5 Tips for Georgia Manufacturers to Better Manage Non-hazardous Waste

5 Tips for Georgia Manufacturers to Better Manage Non-hazardous Waste

There’s a prevailing idea among manufacturers that dealing with non-hazardous waste disposal is somehow less important or less stringent than managing hazardous items. This is not the case! Every manufacturer needs to comply with all federal non-hazardous waste disposal policies, and every Georgia manufacturer needs to follow those state-specific rules as well. So, as a manufacturer of this waste stream in Georgia, what do you need to do?

Non-hazardous Waste Disposal in Georgia: 5 Things Manufacturers Need to Know

1. Identify All Your Nonhazardous Waste

The first important step for any Georgia manufacturer is to assess all the waste generated in that facility. No waste management plan can even start to be implemented if you don’t know exactly what you produce, how much you produce, and what category of waste each type falls under.

Some manufacturers are under the false impression that non-hazardous means non-dangerous. However, even nonhazardous waste must be properly identified, stored, and disposed of, and the first step is realizing proper identification is even necessary and then following through with that.

The following are some common nonhazardous items that still require special disposal methods:

· Latex paint.

· Non-recyclable used car oil.

· Nonhazardous ink.

· Certain chemicals (confirm with the specific chemical’s SDS sheet)

2. Stop All Actions That Make You Noncompliant with Georgia Waste Management Laws

Once you know what you’re producing at your Georgia-based manufacturing facility, it’s vital to immediately stop any policy or action that puts you out of compliance with either federal or state waste disposal laws.

For example, if you’ve identified waste that is nonhazardous but is not simple municipal trash, you cannot throw that nonhazardous material into the trash can. Doing so could make you vulnerable to steep EPA fines. If you’re doing this wrong, stop as soon as possible!

3. Cradle to Grave Liability Still Applies to Nonhazardous Materials

Cradle to grave liability means you are ultimately responsible for your waste from the moment you generate it until the moment it is properly treated and disposed of. Even if you give that waste to a third party, you are still responsible and could face fines or other consequences if there was any damage because of that waste.

A lot of people know this about hazardous materials, but fewer people realize this still applies to nonhazardous as well. Therefore, make sure your waste management plans involve knowing exactly how and where all your waste is being shipped.

4. All the Paperwork for Hazardous Materials Applies to Nonhazardous

Just because waste is nonhazardous doesn’t mean you don’t need to fill out all the relevant paperwork, and in many cases, that’s just as intensive as it is for hazardous material. In particular, you still want the following: proof it’s been disposed of, proper labels, and any relevant shipping manifest. This will protect you in case of an audit, where you need to prove you’re operating in compliance.

5. Reach Out to a Reputable Local Waste Management Company

If you need help managing your waste or if you want the peace of mind that you’re in full compliance, start reaching out to local waste management companies.

As with the actual waste, some people think because it’s “just” nonhazardous it’s not as important to thoroughly vet the company that helps you manage it. Again, this is not the case. One of the most important waste management tips your Georgia facility can follow is to ensure you find a professional, reputable company to manage your waste.

To that end, do the following:

· Ensure the company has all proper permits and insurance to handle your waste streams. (A company will need different permits based on the type of waste they are accepting, whether or not they transport that waste, and other factors.)

· Confirm the company’s employees have undergone adequate training to handle your waste types.

· Get a sense of the company’s commitment to customer service. Being able to get your waste-related questions answered in a timely, accurate fashion could help you avoid a sizeable EPA fine.

· Ask for customer testimonials or read online reviews to get a sense of the company’s reputation.

· Ask how long the company has been in business in Georgia. This will let you know not only how experienced they are with waste disposal, but it will also tell you how long they have had to familiarize themselves with Georgia-specific laws.

· Ensure the end facility receiving the waste is also permitted and qualified to receive your waste type—whether it’s going to a Subtitle D landfill or for nonhaz incineration.

