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Hazardous Waste Management

Introduction

Disposal and management of hazardous wastes is a crucial issue for the U.S. Hazardous wastes rank from the industrial manufacturing process of wastes to various batteries and materials that have different forms like solid gases, liquids, or sludges. Environmental Protection Agency developed the regulations concerning hazardous wastes and represented more details about their gradation. Apart from the effective and useful application of PPE, hazardous waste management focuses on the safe transportation and storing of wastes. The following paper bases on the analysis of hazardous waste management, as well as the transportation and appropriate engineering of landfills that help to identify and control the problematic aspects of the issue.

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Removing and Discarding PPE without Causing Damage

The crucial factor in the operation of hazardous wastes is an elaboration of the program that relies on the appropriate usage of PPE. The objective of the program is to provide information concerning the selection and utilization of PPE in the healthcare settings that allow practicing proper removal and discard of PPE (Hathanson). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is working with the personal protection equipment specializing in the clothing that employees wear in order to protect themselves from the infectious materials. In this regard, the Administration issued the regulations to promote and support safety at the workplace. These regulations emphasize the importance of the PPE utilization in the healthcare settings to protect the personnel from the Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the exposure to bloodborne pathogens (Hathanson). The crucial factor here is the provision of the necessary PPE for the employees as well as ensuring that the clothes are properly cleaned, stored, and repaired. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created the indications that explicitly describe how and when the PPE can prevent exposure to infections (Hathanson).

PPE includes safety glasses, aprons, gloves, shoes, respirators, full bodysuits, and vests. Gloves protect hands when the aprons and gowns protect the skin. Masks and respirators are necessary for the protection of the mouth, nose, and face, and they should be always removed outside the room after the door is closed. Glow’s removal and hand washing must also correspond with the PPE rules. In case of using the face shield, it is important to place it in the designated receptacle for further re-processing. Gown removing should start with slipping hands underneath the gown at the shoulder and neck area and peeling it away from the shoulders. Employees must put the fingers of one hand under the cuff of the opposite one. The next step is pulling the hand into the sleeve puff of the opposite arm (Hathanson). Afterward, the gown has to be folded toward the inside and rolled into a bundle.

The front of the used mask is usually contaminated and is forbidden to touch. Thus, an employee must remove it by handling the elastic bands or ties, starting with the bottom and then band it. The bottom elastic has to be raised over the head first. The crucial factor is an immediate hand washing after the PPE removal (Hathanson). In case hands were contaminated during the work, it is important to wash them. Lastly, it is important to discard the PPE in the linen or waste container

Transportation of the Hazardous Wastes

Transportation of the hazardous wastes is performed by special entities or individuals through highway, rail, air, or water. The process consists in delivering the specific wastes from the point of its generation to the necessary destination. Recourse Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) identifies the transportation means needed for the delivery of hazardous wastes within the U.S. (Pichtel 456). Off-site transfer of hazardous waste comprises taking it from the facility or property of generation to another place for storage, disposal, and treatment. The examples of the on-site transportation include TSDFs transporting wastes and generators within the facilities or to definite properties and shipment among the geographically contiguous locations even in case of their separation (Pichtel 478). The transporter is required to include data concerning the EPA’s new electronic initiative of a hazardous waste manifest, contacts, and websites that represent the programs of waste manifestation. Rented transporters that take the hazardous wastes from another transport or generator may need to temporarily hold the wastes during the normal process of transportation. The transporter of the hazardous wastes may also hold the wastes without permission of storage in containers at the transfer facility for 10 days keeping it in the DOT specification containers (Pichtel 534). Storing the wastes in standard containers is prohibited unless the transfer facility has interim status and RCRA. In case the transporter contains the facility for more than 10 days, the facility becomes a storage item.

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There is also a range of regulations governing the exports and imports of the hazardous wastes, which can be found in the 40 CFR, part 262, subpart E. The transporters have to meet these requirements if they import the hazardous wastes into the U.S. Some additional export requirements for the transporters are described in the 40 CFR section 263, subpart 20 (Pichtel 568). Consequently, the individual that transfers the hazardous facility has to put a date and signature the declaration in the International Shipments Block to identify the date of the transportation in the U.S. It is also important to retain one copy of documents in correspondence with the 40 CFR, section 263, subsection 22 (d), a copy of the declaration to the generator, and to the U.S. custom employees at the point of departure from America (Pichtel 598).

Operation of the Landfills in the U.S.

Hazardous waste is a significant environmental problem that requires proper management and disposal. Appropriate engineering of landfills is one of the ways to protect the environment from pollution (Hathanson). Landfills are excavated sites where the non-liquid hazardous waste is located for the final disposal. These items are designed and selected with the aim of minimizing the chances of the release of hazardous assets into the surrounding environment. Furthermore, there are some specific designs necessary for the formation of the appropriate landfill (Hathanson). Specifically, the landfills should have a double liner, leak detections, double removal system, leachate collection, runoff, run-on, and wind dispersal controls. Besides, they must completely correspond with the requirements of the program of construction quality assurance. The operators should also comply with the monitoring inspections and the requirements for the release response. Landfills should be closed in the place they continue to be the subject for disclosure (Hathanson). The post-closure care demands a number of items. They include maintenance and installation the final cover, operation of the removal system, leachate collection until the leachate is no longer identified, monitoring and maintaining the leak identification system, minoring of the groundwater, protection and installing the surveyed benchmarks, and prevention of run-on and run-off of the storm waters (“Occupational Safety and Health Administration” 3).

The underground monitoring system that comprises several deeply drilled wells around and in the site also requires special attention. Such wells enable testing and routine program to identify the contamination of the groundwaters and leaks. If the leaks do not occur, the wells should be pumped to intercept the polluted waters bringing it to the surface for treatment (“Occupational Safety and Health Administration” 5). A significant option for the liquid hazardous wastes is an injection of the deep wells involving pumping the liquid waste through the steel to penetrate the porous layers of the sandstone or limestone. The high pressure can be applied to force the liquid into the fissures and pores of the rock where it would be stored during a definite period of time. Zone of injection should lie below the layer of clay or impervious rock. It also may extend more than 0,7 below the surface (“Occupational Safety and Health Administration” 9). The injection of deep wells is relatively inexpensive and demands no pretreatment of wastes. However, it has the danger of polluting subsurface waters due to the possible leaking of hazardous wastes. Less costly alternative is wastes containment. Such a procedure is done by placing the impermeable cover over the hazardous waste site and blocking the lateral flow of groundwaters with the walls of subsurface cutoff (“Occupational Safety and Health Administration” 14).

The municipal solid waste landfills are regulated by the range of rules and documents that represent the criteria for restriction of waste location sections and information concerning the landfill setting requirements as well as focus on the alternative liners in case the landfill leachate allows the operation of landfills as improved bioreactors. Such documents include The Lead-Based Paint Rule and Supporting Materials, MSW Landfill Location Restrictions for Airport Safety-Technical amendment and Alternative Liner Performance, Leachate Recirculation and Bioreactor Landfills: Request for Information and Data (“Occupational Safety and Health Administration” 18).

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Conclusion

The analysis of hazardous waste management and PPE usage are crucial factors that help to perform the work safely avoiding contamination of the surrounding environment. There is a range of regulations that control the problematic aspects. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention create the descriptions for removing and disposing of the PPE and present waste management regulations to control the process of disposing of the wastes avoiding the leakage. Transportation of hazardous wastes plays a crucial role as well thus requiring numerous aspects to comply with in order to perform the qualitative shipment. Consequently, the issues of effective hazardous waste management comprise a number of items that should be thoroughly controlled and constantly improved.

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