The Ins and Outs of Hazardous Waste Disposal
The United States Department of Transportation has defined a hazardous material as a substance or material, which has been classified as having the ability to cause unreasonable risk to the health of the people of this country. Hazardous materials have the capability to not only cause injury or death to people, but to significantly harm the environment as well. This is why strict laws govern both the disposal of hazardous waste and its transportation. Whether we know it or not, we probably see some form of hazardous waste everyday, whether it’s in a household cleaner or even the oil in the commercial oil tank used to heat the building we work in. Clearly, there is a wide range of what can make something a hazardous material.
What Constitutes a Hazardous Waste Material?
These criteria must meet certain chemical and legislative guidelines to fall under these categories. Here is a brief overview of some examples of hazardous materials:
Corrosive: To be considered corrosive a material has to have the capability to corrode steel at high rates per year, or has to fall under a specific pH. Examples include pool cleaners, batteries from your car, and sodium hydroxide.
Ignitable: These hazardous materials will easily cause a fire with applied friction, onset of a chemical change, etc. Examples include some dry cleaning chemicals, acetone, and hazardous ink.
Reactive: These hazardous materials are not stable. They will very easily react with water, pressure, and other substances. Examples include peroxides and cyanides.
Toxic: These types of materials will contain high levels of pesticides, heavy metals, etc. Examples include some paints, pesticides, transmission fluid, and oil.
How to Dispose of a Hazardous Waste?
Depending on what county you live in, in New Jersey, there should be specified days throughout the month and throughout the year to properly conduct hazardous waste disposal. For example in Union County, NJ there are recycling centers to take electronics that need to be disposed of, as well as yards at the local Department of Public Works that accepts hazardous material the last Saturday of every month. In some towns, the Department of Public Works will even pick electronic recyclables and potential hazardous waste up from the curbside of people’s homes. In Ocean County, NJ there are many collection days throughout the Fall for residents of the area to get rid of toxic items that may be around the house such as certain cleaners, paints, pesticides, etc.
This does a world of difference in encouraging people not to just dispose of hazardous material in their everyday trash cans. These specified days for hazardous waste disposal are a wonderful way to keep the environment clean and healthy. These days also cater to schools in the area whose laboratories generate a need for hazardous waste disposal.
How Does this Apply to Oil Tanks?
Oil tanks are still a very prevalent manner to heat commercial buildings and some homes. However, oil tanks do have the capability to cause environmental harm because of what they contain. If the tanks are always preserved and kept up to date, there will likely never be any issue with oil leaking and causing this potential harm to the surrounding soil, water, and air. This is why trained professionals must always be involved when it comes to oil tanks, whether it’s installing them, removing them, or disposing of the oil, oil tanks and the oil inside of them needs to be closely monitored and very safely transported by a licensed individual.
When disposing of an oil tank the oil will first be completely removed from the oil tank. The oil tank must then be aired out, so that it’s positive that all remaining oil smells or remnants are no longer on the side of the tank. This tank will only be accepted at certain recycle areas that the licensed professional will be very aware of, and the leftover oil will be taken to a facility that specializes in the management and disposal of used oil.
These are procedures that must be followed closely to not only stick to legislation, but to protect the environment. Contact us today at Tslack for any help with hazardous waste disposal.