Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest
The Hazardous Waste Manifest is a set of forms, reports, and procedures designed to track hazardous waste from the time it leaves the facility that it was produced in until the time it’s disposed of after its use. When this is completed properly, the form contains information on the type of waste that’s leaving the production facility, the handling of the waste, locations of each place it visited, and signatures from everyone involved throughout the entire process.
How Is It Enforced?
According to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is legally responsible for regulating America’s hazardous waste materials from “cradle-to-grave,” meaning from the moment of creation until the moment of disposal. There are different waste management companies throughout the nation that assist the EPA in ensuring that the Hazardous Waste Manifest is adhered to throughout the waste management process. This is done through five stages to ensure accountability and efficiency.
5 Stages to the Cradle-to-Grave Approach
When utilizing the cradle-to-grave approach within waste management, the “cradle” refers to the types and amounts of hazardous waste generated by a company. It’s up to the generator to make the determination of whether a particular waste is considered hazardous and then document the waste and handling process accordingly.
The distribution of wastes must meet the requirements of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and is the responsibility of the waste generator.
You may already be aware of how some wastes can be recycled or disposed of by anyone, while others require a particular type of treatment in order for it to be disposed of properly. These treatments are important to ensure the protection of soil, groundwater, air, and the safety of any nearby individual.
Some hazardous wastes must be stored for different periods of time throughout the waste management process. They could be stored at the initial facility, in which it’s produced or during the treatment process. Throughout this process, it’s the responsibility of the generator to ensure the waste is properly stored.
When utilizing the cradle-to-grave approach, the “grave” is referencing the disposal aspect of the process. The waste will be treated and disposed of appropriately, sometimes taken to landfills or burned for energy. The generator will become responsible for where these wastes will be disposed of, the amounts that are appropriate to dispose of, and that the location is appropriately licensed to accept the waste.
Instructions on How To Ship Hazardous Wastes
Anyone who wishes to ship hazardous waste must complete the EPA’s Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest, including:
- A description of the type and quantity of waste.
- Contact information for the creator of the waste.
- A transportation plan to deliver the waste to a proper processing or cleanup facility.
The manifest also includes directions on how to safely handle the waste.
The EPA sets this national disposal procedure, but some states and cities have their own special requirements and programs for hazardous waste disposal.
Seattle, for instance, offers a reimbursement of up to $500 for businesses that improve hazardous waste management procedures. An auto recycler might receive a reimbursement for a new hazardous waste spills kit. Assuming businesses meet a few basic requirements, such as that they produce no more than 220 pounds of hazardous materials per month, the Seattle municipal government can provide compensation for lab testing, protective equipment, disposal or recycling, and other hazardous waste expenses.
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