When it comes to hazardous waste, it's pivotal that you know exactly what paperwork is required for you to properly and safely dispose of that waste. If you're not completely familiar with both hazardous waste manifests and bills of lading, you could be filling out your paperwork incorrectly—and that leaves you vulnerable to fines and other punitive actions against your institution.

How to Dispose of Hazardous Waste: All the Paperwork You'll Need

The Hazardous Waste Manifest

In order to legally transport hazardous waste, a manifest is required. Both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) require this. A manifest details important information about the shipment, such as the specific hazardous materials, how much of those materials, relevant emergency contact numbers, the generator's EPA identification number, and more.

The manifest comes into play with any hazardous materials. That could include any number of things, from leftover paint or paint thinners to items containing RCRA metals.

The Bill of Lading

A bill of lading, on the other hand, is used during non-hazardous waste disposal. For manufacturers, this most often includes universal waste, such as lightbulbs and batteries. These are items that can't simply go in the standard trash, but they are not considered hazardous.

Does a Manufacturer Need Both a Bill of Lading and a Manifest?

It depends. If a manufacturer needs to ship both hazardous and non-hazardous waste, then both could be necessary. However, if the shipment only contains hazardous waste, then there would be no need for a bill of lading.

Transporting Hazardous Waste: Other Necessary Paperwork

When shipping hazardous waste, the manifest is not the exclusive piece of required paperwork. Before shipping anything to a treatment, storage, and disposal facility, or TSD facility, you'll need to send a hazardous waste profile sheet. A TSD facility cannot accept any shipment without knowing ahead of time the contents of what it is meant to accept. This profile sheet provides that necessary information.

It includes pertinent details, such as the chemical composition of the material, the state of the material (liquid, sludge, or solid), the DOT description, the hazardous waste code, the type of container it will be shipped in, and more.

A safety data sheet (SDS sheet) will also need to be sent with any shipment of hazardous waste.

Who Needs to Know about This Hazardous Waste Paperwork?

If your facility produces RCRA hazardous waste, you need to know about these different kinds of paperwork as well as how to properly fill them out.

Some potential industries affected by this paperwork include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Manufacturing companies.
  • Colleges or universities.
  • Printing companies.
  • Painting companies.
  • Auto body shops.

Why This Paperwork Matters…and Why You Should Consider a Hazardous Waste Disposal Company

This paperwork is more than just bureaucratic red tape. It ensures the safety of you, your employees, and anyone who comes in contact with the hazardous materials. Improper or incorrectly filed paperwork can lead to hazardous waste not being treated or disposed of correctly, which can lead to harmful elements entering water supplies or ground soil.

Because this is a safety issue, you have incentive to work with hazardous waste disposal companies on two fronts. One, they can help you avoid fines and other penalties brought down on your company due to improper disposal. This saves you money and, on the extreme end, jail time and/or business closure. Two, hazardous waste removal companies have experience and know-how. They can help you navigate this often confusing paperwork to ensure you're doing everything in your power to keep everyone (and everything) safe.

Check out your local hazardous waste management companies to find your reputable, knowledgeable, financially reasonable options.

For more information about what paperwork needs to accompany any given shipment of hazardous waste, please feel free to contact a representative of MCF Environmental Services today!