If you do work with a less-than-reputable company and they are caught being in noncompliance, at the very least, you’ll have to pay (in money and hassle) to get your waste back, and you’re also out whatever you paid the company in the first place. It can quickly become an expensive mess, so it’s worth your time to pick the right company the first time.

For more information about how to properly dispose of all waste types generated at your Georgia facility, please feel free to reach out to a representative of MCF Environmental Services, a waste management Atlanta company.

Proper Ways to Collect and Transport Industrial Waste

Proper Ways to Collect and Transport Industrial Waste

With the management of industrial waste, organizations must take extra care to follow all mandatory procedures from the moment waste is generated, to collection and transportation for processing and disposal.  The U.S. EPA, as well as other federal, state, and local regulations, has developed a set of rules mandating how industrial waste should be collected, stored, and transported. Failure to follow these requirements can result in civil and criminal penalties and even jail time. 

Waste Storage and Collection 

In order to fulfill the EPA’s hazardous waste disposal regulations, most industrial waste generators must first obtain an EPA identification number.  Though waste can be stored onsite for 90 to 180 days (depending on the amount of waste generated), in some cases, an extension of the onsite storage period can be granted if the waste must be transported more than 200 miles for treatment and disposal. Severe penalties exist for storing waste on-site past the allowable time period, including potential fines of up to $50,000 per day. Additionally, jail time can be triggered if on site waste treatment is deemed unacceptable.  

Special containers, properly labeled, sealed, and maintained, must be used to store all waste on site. Unless the hazardous waste meets the EPA’s Land Disposal Restrictions (LDR) standards, it cannot be “land disposed” and must instead be treated to reduce any hazardous constituents to a level approved by the EPA. Under the Domestic Sewerage Exclusion (DSE) regulation, hazardous waste can be recycled or disposed of on-site as long as the waste generator can “flush” the wastes by mixing it with domestic sewage and discharging the mix into publicly owned treatment works. 

In some cases, recycling or on-site treatment can occur without a permit as long as the organization complies with the accumulation time limits and waste collection regulations outlined in 40 CFR §§.  All other waste requires transportation for handling off-site. 

Transportation of Hazardous Waste 

When treated off-site, the method of transportation of hazardous waste must also conform to a set of health and safety procedures. Because of the danger of spills or “midnight dumping” (abandoning waste at random locations), the law now requires proper labeling and tracking of all hazardous materials. 

While trains are still sometimes used to transport hazardous waste, the most common method involves moving containers in trucks over public highways. Trucks made of steel or aluminum are allowed to carry hazardous waste containers with capacities of up 92, 55-gallon drums. 

Hazardous waste transportation also requires manifest documentation. The manifest records all the details of the waste pickup and delivery, including routes, quantities, and schedules. 

The Support You Need 

While industrial waste management can be complex, the US EPA and your state hazardous waste energy can provide resources and assistance. In addition, partnering with a qualified, experienced waste management provider will help you ensure you safely, securely, and legally manage your industrial waste.  

With almost three decades of experience in waste management and disposal, MCF Environmental provides the expertise and capabilities you need to properly handle your industrial waste.   

Contact us today to learn more about MCF’s High-Standard Industrial Waste Disposal Services. 

Complying with Hazardous Waste Regulations

Complying with Hazardous Waste Regulations

The number of industries generating hazardous waste covers everything from large manufacturing facilities to small “mom-and-pop” businesses, but regardless of size, every hazardous waste generator must comply with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory guidelines, as well as any other federal, state, or local laws. Failure to comply with the relevant statutes and guidelines could result in penalties, fines, and other legal liabilities.  

Six Steps for Compliance 

 The EPA identifies six steps organizations should follow in order to make they are in compliance with hazardous waste regulations.  

The first phase involves identifying all the hazardous waste being generated based on Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 261.3. For regulatory purposes, hazardous waste includes any waste appearing on one of four RCRA hazardous waste lists. Materials not on the RCRA lists can still be considered hazardous waste if they have one of four characteristics: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity.  

