No matter how you phrase it … cost-cutting, reducing overhead or cutting the fat … finding ways to save money has become a way of life and business.
Whether it is in corporate America or in private institutions like hospitals and universities, budgets are being stretched thin and organizations are looking for solutions to make their dollars work harder.
Hazardous waste disposal operations are one area where it’s important to be efficient in order to maintain costs but can turn more costly in the long-run if corners are cut.
So, how can you ensure you’re making the greatest impact on both your sustainability goals and budget? Below we’ll look at some of the scenarios that may sound familiar to you, and how measures like consolidation can help save you money.
Room For Improvement
Hazardous Waste is “waste that is dangerous or potentially harmful to our health or environment,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
There are many different types of hazardous waste, and it can come in the form of a solid, liquid or gas. Examples include pesticides, herbicides, depleted batteries, glues and adhesives, medical waste, lubricants, paints, varnishes, stains or laboratory chemicals.
Because there are a vast number of hazardous waste types used in industries, hospitals, schools and other organizations, it’s important to work with a hazardous waste management company that is up to date on regulations that impact each of these types.
Different hazardous wastes require different procedures for storage, removal, transportation and ultimately disposal. Simply taking a look at your procedures for shipping hazardous waste from your site may reveal cost savings and revenue enhancement.
That’s because many companies simply collect, pack and ship their hazardous waste. However, all too often, waste is collected by class into small containers and then packed into larger metal drums for safe removal and disposal.
This method often leaves space on the inside of the metal drums, which is underutilized. You’re essentially paying for space you aren’t even using.
Today, more companies are looking at a process known as consolidation to increase the efficiency by which chemicals and substances are stored and safely disposed of according to EPA guidelines.
What is consolidation? Consolidation is the act of combining different hazardous waste streams together into an appropriate storage container to facilitate storage and transportation.
What is required? In the state of California, in order to consolidate your hazardous waste, you must have a remote site, consolidation site, and transporter.
The remote site is where the generator initially collects hazardous waste. The California DTSC states staff, other than security, cannot be routinely located at or next to a remote site. Generator staff can visit the remote site to perform inspections or maintenance activities periodically or on a random basis, however, as long as they are not considered to be routinely located at the remote site.
The consolidation site is where waste initially collected at a remote site is transported, and where accumulation occurs.
The transporter is a company that is licensed to transport hazardous waste from the remote site to the consolidation site. We’ll discuss below why using a reputable transporter is critical, and the benefits it brings.
What benefit does consolidation offer? By combining substances that can safely be mixed, workers can fill the metal drums to a greater capacity, therefore reducing the number of drums needed for disposal. By disposing of waste more efficiently, you can realize significant cost savings.
In order to process hazardous waste through consolidation, you need trained and certified technicians with specialized knowledge in dealing with the materials your company handles.
Expertise is needed to determine which chemicals and hazardous waste substances can be safely consolidated and which chemicals need to be processed separately.
To get the widest breadth of experience, work with a hazardous waste management generalist that offers services that typically include:
- Identifying the waste streams by profiling them and testing them
- Developing site-specific plans, including training and emergency preparation
- Transporting to recycling, consolidation and disposal sites
- Preparing manifests and other required state and federal paperwork
In addition to providing expertise in the type of hazardous waste you generate, a reputable hazardous waste transporter will:
- Perform an evaluation of your current waste management methodology and process in order to better evaluate your needs and determine a course of action.
- Create a plan that will allow you to achieve more efficient and cost-effective ways to manage your hazardous disposal needs.
- Find significant cost savings that your organization is wanting to achieve.
- Offer scalable services as your products and business change that could impact your hazardous waste generator status.
- Allow you to focus more on your business and day-to-day operations.
- Ensure your company meets all cradle-to-grave requirements.
You can read more about the benefits of working with a hazardous waste disposal and transporter vendor in our article, What Do Hazardous Waste Generators Value The Most In Their Vendor?
Consolidation offers hazardous waste generators a great way to combine their waste streams and realize significant cost savings.
However, as with any method of hazardous waste disposal, it’s critical for an organization to ensure all of its waste streams are properly handled. After all, a single mistake can cost a company a fortune in fines and penalties, not to mention a public relations nightmare.
A licensed, reputable hazardous waste transporter and disposal company will ensure your waste is safely and efficiently disposed of so that you can meet your goal of enhancing your company’s sustainability efforts while saving money in the process.