Hazardous wastes have properties that make it dangerous or potentially harmful to human health or the environment. it is therefore important for manufacturing facilities to implement good waste management practices to ensure hazardous wastes are managed responsibly.
Hazardous Waste Management
In order to ensure all hazardous waste is managed responsibly, the following must be considered:
- Have you Identified which types of hazardous wastes are generated at the site?
- Have you Identified the applicable legal requirements for the generation, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes (as defined by local law and/or brand partner)?
- Have you obtained the applicable hazardous waste generator and/or discharge licenses and/or permits?
- Are all hazardous wastes being collected by qualified (licensed) hazardous waste carriers?
- Have you established a document control procedures to maintain records of all hazardous wastes?
Hazardous wastes posses specific characteristics which make them hazardous (i.e. they are flammable, toxic to the environment, etc.) Hazardous wastes are often grouped into different classes and assigned a hazardous waste number (i.e. HW-001). The document below provides general guidance on determining whether a waste is hazardous, however country-specific definitions and classifications are often defined in local laws and should be consulted when identifying which types of hazardous wastes are generated at your facility.
Separation & Storage
Hazardous wastes should be separated from non-hazardous waste and further separated from other incompatible hazardous wastes (i.e. flammables, oxidizers).
SDS for materials and their wastes should be reviewed when determining hazardous waste separation and storage requirements. A proper waste separation program will help to isolate and reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated, and may also reduce disposal costs. Clearly marked waste bins should be placed in convenient locations (i.e. nearby hazardous waste generations areas).
For Example: Consistent color-coding of waste bins throughout the facility can help ensure hazardous waste and other waste is properly separated.
Hazardous waste collection or storage areas present similar risks to that of other chemical storage areas, and require safety features for the protection of employees and the environment. By following the good practices outlined below, you can better ensure that your hazardous waste storage areas have the appropriate protections.
Hazardous wastes require special treatment and disposal techniques to eliminate their potential impacts on the environment. To ensure your hazardous wastes are being properly disposed, your company should partner with qualified (licensed) hazardous waste collection and disposal providers. When selecting your waste collectors you should request and review the following:
- A copy of their business license and operating permit.
- Detailed information on the types and quantities of hazardous wastes they can accept and process.
- Ensure all legally required hazardous waste manifests are obtained and that all appropriate records are kept on file.
- Records should typically be kept for a minimum of 5yrs, or longer if required by local law.
Relevant Higg Index Facility Environment Module (FEM) 3.0 indicators:
Section 5: Waste