If you live in a developed nation, chances are that there are quite literally tons of hazardous waste products that need to be disposed of day after day. Anything from a wadded-up bubble gum wrapper to radioactive waste, if left unchecked, can leave a huge--and damaging--footprint on our ecosystems. Not to mention that improper disposal of waste of any kind has to be rectified and paid for out of the pocket of the state--and, therefore, the pockets of taxpayers. Hazardous waste makes up an estimated 15% of disposed materials per year, but think about that 15% in relation to how much one person uses--and multiply that by seven billion and all of a sudden, that 15% is a behemoth!
What Is Hazardous Waste?
Anything that has been thrown away that can still potentially harm its surroundings and those who dwell in them is considered hazardous waste. This can be anything from chemical waste and materials left over from manufacturing to household garbage such as cleaning solutions, batteries, and non-biodegradable plastics.
Identifying hazardous waste has been simplified by a near-universal standard that categorizes based on how these materials can damage their environment. These qualities include how reactive the substance is to other chemicals in such a way that it could explode or turn into poison gas, its flammability, its toxicity, and how prone it is to corroding other materials.
How Has Hazardous Waste Impacted The Environment?
The footprint hazardous waste has left on our environment has already poisoned our oceans, lakes, and rivers. Each year, thousands of fish, whales, and other aquatic animals wash up on our shores filled with enough trash and toxins to kill a human being several times over. Frogs and other amphibious and marine creatures are showing more and more signs of mutation, and this is a heralding sign of the negative impact human waste has on the environment.
Land-dwelling wildlife and insect populations have also been greatly affected by the amount of waste generated by developed nations. Everything from plastic six-pack soda packaging to improperly disposed bodily fluids filled with harmful diseases have sickened, altered, and harmed scores of animals every year. Populations of insects such as bees, which are crucial to preserving the fertility of plant life, are dying off faster than they can repopulate due to human pollution.
What Can We Do To Combat The Harmful Effects Of Hazardous Waste?
While many first world nations, especially in North America, have established organizations to combat the growing negative impact of hazardous waste both on land and in our waters, it is paramount that companies learn the proper steps to handling hazardous waste to minimize the risk of pollution and damage to both individuals and ecosystems alike. This entails abiding by proper hazardous waste disposal protocols, especially for toxic materials such as blood, medical equipment, and radioactive waste.
Hazardous waste disposal is critically important to the environment and your business operations.Trying to determine how to dispose of your hazardous waste on your own, usually ends up with disastrous results and heavy fines. Look for a hazardous waste transporter that is both licensed, bonded and has adequate insurance to ensure your company is protected to the fullest possible extent.