Also consider: mixing different chemical-waste streams can inadvertently result in a dangerous compound that’s many times more corrosive, ignitable, reactive, and/or toxic than any one of its constituents.
So it’s no wonder that chemical waste gets special attention—and bad press.
Proper handling requires separating chemical wastes
Given the propensity of chemical wastes to compound their noxious characteristics when mixed, the EPA rightly deems it crucial that you keep them separated.
Thereby, you cannot allow individual employees to be making ad hoc decisions about what to do with a random chemical waste when it presents itself. You need a system: the proverbial place for everything and everything in its place.
Once you’ve developed such a system—and ensure everyone’s trained about it—it’s much less likely that expensive mistakes will be made: the kind that might be litigable or even criminal.
Also, when chemical wastes are properly separated and safely stored, your workplace operations will be inherently safer—and less likely to upset the folks at OSHA.
Safe and legal disposal: your ultimate goal
Once your chemical wastes are properly identified, categorized, and separated, you must ensure that they’re transported to the correct category of waste disposal facility. E.g., there are chemical wastes vs. biological wastes vs. corrosive wastes vs. reactive wastes, etc., and different facilities are “permitted” to transport them—and some definitely aren’t.
Hazardous Waste Experts makes it our business to match you (and your hazardous waste) to the transporter and/or disposer that can keep you out of trouble. If you need expert advice, or hazardous waste disposal services, contact us at (800) 936-2311 or email us.