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5 Reasons Why RCRA Training Should Interest You

Love Canal, waste barrelsI attended one of our very own RCRA hazardous waste trainings today.  RCRA training is necessary to your success at your job if you’re dealing with the waste your company generates. RCRA is not just another set of regulations to make your job more difficult and complex. It has an interesting and important history and function within your organization. Not sure what I mean? Here are the top 5 reasons you want to get RCRA trained.

1.) The Negative Impacts of Improper Handling Have Proven Themselves

Part of the reason RCRA and CERCLA were passed is because the negative impact of poor disposal of hazardous waste was brought into the public eye. The Love Canal emergency in 1978 hit home for people around the country and is considered the tipping point of hazardous waste regulation to many. 

The 36 square block area was used for the disposal of 21,000 tons of toxic waste by the Hooker Chemical Company and was then bought by a local school board. Rainstorms released the chemical waste into the environment, resulting in everything from strange odors and substances surfacing in the yards of residents to an influx of birth defects. Basements were covered with thick black substances and vegetation was dying.

2.) It’s Costly

The EPA can charge penalties of up to $37,500 for each day of noncompliance. That means one month of noncompliance could cost you $1,162,500. That’s Starbucks coffee for over 600 of your employees every day (including weekends and holidays) for a year! If you have the extra cash, I suggest spending it that way. Also, noncompliance is costly for the environment and health of those in contact with the hazardous waste. The world generates 13 tons of hazardous waste every second.

3.) It’s in Your Home

Many people overlook the fact that they have hazardous wastes in their home. These include batteries, fluorescent lamps, and thermometers. Many residents simply throw these items in the trash. There are no regulations preventing this, however hundreds of thousands of people throwing hazardous waste into their trash can negatively impact public health and the environment. Look online to find a drop-off station to have your hazardous waste properly disposed of in your area.

4.) There’s a New Language

Hazardous waste can cause harm. It’s the responsibility of the generator to determine if a material is considered a hazardous waste and to label it for everyone else to see. There are hundreds of hazardous wastes characterized by the EPA. Learning these along with codes for communicating on labels (U codes, P codes etc.) is like learning a whole new language.  Some RCRA experts have all these chemical combinations memorized, but attending a RCRA training and a Google search should suffice.

5.) It’s Extreme

Hazardous waste is regulated because it’s dangerous. There’s a variety of chemicals wastes that can be hugely detrimental to the environment and people if improperly dealt with.  Some wastes are so dangerous that even the empty containers that housed this waste is considered hazardous waste. Hazardous chemicals can be so volatile they can be used as rocket propellants or so dangerous that they will stop your cells from using oxygen. Knowing this, it’s easy to understand why we wouldn’t want the waste products of these chemicals disposed of improperly.

Do you have employees that need to be RCRA trained? Check out our upcoming trainings in the link below.

 

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Photo courtesy of roosevelt.edu