Every industry has its own ways of disposing waste. For hazardous waste experts, several techniques are available when dealing with industrial and medical waste. When it comes to dealing with these harmful materials it is important to understand proper disposal protocol to both protect worker safety and preserve the environment.
Of these techniques, one of the best is waste solidification and stabilization.
What is Waste Solidification & Stabilization?
The method of solidification and stabilization traps contaminants in a solid block that won’t seep into the environment. These mentioned contaminants that have been solidified and/or stabilized are ‘trapped’ by the stabilization process, meaning that they can’t be carried downstream to contaminate water supplies.
To further explain, solidification involves the mixing of a waste with a binding agent, a substance that makes loose materials stick together like clay. Cement can be used, but it’s avoided due to cost. Water must be added to most mixtures for binding to occur. Then the mixture is allowed to dry and harden to form a solid block.
Solidification and stabilization are two separate processes. Stabilization aims to make waste materials less toxic by using chemicals, while solidification attempts to make waste immobile by containing it with a binding agent. The most used binding agent for stabilization is fly ash, which when applied can help keep harmful materials from impacting the soil.
How is Waste Solidification & Stabilization Achieved?
Solidification and stabilization may occur above ground or below ground; two processes which are referred to as ‘in-situ’ and ‘ex-situ’ respectively. When working with underground materials, a cap is added at ground level once stabilization and solidification is complete.
Ex-situ waste may be used to fill in excavations on the site, or it may be taken to a landfill for disposal. Industrial waste professionals wield pug mills for solidification and stabilization, as these machines can grind and mix materials simultaneously.
Solidification & Stabilization of Medical Waste
Based upon the average waste accumulated by individual hospitals, it has been calculated that the United States generates roughly 5 million tons of medical waste every year. These medical waste products can be extremely harmful for the environment. It’s also true that radioactive waste is often found amongst medical products and can be dangerous when improperly stabilized.
A strong grasp of chemistry is required to properly stabilize and solidify medical waste. Fortunately, our industrial waste disposal experts at WasteXpress have a combined total of more than 32 years of experience in the hazardous disposal industry. You can trust our team to properly carry out solidification and stabilization for any hazardous waste.
Industrial waste is nothing to take lightly, and we understand the dangers that come with it. That’s why we do the job right, every time. Serving small businesses and Fortune 500 companies throughout the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years, you can count on us for reliable, compliant, and environmentally friendly waste disposal services.