HAZARDOUS WASTE is waste that poses substantial or potential threats
to public health or the environment . In the United States, the
treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste are regulated
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
* Characteristic hazardous wastes are materials that are known or tested to exhibit one or more of the following four hazardous traits:
* ignitability * reactivity * corrosivity * toxicity
* Listed hazardous wastes are materials specifically listed by regulatory authorities as hazardous wastes which are from non-specific sources, specific sources, or discarded chemical products .
The requirements of RCRA apply to all the companies that generate hazardous waste as well as those companies that store or dispose hazardous waste in the United States. Many types of businesses generate hazardous waste. dry cleaners , automobile repair shops, hospitals, exterminators , and photo processing centers may all generate hazardous waste. Some hazardous waste generators are larger companies such as chemical manufacturers , electroplating companies, and oil refineries .
These wastes may be found in different physical states such as gaseous, liquids, or solids. A hazardous waste is a special type of waste because it cannot be disposed of by common means like other by-products of our everyday lives. Depending on the physical state of the waste, treatment and solidification processes might be required.
Worldwide, the United Nations Environmental Programme(UNEP) estimated that more than 400 million tons of hazardous wastes are produced universally each year, mostly by industrialized countries (schmit, 1999). About 1 percent of this is shipped across international boundaries, with the majority of the transfers occurring between countries in the Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) (Krueger, 1999). One of the reasons for industrialized countries to ship the hazardous waste to industrializing countries for disposal is the rising cost of disposing hazardous waste in the home country.
* 1 Regulatory history
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
* 2 Hazardous wastes in the United States of America
* 2.1 Hazardous
* 3 Universal wastes
* 4 Household Hazardous
* 5 Final disposal of hazardous waste
* 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links
RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND RECOVERY ACT (RCRA)
Hazardous wastes are wastes with properties that make them dangerous
or potentially harmful to human health or the environment. Hazardous
wastes can be liquids, solids, contained gases, or sludges. They can
be by-products of manufacturing processes or simply discarded
commercial products, like cleaning fluids or pesticides. In regulatory
terms, RCRA hazardous wastes are wastes that appear on one of the four
hazardous wastes lists (F-list, K-list, P-list, or U-list), or exhibit
at least one of four characteristics-ignitability, corrosivity,
reactivity, or toxicity. Hazardous wastes are regulated under the
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
By definition, EPA determined that some specific wastes are hazardous. These wastes are incorporated into lists published by the Agency. These lists are organized into three categories: F-list (non-specific source wastes) found in the regulations at 40 CFR 261.31, K-list (source-specific wastes) found in the regulations at 40 CFR 261.32, and P-list and the U-list (discarded commercial chemical products) found in the regulations at 40 CFR 261.33.
RCRA's record keeping system helps to track the life cycle of hazardous waste and reduces the amount of hazardous waste illegally disposed.
COMPREHENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE, COMPENSATION, AND LIABILITY ACT
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), was enacted in 1980. The primary contribution of CERCLA was to create a " Superfund " and provide for the clean-up and remediation of closed and abandoned hazardous waste sites. CERCLA addresses historic releases of hazardous materials, but does not specifically manage hazardous wastes.
HAZARDOUS WASTES IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Main article: Hazardous waste in the United States
A U.S. facility that treats, stores, or disposes of hazardous waste must obtain a permit for doing so under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act . Generators and transporters of hazardous waste must meet specific requirements for handling, managing, and tracking waste. Through the RCRA, Congress directed the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create regulations to manage hazardous waste. Under this mandate, the EPA developed strict requirements for all aspects of hazardous waste management including the treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. In addition to these federal requirements, states may develop more stringent requirements that are broader in scope than the federal regulations. Furthermore, RCRA allows states to develop regulatory programs that are at least as stringent as RCRA and, after review by EPA, the states may take over responsibility for the implementation of the requirements under RCRA. Most states take advantage of this authority, implementing their own hazardous waste programs that are at least as stringent, and in some cases are more stringent than the federal program.
HAZARDOUS WASTE MAPPING SYSTEMS
The US government provides several tools for mapping hazardous wastes to particular locations. These tools also allow the user to view additional information.
