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4 Things We Can’t Stand About Hazardous Waste Disposal

November 15, 2016

If you run or work for a company that generates hazardous waste, there’s probably not a lot about its complex disposal that will shock you anymore. But if you share our customers’ most burdensome hazardous waste disposal challenges, there’s probably a few things about it that you just can’t stand.

Here’s our top four:

Regulations governing hazardous waste disposal are constantly changing.

Becoming familiar with the extensive legislation already in place is hard enough on its own. But regulations are constantly changing and evolving, and it can leave generators feeling like it’s impossible to stay up-to-date.

The upside is that there are numerous blogs and institutions that will help you do exactly that (keeping generators up-to-date is our blog’s primary mission). If you’d like a more exhaustive approach, you can also sign up for webinars, or download eBooks and white papers as they’re released.

Hazardous waste disposal and treatment technologies are still quite limited.

We’ve seen incredible innovation in a lot of industries over the past 100 years, but hazardous waste disposal or removal isn’t really one of them. If you’re a hazardous waste generator in modern society, it’s not tough to guess how your waste will be disposed of.

When it comes down to it, your list of options is a short one: land disposal, incineration, fuel blending and waste treatment (including physical, biological, and chemical neutralization or stabilization). Of course, some treated hazardous wastes can go on to be reused or recycled, which is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. Looking to the future, the most exciting predictions actually involve less production in the first place (not better treatment or disposal technologies).

If done improperly, the repercussions can be grave.

For most workers, a simple mistake or neglected task isn’t likely to result in a public health crisis, a lawsuit, or risk of injury to their colleagues. For hazardous waste generators, there’s a lot more at stake. If hazardous waste is mismanaged, it could lead to a dangerous spill or release, a stiff penalty, or—most alarming of all—physical injury to those who come into contact with it.

Safe and proper disposal of hazardous waste (as well as its management beforehand) must be a top priority for all generators. Thankfully, simply choosing a reputable company to help you with your hazardous waste disposal needs can give you total peace of mind.

Hazardous waste disposal can be expensive.

Because hazardous waste cannot be disposed of like ordinary waste, the associated costs can sometimes be shocking. Some hazardous or chemical wastes (like acids, cyanides, amines and lead) are more expensive than others to dispose of.

The easiest way to sidestep ridiculous prices is to select a hazardous waste disposal company that is vendor-neutral (meaning they’ll help you find a treatment or disposal method that is the best possible match for your unique situation, rather than a vendor they just have a partnership with).

While we hope to someday reduce the amount of hazardous waste produced, the numbers today tell a different story: we produce 400 million tons each year (13 tons every single second). And as of now, the numbers are increasing—in just one generation, the production of man-made chemicals increased by 40,000 percent.

The above-listed concerns aren’t going away any time soon, but you can eliminate these concerns by choosing a company that will help you stay up-to-date, dispose of your wastes properly, and secure the best possible disposal method and price in the process.

Disposal of hazardous waste doesn’t have to be painful.