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Many companies generate only non-regulated non-hazardous wastes from their processes. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security. Non-hazardous does not mean harmless! There are federal, state and even local regulations regarding the treatment processes for these types of materials before they can be released into the environment.
EPA’s RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) program regulates non-hazardous waste material under Subtitle D, which assists waste management companies in developing environmentally sound methods for treating and disposing of non-hazardous wastes. Under 40 CFR 257 & 258, EPA has established mandatory minimum standards for management facilities that receive non-hazardous solid waste. States may adopt more stringent regulations, but must maintain at least the equivalent of these standards.
Concentration levels may often mean the difference between hazardous and non-hazardous. For instance, higher levels of sodium chloride in water must be treated differently than simple saline solution. This is why it is so crucial that your treatment facility sample your wastewater to determine the proper treatment method. (It is also why ADEM requires certain lab analysis of solid material or liquids requiring solidification prior to landfill for any company requesting a solid waste permit.)
Please remember, even non-hazardous waste material contains contaminants that can damage the environment. The burden of responsibility lies with the generator to know his waste and how it is being treated. Make certain all that can be done has been done to treat your waste material properly. Profiles, analysis, pre-treat samples and treatment standards are just some of the ways we can stay in compliance and do our part to protect the environment.
-Your friends at Safeway Industrial