As they tend to come from various state and federal bureaucracies at haphazard intervals, environmental regulations are plentiful, evolving, and challenging to track. Ignoring or misunderstanding them can subject you to daily fines in the tens of thousands—and even criminal consequences. This blog explains some of the hows & whys.
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With over one billion tons of municipal solid waste generated worldwide every year, industrial waste management is serious business. Because improper waste treatment and disposal can lead to environmental pollution, and create serious ramifications for human health and safety, all generators of industrial waste need to implement strategic, professional industrial waste management. While dealing with industrial waste streams can be complicated and overwhelming, understanding the right methodologies and procedures can go a long way towards easing anxiety and providing a framework for action.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) covers basic management standards for hazardous waste generators. Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), includes hazardous waste collection, treatment, and transportation guidelines. The RCRA establishes proper hazardous waste management, with the goal of protecting human health and the environment while also curtailing intrusive or adverse impacts on daily businesses operations.
Generally speaking, the process for handling and disposing of medical waste involves decontamination, either with an autoclave or incinerator before being taken to a landfill. Once decontaminated, medical waste residual materials can be treated as nonhazardous waste and disposed of accordingly. Heat, chemicals, or a combination of the two represent the primary disposal methods of medical waste, though untreated waste can be processed by other means of decontamination are unavailable.
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.
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.
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.