Hazardous Waste

Topics: Hazardous waste, Waste, United States Environmental Protection Agency Pages: 8 (1988 words) Published: May 17, 2012
A 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 is regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Hazardous wastes are defined under RCRA in 40 CFR 261 where they are divided into two major categories: characteristic wastes and listed wastes.[1] Characteristic hazardous wastes are materials that are known or tested to exhibit one or more of the following four hazardous traits: ignitability (i.e., flammable)

Listed hazardous waste are materials specifically listed by regulatory authorities as a hazardous waste which are from non-specific sources, specific sources, or discarded chemical products.[2]

The requirements of RCRA apply to companies that generate hazardous waste as well as those companies that store or dispose of hazardous waste in the United States. Many types of businesses generate hazardous waste. For example, 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 total 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).[3] Some of the reasons for industrialized countries to ship the hazardous waste to industrializing countries for disposal are the rising cost of disposing hazardous waste in the home country.[3]Contents [hide] 1 Regulatory history

1.1 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
1.2 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act 2 Hazardous wastes in the United States
2.1 Hazardous Waste Mapping Systems
3 Universal wastes
4 Household Hazardous Waste
5 Final disposal of hazardous waste
5.1 Recycling
5.2 Portland cement
5.3 Neutralization
5.4 Incineration, destruction and waste-to-energy
5.5 Hazardous waste landfill (sequestering, isolation, etc.) 5.6 Pyrolysis
6 See also
7 References
8 External links

Regulatory history
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

Modern hazardous waste regulations in the U.S. began with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (R.C.R.A.) which was enacted in 1976. The primary contribution of R.C.R.A. was to create a "cradle to grave" system of record keeping for hazardous wastes. Hazardous wastes must be tracked from the time they are generated until their final disposition.

RCRA's record keeping system helps to track the life cycle of hazardous waste and reduces the amount of hazardous waste illegally disposed. [edit]
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 provided 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. [edit]

Hazardous wastes in the United States

A U.S. facility that treats, stores or disposes of hazardous waste must obtain a permit for...
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