For retailers, hazardous waste regulations can be a serious burden.
When certain products are returned to a retail store, or otherwise cannot be used—nail polish, liquor, household cleaners and hand sanitizer, as a few examples—the retailer must follow the same hazardous waste rules that industrial hazardous waste generators do.
The EPA seems to appreciate that retailers do not operate in an industrial setting like chemical manufacturers do, and have released a Retail Strategy to help address these issues. EPA assistant administrator Mathy Stanislaus recognizes that their hazardous waste rules were initially designed for manufacturing and industrial scenarios, though that does not mean retail stores are exempt from following them. All facilities that generate even very small quantities of hazardous waste must follow the same hazardous waste regulations. Mathy Stanislaus explains that the outlined strategy is meant to “ease the burden of managing hazardous wastes in a retail setting while maintaining important protections to human health and the environment.”
These recommendations include:
- Issuing the final Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule this autumn;
- Finalizing the Pharmaceutical Waste Rule next year;
- Distributing a guide on recycling aerosol cans;
- Suggesting a universal waste rule for aerosol cans; and
- Issuing a policy on reverse distribution and RCRA.
Stanislaus adds, “This retail strategy is an important next step in our journey to explore options for reducing management burdens, ensuring compliance with hazardous waste regulations and protecting human health and the environment.”
Bear in mind that even despite this strategy, retail waste will still be generated. The waste that can’t be avoided should be considered for reuse and recycling, with landfill disposal being the last resort. If you need help creating a personalized waste management plan or assistance with your retail waste disposal, call Hazardous Waste Experts today at 800-936-2311 or click here to email us.