Environmentalists have been urging households and businesses to dispose of their waste properly because the consequences of not doing so are harsh. For places like industrial facilities, factories, and hospitals that accumulate more waste than average households and small businesses, how can they manage all their waste and where should they dispose of them?
Experienced environmental cleaning companies in Utah and other states provide the necessary assistance for these places in order to transport and dispose of their waste properly. Hazardous waste is mostly what they deal with, so they’re equipped with the right tools and gear to avoid contamination. You may wonder what classifies as hazardous waste and how they are treated after disposal.
Understanding Hazardous Waste
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines it as waste with properties that are harmful to human health and to the environment. Waste that belongs in the hazardous category are flammable, corrosive, unstable or reactive (against heat and/or water), and poisonous substances. Examples would be dry-cleaning solvents, pesticides, explosives, lead paints, battery acid, and certain types of cleaning products.
Biohazardous wastes are commonly generated by medical facilities, and examples would be human body fluids, microbiological wastes, human blood products, pathological wastes, animal wastes, and sharp wastes.
Exposure to hazardous wastes will bring many dangers to the environment and to human health. The level of harm and risk depends on the type of waste. For example, chemical waste found in pharmaceuticals such as certain acids can cause third-degree burns if mishandled.
Hazardous waste may lurk in the water, air, soil, and food if they are improperly disposed of. The water we drink, bathe in, or swim in can be contaminated by toxic chemicals, the same with the air we breathe and the soil we expose ourselves to. Food is also at risk of contamination if it comes into contact with hazardous chemicals through water or consumers who have been exposed.
The human body reacts differently to various hazardous wastes. Some people may have worse reactions than others. Generally speaking, we are all at risk of certain diseases when we’re constantly exposed to hazardous waste. Expectant mothers should especially watch out because a contaminated environment may cause birth defects in their unborn child, such as genetic mutations and deformities.
Proper Disposal Path
Once the waste is transported to the waste plant, it is placed in temporary storage. Non-corrosive wastes are stored in sealed containers. Those that cannot be stored in sealed containers are placed in containment buildings, which are free-standing enclosed buildings that do not make contact with other buildings and structures. The surface impoundment is a fixed structure in the ground that’s either man-made or natural. It keeps liquid wastes from leaking and contaminating the ground.
For wastes that won’t emit gases, a tank is used to store them. It’s made of tough materials and is non-portable. For other hazardous wastes that don’t emit toxic fumes, a waste pile is used for storage. It is a ground-level mound that’s completely open with impenetrable materials so that waste won’t come in contact with the ground and/or water.
Incompatible waste or waste that cause chemical reactions when put together are stored apart from one another. Containers are heavily sealed to prevent leaks. They must be properly labeled to avoid mishandling and accidents.
For biohazardous waste, incineration is the most common disposal method. It can be done on-site or off-site, and only licensed contractors are allowed to perform this.
These hazardous wastes are treated to make them less dangerous and smaller in volume. Once they are completely treated, they are transported to disposal facilities such as protected landfills, underground injection wells, and a surface enclosure fit to handle hazardous materials.
As responsible citizens, it is important to be sure our wastes are properly handled. Segregating trash correctly, recycling, and reusing, are among the little things we can do to help ease the problem of improper waste disposal and pollution.
Meta Title: Emphasizing the Importance of Proper Hazardous Waste Disposal
Meta Description: Contaminated air, water, and soil are already common in many places. How should waste be handled in order to avoid contamination and the spread of diseases? Read on to find out.