Waste Management for Manufacturing Facilities

Manufacturers and distributors are consistently facing the challenge of making the right business decisions in order to stay profitable and stand out against the competition. Manufacturing facilities will often generate or utilize a significant amount of industrial waste during their day-to-day operations, and these materials have to be carefully managed in order to prevent harm to human beings and the environment. Industrial waste management is governed by numerous laws and regulations. Today’s industry practices have been developed in compliance with these rules. This article will cover facts and legislation relating to industrial waste management.


Industrial Waste Management

If your company generates waste you must be aware of all types of waste generated whether it is on premises or not. You can start by familiarizing yourself with the types of materials that fall under the EPA’s hazardous waste guidelines. This will enable you to make the best decisions about what must be disposed of carefully following EPA rules, and what can be disposed of in the regular trash.

You must have knowledge of all manufacturing materials brought into or generated by the facility. One particularly helpful resource for this is the safety data sheet (SDS) which is a detailed document prepared by the manufacturer or importer of a hazardous material. The SDS describes the chemical and physical properties of materials used in a facility’s manufacturing process. Facility operators also need to be well acquainted with the manufacturing processes on-site.

Some hazardous wastes can be generated during the manufacturing process, even if all included components are non-hazardous. If you are not sure if a manufacturing byproduct or material is hazardous, then you can always contact an industrial waste management company to assist you with making that determination. Hazardous waste identification can be done through careful analysis of a sample of the material in question. Regardless, assuming or making a wild guess is never recommended. Keep in mind that FDA infractions have significant penalties. Trying to save a little time and/or money can easily result in substantial long-term setbacks.


Industrial Waste Disposal Methods & Restrictions

Once the waste you have utilized or generated is accurately identified, you are responsible for its proper disposal. You are required to dispose of the waste in a manner that does not violate FDA standards. In 1984, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) boosted environmental protections by prohibiting the disposal of certain hazardous wastes on land. This new rule created the Land Disposal Restrictions (LDR) program, which requires that certain protective measures are followed before any hazardous waste is disposed of on land. There are three prohibitions that prevent hazardous waste generators from discarding waste that may damage the environment. These three prohibitions are summarized here:

Disposal prohibition – Requires proper treatment of the hazardous waste prior to its disposal on land. Facilities can meet these standards by treating hazardous chemicals in the waste to meet appropriate levels. Many methods are deemed acceptable and can be found in Title 40, Section 268.40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Dilution prohibition – States that waste must be treated properly and not simply diluted by adding large amounts of water, soil, or non-hazardous materials in an effort to dilute the concentration of hazardous components. Dilution alone does not reduce the toxicity of hazardous waste.

Storage prohibition – This mandates that companies cannot store hazardous waste indefinitely. Companies may temporarily store hazardous waste on-site only for the purpose of accumulating enough material for proper treatment or disposal.

Hazardous waste management is a compounded process. That’s why the best choice is to consult experienced waste experts who can support you with the waste handling process. Contact us for assistance with your waste needs and other helpful resources.

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