From there, organizations should identify which generator category applies. Large quantity generators (LQG), generate more than 2200 lbs. per month or more than 100 kilograms of acutely hazardous waste per month. Small quantity generators (SQG), produce less than 2200 lbs. per month. Conditionally exempt small quantity generators (CESQG) generate less than 200 lbs. per month, or less than one kilogram per month of acute spill residue or soil.  

Management of hazardous waste onsite must follow a set of specific rules for storage and treatment. In addition, universal waste, pharmaceutical hazardous waste, and hazardous waste generated from academic laboratories all have additional requirements. Universal wastes is any mercury-containing equipment, including batteries, lamps and bulbs. Pharmaceutical hazardous waste is usually created by hospitals and pharmacies and includes expired medications and controlled substances. Academic laboratories must dispose of ingredients and components used in scientific research, including beakers, chemicals, and other compounds. 

When treated off-site, the method of transportation of hazardous waste must also conform to a set of health and safety procedures. Because of the danger of spills or “midnight dumping” (abandoning waste at random locations), the law now requires proper labeling and tracking of all hazardous materials.  The manifest chronicles all the details of the waste pickup and delivery, including volumes, quantities, and waste descriptions. 

Rely on the Experts 

Thanks to almost 30 years of experience in the waste management industry, MCF Environmental understands all the intricacies of hazardous waste disposal. Our knowledgeable staff are well-versed in the federal, state, and local regulations governing the collection, treatment, and disposal of hazardous waste. We are familiar with all compliance requirements, and we follow all best practices for proper waste disposal, including certified drivers, ongoing training, and all necessary permits and insurance coverage. 

Learn How MCF Environmental Helps Ensure You are in Compliance! 

Consequences of Poor Industrial Waste Disposal Methods/Services

Consequences of Poor Industrial Waste Disposal Methods/Services

For many businesses, the collection and disposal of industrial waste presents a host of challenges. The byproduct of industrial activities, ranging from manufacturing to electronics and auto repair, industrial waste can include scrap metal, chemicals, universal waste, and a myriad of other potentially toxic compounds. When mishandled, industrial waste can cause irreparable damage to humans and the environment and expose organizations to legal liability. One way to mitigate risk and ensure proper collection and disposal involves partnering with a qualified waste management company.  

When Waste Management Goes Wrong 

Industrial waste contamination can occur whenever toxic byproducts find their way into the environment without proper processing and disposal. When dumped into the oceans or landfills, hazardous materials can release toxins into the environment, disrupting habitats and causing harm to wildlife and humans. In addition, our waste management infrastructure becomes overburdened when materials eligible for recycling find their way onto the garbage heap instead of being reused or repurposed. 

The effects of improper disposal of industrial waste include immediate and long term effects. Ocean acidification from contaminated water sources can hurt ocean life and lead to a loss of biodiversity. Watersheds, soil contamination, and air pollution can also result when improperly handled industrial waste finds its way into local landfills.  

The Importance of Professional Waste Management 

For most organizations, the complexity involved in the collection, transportation, and processing of industrial waste can be overwhelming. With regulations constantly changing, it can be hard to stay on top of all the requirements and protocols. Responsible waste management helps organizations maintain safety in the workplace while also protecting the environment and limiting liability.  

Qualified waste management providers can handle all types of disposal services, including industrial waste, and understand the challenges and requirements associated with proper industrial waste disposal, including insurance and regulatory compliance. By outsourcing waste collection, transportation, and disposal to qualified experts, companies can mitigate risk and continue to focus on their core business operations. 

Rely on the Experts 

With almost three decades of experience in waste management and disposal, MCF Environmental provides the expertise and capabilities you need to properly handle your industrial waste.  MCF Environmental virtually eliminates all of the challenges that come with waste disposal, providing a proactive, not reactive, approach to waste management for small businesses. We cover the essentials so you can spend less time worrying about the details and more time growing your business. We understand the risks, financial restraints, and budgetary challenges associated with industrial waste, and we know that, when done right, professional waste management can help businesses streamline operations and maximize profits. 

