Management of Hazardous Waste
Hazardous waste is the kind of used materials that can be harmful to the health of both humans and animals, and also harmful to the environment. These Wastes are in various forms including liquids, solids, sludge or gases. They are as a result of industrial activities that involve chemical productions and manufacturing. When the hazardous wastes are stored, transported or disposed wrongly they contaminate the underground water supplies as well as the surface. The people whose homes are built near an abandoned disposal site have a greater exposure to this danger.
Governments have a responsibility of regulating the management of hazardous wastes in order to rectify the current problems and keep future problems at bay.
Types Of Hazardous Wastes
The hazardous wastes are classified according to their properties which could either be physical, chemical or biological. The properties generate the various types of wastes which include:
Infectious Waste: Most of the Infectious waste comes from the hospitals or research centers. They can include needles, bandages and other disposable materials from such institutions.
Toxic waste: This is capable of causing sudden illness or even death. Many years of exposure to the toxic wastes can cause cancer while the mutagenic waste can affect the biological structure of both humans and animals.
Corrosive waste: This has a high alkaline and acid content. There is a chemical reaction that occurs which harms solid materials if they get into contact with the corrosive waste.
Reactive Waste: When exposed to water or air, the reactive waste can explode. The waste can burn in extremely low temperature and therefore has a high chance of causing fires.
Radioactive Waste: These type of wastes produce ionizing energy which is harmful to living things. Before the radioactive wastes decay completely, they can remain active within the environment for many years. There should therefore be proper handling and disposal of these wastes.
|Are Hazardous Wastes really Hazardous ?|
How To Transport Hazardous Waste
The transportation of hazardous wastes is usually from the site of origin to the designated disposal location. Due to the levels of potential threat to the public and to the environment, proper transportation is necessary. This is to eliminate chances of accidental spillage and dumping at random areas; thus the labelling and tracking. There are two main ways of transporting waste which include use of vehicles or the rail.
The vehicles are popular for transportation of waste due to their ease of access to industries and other collection points. The truck tanks are made of aluminum or steel and have a huge capacity. The rail use is expensive due to the required side facilities. It is therefore appropriate for very bulky waste shipments.
Ways of Disposing Hazardous Wastes
Recycling of the wastes can not be a complete solution to the disposal of the hazardous waste. Some of the waste will need to be treated, stored or disposed.
During treatment the waste can be incinerated to detoxify and destroy some types of organic waste. This is done using thermal equipments which are specifically designed for burning liquid, solid or sludge forms of waste. Incineration is known to cause air pollution. Another form of treatment is the biological one. It is common in farms where the waste is mixed with soil. Bacteria or microbes can be used to hasten the metabolic process. There is also the physical treatment which involves filtration, sedimentation, flotation or evaporation.
The waste that is not treated or which does not get destroyed by incineration or any other chemical process disposal on land is an option. The waste piles must be properly protected from erosion and wind. When the pile is no longer manageable, it should be land filled. An open pit or holding ponds are good for waste that is not flowing.