When it comes to clean, safe waste disposal, keeping up with local and federal (or even international) dumping regulations is a critical responsibility for companies of any size. Sustainable, environmentally friendly practices start with sanitation and proper waste management procedures. Below, we dive further into the best practices and specific portable sanitation products to help your organization avoid costly fines while continuing to promote safe, sustainable waste disposal practices.
The Deal With Dumping Regulations
Several governing bodies across the nation have enacted policies to protect against the environmental impacts of illegal dumping. Hazardous waste can have significant adverse effects on local water supplies, soil, vegetation, and other vital natural resources.
As a PRO, it’s your responsibility to implement a proper waste management system, whether handling hazardous or non-hazardous waste, so you don’t hurt the environment. Adhering to local and federal regulations will also help avoid the costly fines associated with illegal dumping. Educate yourself and be aware of the following regulating agencies, rules, and penalties for hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste dumping:
- State-specific hazardous waste rules and permit programs
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
- Clean Air Act (CCA)
- Clean Water Act (CWA)
- Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA)
- Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
You can find more detailed information about EPA regulations and other policies regarding proper waste disposal here.
We’re sure you’ve seen some of the stories in the news, about portable restroom operators trying to curtail these regulations and ending up being fined millions of dollars… or even sued!
If you’re ever found in violation of these laws and regulations, it may result in fines upwards of $100,000 per day, per violation. Read on to find valuable information on avoiding any expensive mistakes when handling, transporting, and disposing of hazardous or non-hazardous materials such as solid waste.
Waste Disposal Considerations
Facing fines and penalties from improper or flat-out illegal dumping can go far beyond frustrating. It’s imperative to consider what a simple waste management mistake might mean for your company. Avoid the pain and potential career-ending costs of careless waste disposal. Think about implementing the following protocols to ensure you’re complying with all local and federal dumping regulations:
1. Accurate Labeling and Determinations
There’s a hefty price tag that comes with putting the wrong label on either hazardous or non-hazardous waste. Improper information or determinations that are missing altogether can lead to costly and dangerous mistakes. Make sure to include the following details on all waste before beginning the disposal process:
- Name and address of your facility
- Name and address of receiving facility
- Contact information for the transportation company
- Clear labeling of hazardous, non-hazardous, or biological waste
- Source of waste
- Composition of waste
- Starting date of waste accumulation
- Physical state of waste (liquid, solid)
- Classification of waste (corrosive, flammable, reactive, toxic, etc.)
Dumping regulation violations occur when organizations that generate waste fail or refuse to provide the proper determinations, documentation, or details about the materials. Make a comprehensive checklist to ensure that each of the above items is always available, avoiding fines from an unnecessary waste disposal violation.
2. Waste Handling Certifications
One of the most crucial components of safe and responsible waste management or disposal is maintaining current certifications. Companies found operating without the proper credentials, accreditations, or licenses to handle certain types of liquid and solid waste will face severe fines from governing agencies. Complete professional training and certification courses in-person or online to learn specific skills for handling the following kinds of waste correctly:
- Hazardous waste
- Non-hazardous waste
- Solid waste
- Biomedical/bio-hazardous waste
- Electronic waste (E-waste)
- Liquid waste
- Organic waste
- Hazardous household waste
3. Waste Management Plans and Procedures
After members of your organization or you obtain the required certifications for handling certain types of waste, it’s time to develop a plan or standard operating procedure for optimal waste disposal. Dumping waste in landfills or down sewer grates is a guaranteed way to wind up getting slapped with significant fines for your company. Instead, follow a comprehensive manifest complete with emergency and contingency plans to enhance workplace efficiency, productivity, and safety during waste disposal processes. Well-written waste management will include the following information:
- Correct waste and transportation codes
- Container, quantity, and unit weight information
- Emergency phone numbers, equipment, and evacuation plans
- Accurate dates on both past and present shipments
- Company or generator contact information
Evaluate your manifest and make sure all items are accounted for before forging ahead with a waste disposal system that won’t negatively impact natural resources or the environment.
4. Regular Inspections
Sometimes, it makes more sense to store materials until enough accumulates to warrant waste disposal. If your organization is storing hazardous and non-hazardous waste on-site, it’s essential to administer regular inspections as an additional safety measure. Some issues to watch out for within your waste storage or management facility include:
- Open lid or container enclosures
- Cross-contamination between hazardous chemicals
- Creation of hazardous gasses
- Leaks and spills
- Debris and other contaminants
- Incompatibility between containers and certain waste
- Lack of labels
- Incorrect or missing logs of maintenance, storage, and more
For enterprises specializing in event sanitation, storing solid waste can be a tricky (and stinky) task. Portable sanitation suppliers such as Satellite Industries offer valuable products like the Eco Blue deodorizer to minimize and mask emissions until an event ends.
5. Safe Waste Disposal Methods
After taking time to evaluate your current processes and implement newer, safer waste disposal procedures, you’re ready to participate in legal dumping. Complete your due diligence before sending waste off in transit to avoid incurring any unforeseen and unnecessary fines in the future. With high-quality certification training, safe waste storage solutions, portable sanitation products, and a properly written waste management manifest, the process should be smooth and straightforward.
Get ready for upcoming events where you expect to produce significant amounts of waste with safe, practical waste management and disposal plans. Utilize products from companies with reputable portable sanitation solutions, such as Satellite Industries. Shop multi-purpose sanitation and waste management products from Satellite right here.
Keep It Clean, Avoid Costly Fines
It’s essential to have a firm handle on hazardous waste management regulations in your area before ever considering dumping any kind of material. Although waste management procedures may seem complex, they’re necessary steps to ensure you avoid costly fines from violating local dumping regulations.
Failure to follow local dumping regulations and guidelines can significantly degrade and even permanently damage the surrounding environment. Plus, ignoring laws introduced by local and federal government agencies is a great way to wind up with an expensive fine. Minimize impacts on your community’s essential natural resources when you make waste management and sanitation systems your first priority.