Contact us today to learn more about MCF’s High-Standard Biomed Disposal Process. 

Consequences of Poorly Managed Medical Waste Disposal

Consequences of Poorly Managed Medical Waste Disposal

Americans generate about 254 million tons of solid waste, or about 4.4 pounds per person according to the US EPA. By contrast, US hospitals generate approximately 6 million tons annually. While a majority of medical waste can be classified as nonhazardous, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) 15% falls into the hazardous waste category, triggering a particular set of protocols for its management and disposal. In order to minimize the health risks associated with exposure to these potentially infectious materials, physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers must take every precaution when managing and disposing of all medical waste.  

A wide-range of organizations produce medical waste, from tattoo parlors and doctor’s office to major hospitals, research facilities, and blood banks. The most common types of medical waste generated by these facilities include radioactive waste, pathological waste, and infectious waste. Sharps, like needles and syringes, are also considered hazardous waste.  

Identifying the Risks 

While healthcare professionals are mostly likely to be exposed to improperly handled medical waste, every individual who comes into contact with infectious waste throughout the waste stream are vulnerable, including administrative staff, waste handlers, and those working at recycling or landfill facilities. Also, improper handling of medical waste can result in contamination of the local environment, including the ground, air, and local watershed. 

The greatest concern regarding improperly handled medical waste involves exposure to infectious pathogens. Those exposed to medical waste can be infected through punctures of the skin, as well as through inhalation or ingestion. While HIV and Hepatitis B and C present the greatest risk, antibiotic resistant E.coli and other dangerous bacteria can also be sources of infection. Because of the potential for sharps to transfer pathogens via cuts or abrasion, blades, hypodermic needles, and other similar materials are considered as a higher level of danger and need to be collected via red bags for processing and disposal. 

For pharmaceuticals, liquids, and chemicals, improperly handled waste can result in burns, poisoning, intoxication, and environmental contamination. Chemical residues found in the sewer systems of many major cities can lead to the disruption of natural ecosystems, and residue from antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals often appear in municipal water supplies. 

Radioactive waste, like those produced by chemotherapy treatment, can cause headaches, dizziness, and vomiting at small doses. Handling highlight radioactive waste can also lead to more severe injuries, including burns and the extreme destruction of tissue resulting in amputation. As like with other medical waste, radioactive materials also have the potential to contaminate the environment, including the air, water, and soil. 

Safe and Secure Medical Waste Disposal 

While the health consequences associated with improperly managed medical waste can be severe, other areas of concern also exist. Any organization or facility generating medical waste, who fails to follow federal, state, and local regulations, faces the risk of legal liability and other penalties. Improper medical waste disposal could result in exposure to lawsuits as well as charges of malpractice or malfeasance. Finally, for health care providers, dealing with the stigma of improper medical waste disposal can lead to ruined employment opportunities and professional ruin. 

According to WHO, because of the severe consequences associated with exposure to medical waste, it is important to minimize risks and follow proper protocols. Educating doctors, hospitals, and healthcare workers on the hazards of improper medical waste removal and disposal can help keep organizations compliant. In addition, waste management professionals must continuously monitor operations and work diligently to keep their waste management system running smoothly and efficiently.  

Best Practices for Medical Waste Management 

For most organizations, the complexity involved in the collection, transportation, and processing of medical waste can feel overwhelming. With regulations constantly changing, it ‘s hard to stay current on all the requirements and protocols. Also, medical waste generators are often required to contract their waste management to third parties in order to remain compliant with HIPAA and other regulations, leaving many organizations at the mercy of their waste management provider. 

With almost three decades of experience in waste management and disposal, MCF Environmental provides the expertise and capabilities you need to properly handle your medical waste.  MCF Environmental virtually eliminates all of the challenges that come with medical waste disposal. We provide a proactive, not reactive, approach to waste management for small business, and we cover the essentials so you can spend less time worrying about the details and more time growing your business. We understand the risk, financial restraints, and budgetary challenges associated with medical waste, and we know that, when done right, professional waste management can help businesses streamline operations and maximize profits.  

