Hazardous Waste Management


A hazardous waste, in short, is any waste or combination of wastes that poses a substantial danger, now or in the future, to human, plant, or animal life, and which therefore cannot be handled or disposed of without special precautions. A more complete and specific definition has been published by the U.S. EPA. There are two ways a waste material is found to be hazardous: 1)by its presence on the EPA-developed lists, or 1)by EPA2)by evidence that the waste exhibits ignitable, corrosive, 2)by reactive, or toxic characteristics.


Some commercial chemical products are also listed as being hazardous wastes when discarded including “acutely hazardous” wastes such as arsenic acid. toluene. electroplating baths. wastewater treatment sludges from many individual production processes. EPA has designated five categories considered as hazardous: 1. and many pesticides. and heavy ends. urethane. oven residue from production of chrome oxide green segments brine purification muds from the mercury cell process in chlorine production 2 . Specific type of wastes from nonspecific sources: halogenated & non-halogenated solvents electro-plating sludges and cyanide solutions from plating batches Specific types of wastes from specific sources. and phenols. as well as “toxic” wastes such as benzene. 2.EPA’s Hazardous Waste Designation System The list of hazardous wastes includes spent halogenated and non-halogenated solvents. light ends. bottom tars. cyanides. and side-cuts from various distillation processes.

It is an ignitable. 2. absorption of moisture. 4. under standard temperature and pressure. burns so vigorously and persistently that it creates a hazard. or spontaneous chemical changes. of causing fire through friction. It is not a liquid and is capable. Specific substances identified as acute hazardous waste: potassium silver cyanide. or toxicity. other than an aqueous solution containing less than 24 percent alcohol by volume. and. 4. toxaphene arsenic oxide. Specific substances identified as hazardous wastes: xylene DDT carbon tetrachloride 5. Characteristic wastes: Wastes not specifically identified elsewhere exhibiting properties of ignitability. 3. reactivity. corrosivity. It is an oxidizer 3 . when ignited.3. It is a liquid. compressed gas. Ignitability A solid waste is said to exhibit the characteristic of ignitability if ignitability a representative sample of the waste has any of the following properties: 1. and has a flash point less than 60°C.

It is normally unstable and readily undergoes violent change without detonating.Corrosivity A solid waste is said to exhibit the characteristic of corrosivity if a representative sample of the waste has either of the following properties: 1.5. 3. Reactivity A solid waste is said to exhibit the characteristic of reactivity if a representative sample of the waste has any of the following properties: 1.35 mm per year at a test temperature of 55°C. When mixed with water. It is a liquid that corrodes steel at a rate greater than 6. it generates toxic gases. 4. It is aqueous and has a pH less than or equal to 2 or greater than or equal to 12. cont’d cont’ 4 . It reacts violently with water. or fumes in a quantity sufficient to present a danger to human health or the environment. vapors. 2. 2. It forms potentially explosive mixtures with water.

can generate toxic gases.5. using the test methods described in Appendix II of the Federal Register (55 FR 11863 and 55 FR 26986). It is a forbidden explosive. vapors. 6. or fumes in a quantity sufficient to present a danger to human health or the environment. 7. It is a cyanide or sulfide-bearing waste that. It is capable of detonation or explosive reaction if it is subjected to a strong initiating source or if heated under confinement. It is readily capable of detonation or explosive decomposition or reaction at standard temperature and pressure. 5 .5. 8. the extract from a representative sample of the waste contains any of the contaminants listed in Table 9-1 at a concentration equal to or greater than the respective value given in the table. Toxicity A solid waste is said to exhibit the characteristic of extraction procedure (EP) toxicity if. as defined in Department of Transportation regulations. when exposed to pH between 2 and 12.

acid and solvent wastes from some industries can be utilized by others without processing. Stimulate “waste exchange. and other useful resources contained in hazardous wastes. Detoxify and neutralize liquid hazardous waste streams by chemical and biological treatment. for instance.” (One factory’s hazardous wastes can become another’s feedstock. 4. Reduce the amount of hazardous wastes generated in the first place. the energy content.) 3.HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT A logical priority in managing hazardous waste would be to: 1. 2. 6 . Recycle metals.

it is vital to ensure that the products of a chemical detoxification step are less of a problem than is the starting material. but can only convert it to another form. Dispose of remaining treated residues in specially designed landfills. 7. sludge. Chemical Treatment It is important to remember that a chemical procedure cannot magically make a toxic chemical disappear from the matrix (wastewater. The spectrum of chemical methods includes: complexation Neutralization Oxidation and reduction Precipitation 7 .ability of metals. Reduce the volume of waste sludges generated in number four. Stabilize/solidify sludges and ash from numbers five and six to reduce leach. 8.) in which it is found.5. etc. by dewatering. 6. Destroy combustible hazardous wastes in special hightemperature incinerators equipped with proper pollution control and monitoring systems. above. It is equally important to remember that the reagents for such a reaction can be hazardous. Thus.

Wastes must not be allowed to migrate from the site. Leakage from the site is not acceptable during or after operations. such as nickel. In promulgating the final third of the “land ban” restrictions. the hazardous constituents must be bound up in stable compounds that meet the “land ban” restrictions for leachability.12) 8 .Stabilization/Solidification Because of their elemental composition. Landfill: A secure landfill means that no leachate or other contaminant can escape from the fill and cause adverse impacts on the surface water or groundwater. once they have been separated from aqueous solution and concentrated in ash or sludge. cannot be destroyed or changed by physical or chemical means.31 the EPA allowed disposal in Class I injection wells for wastes disposed under clean water act regulations. Thus. some wastes. Pumping of wastes into these formations has been practiced primarily in Louisiana and Texas. LAND DISPOSAL Deep Well Injection: Pumping wastes into geologically secure formations. (see Figure 9.

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