How do I manage my universal wastes?

 

If you aren’t sure how to manage your universal wastes, join the club!  Due to the complexities and ever-changing world of waste related compliance, many households and businesses haven’t a clue on proper waste management.   Since ALX wants to bridge this gap, we would like to share a few tips on universal waste management.  

 

  • Collect.  When collecting your batteries, lamps, mercury, and pesticides; the first step in consistent and quality waste management is to properly capture your wastes in a suitable container. Be sure to take into account the type of container needed, size, and quantity of each waste stream.  Follow the links to see waste container suggestions for batteries, lamps, mercury recycling, and pesticides.
  • Segregate.  Since universal wastes are indeed hazardous to the environment, it is a legal requirement to segregate your hazardous wastes from your nonhazardous wastes.  It is also necessary to determine the exact amount of each type of waste for recycling and disposal processes and associated costs.
  • Label.  A common mistake in universal waste management is having your waste units either unmarked or improperly marked.  Marking the container “Universal Waste” only, without indicating which type of universal waste, will not suffice for waste container labeling.  For example, when collecting fluorescent bulbs, the container should read “Universal Waste – Lamps”.  Click here to see a label example that includes the date of accumulation.
  • Document.  Proper documentation and records retention is extremely important to support your waste management efforts.  When it comes to regulatory audits, it’s not about what you say you are doing, but more about what you can prove you are doing.  Click here to learn more about waste diversion tracking.

 

This post is not to be used in place of the federal and state regulatory compliance.  Visit the EPA or your state‘s department of environmental quality to seek additional guidance.

 

To charge or not to charge?

Blog.3“I want to create a business that doesn’t make money!” – said no one ever.  Let’s face it every business is created with the intent of generating revenue.  The truth is – we are all selling something.  But the real question: Do we understand how our products and services effect the environment? 

 

All answers point to “no”.  We as a society do not think enough about our environment.  Working in waste management especially, you see the end of the road for many waste streams.  Unfortunately, the majority of wastes are not handled properly, due to a general lack of knowledge, a lack of caring, and of course, the financial obligations for environmental compliance.  All of these factors are working against us.  To fix all three, one approach is to hit ‘em where it hurts!  The idea is to bring about awareness by assigning a cost to it, an environmental surcharge.  Not to be confused with a government tax or a revenue incentive. 

 

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What can I do with my wastes?

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  1. Landfill is the most popular choice used today, but NOT the only option. Due to decreasing land space, contamination, and pollution issues from the wastes, this option is being reconsidered in many areas.  Keep in mind it is illegal to use this method when disposing of hazardous wastes and most industrial wastes.  Click here to read more about Land Disposal Restrictions (LDR).

 

  1. Open dumping or more accurately, illegal dumping, is an inexpensive and convenient method and a POOR decision to say the least. When you choose this option you are creating air pollution and ground water contamination.  Don’t be that guy!

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Can you follow your waste stream?

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It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it!  Waste management is literally a dirty job and it’s definitely necessary. Correct and timely compliance with the regulations for industrial and hazardous wastes help to protect the state’s environment and safeguard the health of people.

 

Industrial and hazardous waste generators are responsible for the waste they generate until final disposal, the cradle to grave responsibility.  These regulations are set forth by regulations in Title 30 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 335.  The rules apply both to wastes generated in Texas and to those generated outside the state and sent to Texas for treatment, storage, and/or disposal.

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