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The Hazardous Waste Guide

Commercial waste is notoriously hard to get rid of without a collection company with all the red tape, and none more so than hazardous waste. Some people think hazardous waste is just a nebulous “toxic waste” that you don’t need to worry about unless you own a power plant, but that’s untrue. The truth is, whether you work in construction, a medical field, or even in tech, you’ll likely have to deal with hazardous waste, so we’ve written a short guide on it. In this, you can find out whether you produce hazardous waste, and learn how to dispose of it if you do.

What is hazardous waste, and does my business make it?

Hazardous materials by definition are things that can pose a risk to the environment. Common examples of hazardous waste include:

  • Medical waste, especially things like needles
  • Harmful chemicals, including carcinogens and poisons
  • Radioactive waste
  • CFL light bulbs
  • Some electronic devices, including those with cadmium batteries
  • Paint

The Resource, Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is the set of laws and regulations that looks into the life-cycle of hazardous waste. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the group that enforces these laws.

How do I dispose of hazardous waste?

Hazardous waste is looked at differently from state to state, but nationwide, anything toxic, flammable or corrosive has to be picked up by vehicles with Department of Transport (DOT) registration and compliance, and taken to a special landfill. For this reason, we’d recommend contacting a municipal waste disposal agency or other specialist, who actually knows the national and state laws well.

A waste services company can also provide you with a list of what can safely be thrown away or not. For example, using the wrong type of dumpster, or putting hazardous materials into a general waste dumpster can cause harm to the environment and your business. 

Need help? 

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