Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Dangerous waste? Designate!

New video helps businesses understand dangerous waste regulations

By Erin Jeffries, Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction communications

Many businesses in Washington generate some type of dangerous waste – waste that’s potentially harmful to our health and the environment. It could be used solvent, it could be leftover adhesive, or it could be dirty shop rags, just to name a few examples.

Wherever that waste comes from, state and federal laws require businesses to know which regulations apply. The first step to stay in compliance is designating your waste: First you figure out whether a material qualifies as dangerous waste and, if it does, assign the correct waste code so it can be handled safely and properly disposed of.

Business people are understandably busy trying to make their products or provide services, and they may need help to understand the requirements they must follow. Not every business has an environmental health and safety specialist on hand to handle designation.

So to help people understand dangerous waste, we made a new video that offers an introductory lesson in waste designation.

Watch the video
View our new training video: Designate Your Waste – Is it Dangerous?

We also broke the video up into three parts for people who prefer to watch shorter segments:

  1. Get Ready to Designate
  2. Assign Correct Waste Codes
  3. Review and Wrap Up

In the video, we try to break designation down step by step. Our Ecology experts joined Washington businesses such as Tacoma’s Kay Parks Auto Rebuild and Accra-Fab in Spokane to provide an overview of designation.

Our goal is to introduce designation without overwhelming the viewer. After businesses learn the basics, they can get more instructions from our website, online designation tool, and publications. They will also need to refer to the Dangerous Waste Regulations, but now they have a map to guide their way. 

Reduce waste and find safer alternatives
Ecology staff can answer questions about managing dangerous waste, and we can also help businesses find ways to reduce it. The safest approach to managing dangerous waste is to avoid generating it in the first place. Our toxics reduction specialists can help businesses find safer alternatives to toxic chemicals and hazardous processes, they look for ways to save energy or water, and can even offer help to increase production efficiency.

Contact your regional office of Ecology’s Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction Program with questions about designation, managing waste, or how to choose safer alternatives.

The bottom line is, when dangerous waste is managed properly, it means Washington’s people and environment are being protected.

Finally, we’re working on a second, related video for businesses that generate small amounts of dangerous waste — Small Quantity Generators. It will be released later this summer, so stay tuned!

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