If your company or facility generates hazardous waste, you need to do everything in your power to avoid improper hazardous waste disposal. Rather, you must ensure that waste is disposed of properly and safely. This process involves many steps. Some are the responsibility of the company producing the hazardous material, and some are the responsibility of the business or university actually transporting or disposing of it. Make sure you know what's expected of you as well as the people you partner with in order to comply with all regulations and safety requirements for hazardous waste.
Important Tips for Businesses and Universities Disposing of Hazardous Waste
Identify and Profile Hazardous Material
The first important step in this process is identifying all hazardous materials that you create. If you or the people in your company or facility can't accurately or confidently make this decision, you need to work with a proper waste management company that can help you identify what's hazardous.
Each hazardous item must have an accompanying "profile." A profile consists of multiple safety data sheets (SDSs). An individual SDS reveals what chemicals are contained in an item. When multiple SDSs are put together into a profile, it reveals how those chemicals interact with each other. In this way, two separate materials might not be hazardous alone, but they become hazardous when combined, which a profile will reveal.
Assess the Containers Used to Store Waste
After helping identify hazardous waste, the business or university hired to dispose of that waste must assess all containers storing waste materials. These containers need to meet both United Nations (UN) and Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations.
Transport the Waste
Every business or university that transports toxic material must be specifically licensed and permitted to do so. The company that creates the waste should never transport that waste itself—unless the company happens to be specifically licensed and permitted in that capacity. For the vast majority of companies, this means contracting out with a reputable company to perform this service. It's the responsibility of the company that produced the waste to ensure it only works with companies that can legally transport waste.
Deliver and Dispose of the Waste
The licensed, permitted waste transportation company should deliver all hazardous contents to a licensed, permitted hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facility (TSDF). Just as licenses and permits are required to transport hazardous material, they are also required to store and/or dispose of it. Waste transportation companies need to ensure they are only delivering waste to legal treatment and disposal facilities.
The waste transport team absolutely must provide all proper documentation to show the toxic material was legally transported. Documentation must include multiple universal waste manifest copies as well as land disposal restriction forms.
All this documentation and the accompanying steps have been put in place to ensure toxic material is dealt with, stored, transported, and treated in the safest way possible. Strictly complying with these rules and regulations helps keep both the external environment and the people handling the waste safe and healthy.
For more information about the protocols related to how businesses and universities dispose of all hazardous material, please contact a representative of MCF Environmental Services, a full-service biomedical waste management company.