Contact us today to learn more about MCF’s High-Standard Biomed Disposal Process. 

Sources 

Medical Waste, EPA, https://www.epa.gov/rcra/medical-waste  

Health-care Waste, World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs253/en/ 

Health impacts of healthcare waste, World Health Organization, http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/medicalwaste/020to030.pdf  

Pick a Hazardous Waste Management Company—8 Tips for GA Manufacturers

Pick a Hazardous Waste Management Company—8 Tips for GA Manufacturers

When selecting a hazardous waste management company, your Georgia-based manufacturer needs to keep many things in mind. With such an important decision, though, it’s no surprise that many factors must go in to the decision process. To make things a bit easier, here are eight waste management tips to guide your Georgia manufacturer in this crucial decision.

8 Things Every Georgia Manufacturer Should Check before Selecting a Hazardous Waste Management Company

  1. Check the waste management company has proper insurance.

As the generator, you are ultimately responsible for any accident involving your waste, and that includes during transport. Make sure the company you choose to work with has adequate insurance to cover any accident.

The type of waste being handled should dictate the type and amount of insurance. For example, hazardous materials are going to require a substantial amount of insurance, while non-hazardous waste is going to require less.

  1. Ensure the company is permitted for the type of waste you generate.

The necessary permits vary according to waste type. If you’re exclusively generating nonhazardous waste, the company only needs to be permitted for that subset of waste. However, if you generate any hazardous material that the company will need to transport or treat, they need to be specifically permitted for that.

  1. Verify all drivers have the proper DOT training.

All drivers should be properly trained to handle every aspect of that job, and that includes proper DOT training. Because these drivers are also handling paperwork, they should be specifically trained and prepared to handle a shipping manifest and a bill of lading. Drivers should also be knowledgeable, professional, and adept and experienced at handling hazardous materials specifically.

  1. Check for any fines or past violations.

If a company has had any breach in local, state, or federal regulations, there should be a record of that violation. Before committing to any given company, check online for such violations. Take into account when the violation occurred, how many violations are found, and the severity of any given breach.

  1. Ask about the company’s waste management price.

While price isn’t everything, it is (of course) important. Make sure the price you’re offered is competitive but not suspiciously low. As with any industry, a price that’s too good to be true probably is. A very low quote might mean poor customer service, an increased chance of violations and fines, or many hidden surcharges.

Remember, much of the cost structure has to do with transportation fees. Therefore, if you choose a company that has its own trucks, you should get a better price than with a company that has to contract out this work.

As a rule of thumb, shop around, get multiple quotes, consult testimonials, and ask lots of questions!

  1. Put a premium on customer service.

One quality that many manufacturers overlook in their waste management companies is customer service. However, having knowledgeable drivers and employees who will answer your questions quickly and accurately can be the difference between being slapped with a fine and complying with all Georgia and federal laws.

  1. Ask to see the company’s most recent audit.

A hazardous waste audit will give you important company-specific information (how long the company has been in business, the number of employees, their permits, their insurance, and so on), but it will also show all violations that came up during that audit. Especially with a full audit that takes several days, it’s extremely rare to get zero violations. However, you can ascertain the severity of those violations and if they properly corrected every found error.

  1. Get a clear quote with cost analysis.

A quote is just a number if you don’t know exactly what it means. A good quote will give you a cost analysis and break down, line item by line item, everything that goes into that number. This way, you aren’t surprised by hidden fees or surcharges when it comes time to pay the invoice.

Note, certain charges are common within the industry, including a stop charge (typically around $50), a 15 percent fuel charge, and an energy surcharge. Nearly every company charges these, so if they don’t show up on your quote, that’s a red flag that you’re not getting the full picture regarding what you’ll be expected to pay.

For more information and tips about how your Georgia-based manufacturer should choose a waste management company, feel free to contact a representative of MCF Environmental Services, an Atlanta waste management company.