TOXMAP is a Geographic Information System (GIS) from the Division
of Specialized Information Services of the United States National
Library of Medicine (NLM) that uses maps of the United States to help
users visually explore data from the United States Environmental
Protection Agency 's (EPA)
Toxics Release Inventory and Superfund
Basic Research Programs . This is a resource funded by the US Federal
Government. TOXMAP's chemical and environmental health information is
taken from NLM's Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET) and
Universal wastes are a special category of hazardous wastes that (in the U.S.):
* generally pose a lower threat relative to other hazardous wastes are ubiquitous and produced in very large quantities by a large number of generators.
Some of the most common "universal wastes" are: fluorescent light bulbs, some specialty batteries (e.g. lithium or lead containing batteries), cathode ray tubes , and mercury-containing devices.
Universal wastes are subject to somewhat less stringent regulatory requirements. Small quantity generators of universal wastes may be classified as "conditionally exempt small quantity generators" (CESQGs) which release them from some of the regulatory requirements for the handling and storage hazardous wastes.
Universal wastes must still be disposed of properly. (For more information, see Overview of Requirements for Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators)
HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE
The following list includes categories often applied to HHW. It is important to note that many of these categories overlap and that many household wastes can fall into multiple categories:
* Paints and solvents * Automotive wastes (used motor oil , antifreeze , etc.) * Pesticides (insecticides , herbicides , fungicides , etc.) * Mercury -containing wastes (thermometers , switches , fluorescent lighting , etc.) * Electronics (computers , televisions , cell phones ) * Aerosols / Propane cylinders * Caustics / Cleaning agents * Refrigerant -containing appliances * Some specialty batteries (e.g. lithium, nickel cadmium, or button cell batteries) * Ammunition * Radioactive wastes (some home smoke detectors are classified as radioactive waste because they contain very small amounts of radioactive isotope of americium - see: Disposing of Smoke Detectors).
FINAL DISPOSAL OF HAZARDOUS WASTE
Historically, some hazardous wastes were disposed of in regular landfills . This resulted in unfavorable amounts of hazardous materials seeping into the ground. These chemicals eventually entered to natural hydrologic systems. Many landfills now require countermeasures against groundwater contamination. For example, a barrier has to be installed along the foundation of the landfill to contain the hazardous substances that may remain in the disposed waste. Currently, hazardous wastes must often be stabilized and solidified in order to enter a landfill and must undergo different treatments in order to stabilize and dispose them. Most flammable materials can be recycled into industrial fuel. Some materials with hazardous constituents can be recycled, such as lead acid batteries.
Some hazardous wastes can be recycled into new products. Examples may include lead-acid batteries or electronic circuit boards. When heavy metals in these types of ashes go through the proper treatment, they could bind to other pollutants and convert them into easier-to-dispose solids, or they could be used as pavement filling. Such treatments reduce the level of threat of harmful chemicals, like fly and bottom ash, while also recycling the safe product.
Another commonly used treatment is cement based solidification and stabilization . Cement is used because it can treat a range of hazardous wastes by improving physical characteristics and decreasing the toxicity and transmission of contaminants. The cement produced is categorized into 5 different divisions, depending on its strength and components. This process of converting sludge into cement might include the addition of pH adjustment agents, phosphates, or sulfur reagents to reduce the settling or curing time, increase the compressive strength, or reduce the leach ability of contaminants.
INCINERATION, DESTRUCTION AND WASTE-TO-ENERGY
HAZARDOUS WASTE LANDFILL (SEQUESTERING, ISOLATION, ETC.)
Some hazardous waste types may be eliminated using pyrolysis in an ultra high temperature electrical arc, in inert conditions to avoid combustion. This treatment method may be preferable to high temperature incineration in some circumstances such as in the destruction of concentrated organic waste types, including PCBs, pesticides and other persistent organic pollutants.
* ^ "Resources Conservation and Recovery Act". US EPA.
* ^ 40 CFR 261
* ^ 40 CFR 261.31 through .33
* ^ A B Orloff, Kenneth, and Henry Falk. 2003. An international
perspective on hazardous waste practices. International Journal of
Hygiene and Environmental Health 206 (4-5):291- 302.
* ^ Chaudhary R., Rachana M., 2006. Factors affecting hazardous
waste solidification/stabilization: A Review. In: Journal of Hazardous
Materials B137 pp.267–276
* ^ Carysforth, Carol; Neild, Mike (2002). GCSE Applied Business
for Edexcel: Double Award. Heinemann. ISBN 9780435447205 .
* ^ Hazardous