What is Hazardous Waste?
Industrial and Hazardous Waste: What is it?
Non-Hazardous Industrial Waste
Non-Hazardous Industrial Waste Classification
What is Radioactive Waste?
Disposal and Generation of Radioactive Waste
Why Do We Care About Hazardous Waste?
Industrial Solid Waste in Texas Who Produces It?
|Industrial Solid Waste: Where to Safely Put It?|
Exports, Imports, and Commercial Treatment of Hazardous Waste
Across the Border Woes
What are "Toxics" and Where do They Go?
|Industrial Choices: Hierarchies of Industrial Solid Waste Management|
Definitions and Approaches to Waste Reduction
Pollution Control Taxes in Texas
Underground Injection of Hazardous Waste
Landfilling Hazardous Waste in Texas
Types of Land Disposal
Who Doesn't Need a Hazardous Waste Permit in Texas?
Dumping Near the Border: Mexico's Response
|Enforcing Proper Management of Industrial Waste|
Restricted Areas: Keep Out
Lead Contamination in West Dallas
|Toxics and Birth Defects|
Getting Waste From Point A to Point B
Almanac Table of Contents | Chapter Nine Table of Contents | TEC Home Page
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Source: United States General Accounting Office, Minimizing Unsafe Chemicals in Foods (Washington, DC: September 1994), 3.
Before substantial state and federal regulation began in the late 1970s, most industrial waste was disposed of in landfills, stored in surface impoundments such as lagoons or pits, discharged into surface waters with little or no treatment or burned. Mismanagement of industrial as well as "hazardous" waste has resulted in polluted groundwater, streams, lakes and rivers as well as damage to wildlife and vegetation.(5) Meanwhile, high levels of toxic contaminants have been found in animals and humans, particularly those, like farm workers and oil and gas workers, who are continually exposed to such waste streams.(6)
Today, three major federal laws and one state law guide management of hazardous waste and other industrial waste in Texas:
Source: Council on Environmental Quality, Executive Office of the President, Environmental Trends (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, July 1981), 77.
|U.S. SOLID WASTE AND ITS SOURCES (TONS)|
|Total Annual Solid Waste Generated||8 billion|
|Total Annual Municipal Solid Waste||196 million|
|Total Annual Hazardous Solid Waste||265 million|
|Source: Council on Environmental Quality, United States of America National Report (prepared for the United Nations Conference on Environment & Development, 1992), Exhibit 6h, 333.|
|WHAT IS HAZARDOUS WASTE?|
A SOLID WASTE IS HAZARDOUS IF:
1. EPA has listed it in one of three categories:
2. It exhibits one or more of the following characteristics, subject to certain tests:
Certain waste is exempt from regulation as hazardous waste under RCRA even though it may potentially harm human health or the environment. Exempt waste includes:
Source: Environmental Protection Agency, Solving the Hazardous Waste Problem: EPA's RCRA Program (Washington, DC: EPA, November 1986), 5-7.
According to EPA estimates, manufacturing, mining and agricultural industries, along with commercial and domestic sources in the U.S., generate about 8 billion tons of waste each year, about 265 million tons of which were hazardous in 1990 under RCRA.(9) That same year, municipal solid waste - what is picked up at our homes, businesses and institutions - made up only 196 million tons, or around 2.5 percent of all generated waste.
Industrial solid waste - which may be solid, liquid or gases held in containers - is divided into hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Hazardous waste may result from manufacturing or other industrial processes. Certain commercial products such as cleaning fluids, paints or pesticides discarded by commercial establishments or individuals can also be defined as hazardous waste. While RCRA does provide a general definition of hazardous waste, the hazardous waste "definition" has been further refined through regulations (see box).
Non-hazardous industrial waste are those that do not meet the EPA's definition of hazardous waste - and are not municipal waste. Waste determined to be hazardous are regulated by hazardous waste rules established pursuant to RCRA's Subtitle C requirements, while other non-hazardous waste fall under RCRA's Subtitle D solid waste management requirements.
Under Texas regulations, non-hazardous waste generated by industrial facilities are categorized as Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 waste (see box). Class 2 and Class 3 waste are considered less harmful to the environment or human health than Class 1 waste. While industries do have to report the type of waste they produce, they do not have to report how much of Class 2 and 3 waste they generate or how they dispose of them. However, municipal solid waste landfills do have to report the receipt of all industrial waste, including Class 2 and 3 waste.
|EXAMPLES OF HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATED BY INDUSTRIES AND BUSINESSES:|
|WASTE GENERATOR||WASTE TYPES|
|Chemical Manufacturers||Acids and Bases|
|Printing Industry||Heavy Metal Solutions|
Ink Sludges Containing
|Petroleum Refining Industry||Wastewater Containing |
Benzene & other
Sludge from Refining Process
|Leather Products Manufacturing||Toluene and Benzene|
|Paper Industry||Paint Waste Containing |
|Construction Industry||Ignitable Paint Waste|
Strong Acids and Bases
|Metal Manufacturing||Sludges containing |
|Source: Environmental Protection Agency, Solving the Hazardous Waste Problem: EPA's RCRA Program (Washington, DC: EPA, November 1986), 8.|
|NON-HAZARDOUS INDUSTRIAL WASTE CLASSIFICATION|
Class 1 Waste:
Class 2 Waste:
Source: Chapter 30, Texas Administrative Code, Section 335.
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