If there’s hazardous waste at your company, the federal and state regulations surrounding it make it a problem for your business. Different types of business that needs hazardous waste disposal and transportation to varying degrees. Today, we will go over what you need to know about regulation, the types of services you might need from a hazardous waste management company, and what options you have.

If Your Business Produces Hazardous Waste, You Need a Plan

In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lays out federal regulations for hazardous waste, and the state-level agencies—for MA, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)—enforce those rules. In simple terms, these focus on the entire lifecycle (cradle to grave) of hazardous waste set out by the EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. As a business, you need to:

  • Determine if you produce hazardous waste. All hazardous waste generators have to determine if their waste is hazardous and are responsible for it. This includes identification and management.
  • Store and prepare materials for transportation. There are limits on how much hazardous waste can be stored by the generator. At some point, it must be transported, which is regulated by the US DOT and requires special vehicles and permits.
  • Work with facilities for recycling, storage, and disposal. Governmental and third-party Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs) provide temporary storage and final treatment or disposal of hazardous wastes.

The Size and Type of Your Business Changes What You Need

MassDEP (and equivalents in other states) requires all businesses that generate hazardous waste to manage, store, and dispose of them properly. The size of the company and the amount of hazardous waste produced will change how the business needs to plan hazardous waste transportation and disposal. If you generate hazardous waste, the amount you can store and when you need to transport it varies, breaking down to:

  • Small Generators: May accumulate up to 2,200 pounds (about 270 gallons) for an indefinite period of time.
  • Medium Generators: May accumulate and store up to 13,200 pounds (1,500 to 1,620 gallons) for no more than 180 days.
  • Large Generators: May accumulate any quantity on-site, but must ship it within 90 days.

Large and Industrial Companies

If you produce a steady stream of hazardous waste, either as a large business or an industrial site that produces a lot of hazardous byproducts, you’ll want to have a robust system in place, from making sure you’ve got the right materials and containers to store this waste to a rapport or even regularly pickup with a hazardous waste disposal company. Learn how we help these types of businesses in our blog, What to Look for in a Hazardous Waste Disposal Company.

Midsized Commercial & Specialty Businesses

For a midsized business, your company’s storage of hazardous waste might only hit critical amounts once or twice a year, depending on the types of products. NEDT can help you figure out your waste stream profiles to get products to the right facilities. From free disposal estimates to completing the regulatory paperwork, we can help with both the immediate issues and help you better plan for your future accumulation needs.

Small Businesses and Low Quantity Producers

While large businesses can have the budget to use the required hazardous transportation and disposal companies, small companies that only produce a handful via cleaning solvents, oils, inks, paints, acids, or alkalines can’t afford those same costs. This is where MA’s Very Small Quality Generators (VSQG) program comes in, which allows for a significant reduction in cost for small MA businesses by allowing self-transport and disposal at our residential NEDT Household Hazardous Products Collection Centers. Learn more about it in our blog, Small Business Hazardous Waste: MA’s VSQG Requirements.

Regardless of the scale of your hazardous waste and your company’s specific needs, NEDT can help you plan, store, transport, and dispose of your hazardous waste, from a single drum to a tanker truck. Contact us today to get started. Learn more about our transportation and disposal services, as well as complimentary services like industrial cleaning and maintenance, tank removal, emergency spill response, and site remediation.