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The Devastating Consequences Of Improper Waste Disposal

Whether you’re an everyday citizen or corporation, you should always make sure to dispose of hazardous waste properly. 

In 2013, Walmart was fined more than $110 million for improper waste disposal at its stores. The retail supergiant admitted to violating the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Water Act and several other federal laws. For instance, the US District Court found Wal-Mart guilty of violating the following Resource and Recovery Act laws:

  1. Failing to properly identify hazardous waste
  2. Failing to prepare a hazardous waste manifest
  3. Offering hazardous waste to unpermitted storage, disposal, and treatment facilities

These are just a few of the many violations of which the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company was convicted. Court documents showed that before 2006, Walmart employees were not trained on how to properly dispose of waste. Instead of identifying, documenting, and properly disposing of toxic waste, as federal law requires, they simply tossed hazardous waste into garbage cans, or dumped it down drains. This was due to customers returning faulty items and the employees putting them immediately into the dumpster. Because of their negligence, Walmart paid $60 million to California, $14 million to Missouri, and $7.6 million to the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Walmart’s not the only national chain to face fines. Costco agreed to pay $3.6 million in fines for improperly handling, storing, and disposing of hazardous waste products. 

Clearly, poor hazardous waste management can be quite costly to organizations of all sizes. Firms that don’t follow government regulations to a T may face onerous fees. Yet it can be nearly impossible for the layperson to quickly understand waste disposal laws. Every state and municipality has its own rules on the books and the federal EPA guidelines are nothing if not complicated.

8 Examples of Hard to Dispose Of Household Waste

Common hazardous waste and “hard to dispose of” items require specialized handling and disposal methods. If not properly managed, hazardous waste can pose a threat to both people and the environment. 

Here’s a few examples of some hard to dispose of items that you may come across around your home or business.

  1. Automotive: Antifreeze, fluids, motor oil, oil filters, gasoline, polish and waxes
  2. Batteries: Home and vehicle batteries
  3. Electronics: TVs, computers, laptops, cell phones, printers, fax machines, MP3 players, DVD, CD, cassette players and more
  4. Lighting: Fluorescent light bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps
  5. Mercury containing devices: Thermometers and thermostats
  6. Paint products: Oil-based, latex and spray paints, caulk, wood preservative and wood stain
  7. Household chemicals: Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer insecticides, toilet bowl cleaner, shower/tile cleaner, carpet cleaner, rust remover and more
  8. Sharps: Syringes, needles and lancets

Safely Dispose of Hazardous Waste with WasteXpress

That’s why it’s so crucial to work with a professional hazardous waste disposal firm. The regulations around waste disposal are often quite complex. Experienced hazardous waste firms have years of knowledge in how to properly fill out waste disposal manifests and other forms. When the cost of lawsuits and fines are taken into account, it’s a no-brainer to outsource waste disposal to a specialist. 

Here at WasteXpress we make it not only safe, but also easy to dispose of hazardous waste items. For over 30 years, we have offered a range of compliant and environmentally friendly services across the Pacific Northwest including flammable paints, solvents, corrosives, toxics, reactives, PCB’s, gas cylinders, aerosols, coolants, contaminated soils, e-waste, and more.

Call 855-224-3206 or fill out our online form to get a free estimate. 

Contact WasteXpress

11615 North Lombard Street, Portland, OR 97203

5812 S Adams St # B, Tacoma, WA 98409