Hazardous materials are just that – hazardous. However, the goods are not only hazardous during their useful lifecycle. They are often hazardous far beyond then, making disposal an incredibly important part of hazardous material management. When hazardous materials are disposed, any and all materials, animals, environments, or people in contact with or nearby the waste are prone to experience the consequences of exposure to the dangerous goods. Here is a simple yet effective guide on hazardous materials and waste management to ensure you understand how to carefully dispose of your dangerous goods.
Types of Hazardous Materials
As with anything, “hazardous materials,” “dangerous goods,” or “hazardous waste” are all broad terms that refer to a wide-scope of products. Hazardous materials are classified based on their level of toxicity, flammability, substance type (powder, liquid, solid, gas, etc.), and many other variables. All of which must be taken into consideration when selecting the proper disposal method for the hazardous waste.
For purposes of disposal, materials will be classified as one or multiple of the following: inorganic acids, inorganic bases, strong oxidizing agents, strong reducing agents, anhydrous organics and organometallics, anhydrous organics and metal hydrides, toxic organics, flammable organics, inorganics, inorganic cyanides, organic cyanides, and toxic metals.
Delivery of Hazardous Waste
Delivery of hazardous waste to a disposal facility can be a bit of a hassle. You’ll want to make sure that you take extra care in the packaging/labeling of your waste, as any damage or hazard caused by the transport or storage of the goods will be the responsibility of the generator. It’s your waste forever and ever and ever.
Hazardous material waste management isn’t necessarily a difficult process, but it does involve some legalities. For residential home owners, most counties will have a household hazardous waste program for resident to dispose of their dangerous materials. However, most businesses cannot participate in this service. Most often, a business will need to hire a truck driver that has a hazardous material endorsement, as well as someone who is using a truck licensed as a hazardous material hauling vehicle.
Using any driver that is not hazardous material endorsed or a truck that is not registered as a hazardous material hauling vehicle can lead to stiff penalties. If you haven’t ever worked with one of these truckers before, call a 3PL such as Interlog USA to help set up the pickup and delivery of the materials by licensed personnel.
Hazardous Waste Disposal Facilities
All hazardous materials must be clearly labeled, as waste processes may vary depending on the type of material being disposed of. As stated before, your waste is your responsibility for ever and ever. This is referred to as a “cradle-to-grave” responsibility, meaning from the day you generate the waste, it remains your responsibility forevermore. If you improperly package the material and it leaks and impacts the environment, that’s your bill to pay.
After lining up a trucker to pick up the load of hazardous waste, you will need to contact the disposal facility (or have your broker contact one). Notify them of the shipment number, when the materials will be dropped off, and all other necessary details. The weight, quantity, chemicals, etc. will all be covered in shipping and handling documentation.
Hazardous material transport and disposal can be an intimidating process. There’s multiple moving parts, the responsibility of potential disaster lands on you as the shipper, and the waste remains yours forever and ever. However, careful planning should keep you clear of any disasters.
Make sure you package your goods in appropriate containers. For example, a solution containing a small amount of nitric acid will eat through a metal drum eventually. Even if it is weeks after it has been moved to “disposal”, remember that waste is forever your responsibility according to the “cradle-to-gave” rule. Clearly label your shipments and make sure you are working with a 3PL or truck driver that you trust closely.
Lastly, many companies will use all-in-one service providers like Interlog USA to handle the transport and disposal of hazardous materials. If you are concerned about hazardous materials and waste management, reach out to one of our team members and we would be happy to offer you a solution!