Hazardous waste is a serious problem that can have devastating effects on the environment and human health if not handled properly.
It’s important to be aware of what hazardous waste is and how it affects you, but most people don’t know much about the topic. By hiring an expert to handle your hazardous waste removal, you can ensure that your family and pets are safe from dangerous chemicals found in many common household items.
But that’s just one of the big benefits. Keep reading to see more reasons why hiring professional hazardous waste removal services, like HCI, is so important!
What Is Hazardous Waste Removal?
Hazardous materials are products that pose a direct or indirect threat to people’s health, safety, property, or the environment. As of today, more than 100,000 chemicals are registered in the U.S., but only about 1,000 are regularly produced. Some of these chemicals are used on a daily basis by most industrialized countries around the world.
These products can be found in many industries including agriculture/veterinary medicine, construction and mining, electricity production and distribution, food processing, and packaging manufacturing industries.
What Types of Hazardous Waste Exist?
There are four categories of hazardous waste whose physical properties can contaminate surface water (wastewater), groundwater (drinking water), and the air:
Known as the most hazardous and posing a serious health hazard. Can cause damage to internal organs or death if swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. Examples include cyanide, asbestos, lead-based paints, pesticides, corrosive liquids, poisonous plants, etc.
Somewhat hazardous and may produce short-term symptoms of poisoning that are typically reversible. Examples include mercury, gasoline or paint thinners, acid cleaners, or other corrosives.
Less hazardous since they are not likely to cause death if swallowed or inhaled but can still be dangerous if absorbed through the skin. Includes detergents, fertilizers, mop heads containing disinfectants/disinfectant solutions/sanitizing agents (such as bleach), petroleum fuels, brake fluid, photographic chemicals including fixer solutions containing thiosulfate, acids used in food processing plants for descaling equipment that are organic.
Least hazardous and includes most solids, such as paper, glass, plastics, etc., as well as some liquids that are not flammable or explosive.
How Is Hazardous Waste Removed?
Hazardous waste removal should only be conducted by a professional with the necessary experience and equipment. The process of removing hazardous waste can be dangerous and should only be handled by those who know how to do it safely. There are a few steps that need to be taken in order to properly remove hazardous waste:
1. Identification of the Material
This is the first step in any hazardous waste removal process. It is important to identify the type of material and its hazards. For hazardous materials, the most common identification methods are with a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or an in-house database.
If there are any incompatible wastes, they should be segregated to prevent any accidents from occurring during transportation and storage after removal.
Each category of hazardous waste has specific packaging requirements that include secondary containment to help prevent spills during transportation. Different types of containers are also required for different categories of wastes, but they must meet all federal, state, and local regulations for the material being removed.
4. Removal by an Approved Transporter
Experts recommend hiring a professional company that can provide onsite expertise by trained professionals who have detailed knowledge of environmental regulations governing landfills. They should also have the necessary licenses and insurance coverage for transporting hazardous materials.
5. Storage of Wastes
Wastes are typically taken to a landfill or appropriate treatment facility depending on the type of waste being removed. Proper storage must be done before the removal of solid or liquid hazardous waste, especially if it is not allowed at certain facilities due to regulations.
The last step in safe hazardous waste removal is the disposal of all wastes either by landfilling, incineration, or recycling into new products that are not harmful to people or the environment.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Professional for Hazardous Waste Removal?
There are many benefits to hiring a professional company for hazardous waste removal:
1. Compliance with Regulations
Companies that specialize in hazardous waste removal are experts in environmental regulations and know how to safely transport and dispose of the waste. This can save your business time and money by avoiding fines and penalties.
2. Proper Training and Equipment
Professionals who remove hazardous waste are properly trained in how to do it safely. They also have access to the latest equipment, which can be expensive for businesses to purchase on their own.
3. Reduced Risk of Injury
Working with hazardous materials can be dangerous if not done properly. Professionals who remove hazardous waste are trained in how to avoid accidents and injury.
4. Peace of Mind
Hiring professionals to remove hazardous waste can help save your business time, money, and stress. It is always better to hire experts who know how to do it safely than trying to do it yourself or allowing the waste to remain at your location where you cannot monitor its safety.
Want More Help With Hazardous Waste Removal?
Hazardous wastes are a problem that needs to be addressed by all communities. If you have hazardous materials, then it’s time for professional disposal of them before they become an even bigger environmental hazard. Check out our blog for more advice on hazardous waste removal services and hazardous waste management.