How to Dispose of Chemicals

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How to Dispose of Chemicals

Different types and amounts of chemical waste can be found in the home, office, school, or industry you’re working in. Many chemical waste products can be very harmful to the environment, and may pose a significant danger to your health and well-being. Here are some important reminders that you should follow when disposing of chemical waste.

Classifying Chemical Waste

Unlike biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste, chemical waste cannot be mixed together with other waste products for disposal. Most chemicals are considered hazardous waste, because they pose a very possible and real risk to health and to the environment. When you need to deal with chemical waste products, it’s very important to classify them.

Chemical waste management in the United States is handled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Unlike solid waste, chemical waste cannot be simply stored in containers and then shipped off to a landfill. The EPA has very strict guidelines on how chemical wastes should be classified. If you run or manage a factory, you should follow the EPA guidelines regarding chemical waste disposal.

Storing Chemical Waste

chemical wasteChemical waste needs to be stored properly before it can be disposed of. Most large industries that handle a lot of chemicals have facilities that can properly handle chemical waste products. Whether you have the waste at home or at a factory, you should always have a place and the tools to store them in so that the waste can be properly transported and handled:

  • Containers. In many factories and processing plants, chemical waste is usually stored in drums. Plastic barrels are often used because they are not corrosive. Metal or steel drums are used for chemicals that can dissolve plastic.
  • Bottles. If you have chemical wastes at home (like bleach or cleaning liquids), you can dispose of them in the bottles that they already came in. If you keep corrosives at home like hydrochloric acid, it is best to keep the excess inside the bottle it came in, and dispose or store it properly.

Where to Dispose of Chemical Waste

Chemical waste products cannot be thrown into the drain. The EPA also has guidelines for disposing of chemical waste, which should be used by industries as a guide as to where they can dispose of their chemicals. Special refuse collection trucks can also help dispose of chemical waste products for you. You should never mix chemical waste with other solid waste products, or bundle the waste containers with other forms of solid waste.

Waste management is not just about solid refuse, but it also includes potentially harmful chemical waste products. With these tips, you can properly dispose of chemical waste and keep yourself and the environment free from harm.

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