The Importance of Hazardous Waste Management for Laboratories
Laboratories are often used for research and experimentation, so they naturally generate hazardous waste. A significant concern is the safe disposal of these dangerous wastes, but there are ways to properly manage it without putting the environment or people in harm’s way.
Types of Waste
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are four types of hazardous waste:
Listed Wastes – Waste that is separated into four subsections (F-list, K-list, P-list, and U-list)
Characteristic Wastes – Waste that exhibits ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity.
Universal Wastes – Waste like batteries, pesticides, bulbs, and mercury-containing equipment.
Mixed Wastes – Waste that contains both radioactive and hazardous components.
Consequences of Improper Disposal of These Wastes
Improper waste disposal from laboratories can harm the laboratory itself, the environment, and the health of the public.
The Laboratory – The EPA imposes hefty fines and penalties for laboratories that are found to be improperly disposing of their hazardous waste. If your laboratory is not compliant with EPA regulations regarding waste management, you can be left paying thousands of dollars in fines or even serving jail time.
The Environment– Various forms of hazardous waste can negatively impact the environment. The air we breathe, the soil we plant in, our oceans, and wildlife all are impacted when hazardous waste is not disposed of properly. Unfortunately, the effects of this will be present years after the deed has been done.
Public Health– Hazardous waste affects the livelihood of the public when it is not handled according to the strict regulations that are in place. Waste can contaminate the air, drinking water, and other things that people come in contact with every day. If the waste is dangerous enough, human absorption of them can lead to genetic mutations, cause cancer, and worse.
How to Dispose of it Properly
The first thing you need to do to properly dispose of your hazardous waste is to identify it, categorize it, and separate it. Once you do this, you can determine what waste facility to bring it to and how to transport it there. Taking the time to do all of that can be very inconvenient for you and your laboratory. If you don’t have the time to ensure that your hazardous waste is properly disposed of, consider hiring a reputable and professional laboratory waste management company in Maryland that will handle it for you.
Hazardous Waste Disposal Done Right
Broadview Waste Services is a leading provider of all-inclusive solutions for regulated waste management in Maryland. Our focus on safety and customer service ensures that your hazardous waste is disposed of properly while treating you and your laboratory with the respect and authenticity you deserve. Contact us today to learn more!