rights to sign these manifests.
4. Using improper containers
Basic guidelines have been formulated for disposing off hazardous wastes in their different physical state which should be duly followed and abided by the generator. Screw-capped bottles, carboys or drums should be opted for while accumulating liquid wastes, on the other hand, large mouth jars, sturdy bags, huge boxes or drums should be used for solid wastes. The containers should be in good physical condition, apt for and compatible with its contents, having covered lids.
The Environmental Health and Safety department does not allow beverage containers, flasks or containers with corks, rubber or glass stoppers for accumulating hazardous wastes and has total authority to refuse acceptance of such wastes which have not been collected using appropriate materials or which have not been packed properly to meet DOT packaging standards and rule before shipping.
5. Not keeping your training up to date
People engaged for dealing with hazardous wastes should be given regular annual training, both at the generator as well as accumulation points, regarding proper handling, storage, use and disposal of these wastes, emergency procedures as well as other safety measures in connection to their specific workplace. Moreover, proper record of employee training should be maintained throughout the tenure of the worker and even beyond that for up to three more years according to Environmental Health and Safety rules and regulations.
6. Improper filling of hazardous waste manifests
Make sure to get your hazardous waste manifest duly signed, after properly filling it up, by an authorized representative of the University, Environmental Health and Safety.
7. Not closing containers
The containers used for accumulating the hazardous wastes should, at all times, be kept closed, unless waste is being added or removed. Venting out of harmful fumes while drying of empty bottles or using Asolar drying@ for other solvents is not acceptable and is strictly prohibited.