One of the biggest benefits hazardous waste management companies can offer pharmacies is their expertise on expired medication disposal. Because it is so common for various medications to expire in a pharmacy and require proper disposal, every pharmacy should be fully up to date on the protocol for proper medication disposal (and the consequences for failing to follow that protocol).
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As generators of hazardous waste, it’s critical for universities to have written, documented hazardous waste disposal guidelines for their employees. These help ensure safety regulations are known throughout the university campus and not just certain rooms or buildings on a campus. Every department that has anything to do with hazardous materials should know and understand these laws. If your university is without such guidelines or documents, create one.
If your facility produces any kind of hazardous waste, you need to be aware of your EPA generator status and how to legally avoid registering – and paying the fees of – a large quantity generator. The large quantity status also comes with plenty of additional regulations and paperwork to ensure compliance with federal and state laws. Taking certain steps can reduce your classification as a large quantity generator – saving you money, hassle, and paperwork.
Hydrogen sulfide created by drywall gypsum when in proximity to other biodegradable materials is nauseating, toxic, and highly flammable. Approximately 26 billion square feet of drywall was sold in the U.S. last year, of which 10-to-12 percent becomes unusable waste from cutting & trimming to spec. That means 2.6-to-3.12 billion square feet of drywall waste needed to be discarded last year, all of it requiring hazardous waste disposal.
Improper hazardous waste disposal leads to groundwater and soil contamination that negatively affects people and animals coming into contact it. Such exposure can cause serious illness, disease, and potentially death. To prevent negative impact on humans and the environment, regulations are instituted with safety in mind, and a large part of that safety component is the use of waste codes.
No matter what industry you’re in, there are a variety of categories that relate to generated waste. It’s essential that you and your employees all understand these different categories because the type of waste you’re dealing with will dictate how that waste needs to be stored, containerized, transported, and treated before disposal. One particularly important category is RCRA hazardous waste.
This blog entry explains chemical waste disposal in terms of its two elements, both of which need to be part of your chemical waste disposal guidelines. There’s treatment—either to detoxify a chemical waste or destroy it completely. And storage, which typically includes landfills, waste piles, ponds, lagoons, and deep-well injections.
If your doctor’s office or hospital is a fully functioning clinic, it’s very likely you periodically need to dispose of expired medications and biohazardous waste. However, it’s obviously not as easy as simply throwing this material away. There are some very specific regulations and restrictions regarding what kinds of medications get disposed of in what fashion. One common practice used by doctors’ offices and hospitals alike is simply putting expired medication in red bag waste. This is not the protocol for properly disposing of hazardous waste, though, and could lead to fines being levied against the facility.
Within the hazardous waste management industry, dry cleaning is a very specialized, niche market. The waste generated in that business is deemed hazardous, though, and several federal bodies highly regulate its handling, shipping, and treatment. If you’re in the dry cleaning industry and you’re working with a waste management company, it’s your responsibility to ensure that company has undergone and received the proper training, permitting, and insurance to safely, legally, and effectively handle dry cleaning waste.
Proper hazardous waste disposal is incredibly important to any manufacturer. Especially as the laws regarding correct hazardous waste treatment become even stricter and more stringently enforced, failure to comply with these legal requirements will carry increasingly severe consequences. If you’re at all uncertain about the correct way to go about disposing of your hazardous waste, reach out to a reputable hazardous waste disposal company to get yourself educated and informed—and hopefully avoid those penalties.