Contrary to what you may think, many hazardous materials are recyclable. Recycling this form of waste is important for the environment and your business alike. Before we get into the benefits of recycling hazardous materials, you need to determine what kind of waste should be recycled, reclaimed, or reused.
As defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hazardous materials are any waste that could potentially harm the environment or human health.
“Use constituting disposal” occurs when any waste or products containing waste are placed directly into a landfill. As you are likely aware, landfills are detrimental to the environment and your wallet because the discarded material was used only once.
Reclaiming a material means processing it to recover a usable product or regenerating it for another use. One of the most common ways is incineration for energy recovery or burning waste for its fuel value. Incineration is a great way to reuse raw material, such as leftover solvents, to your advantage by providing fuel for other processes.
Furthermore, there are laws, regulations, and guidelines mandated by the EPA called the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) that outline a national system of solid-waste control. Any entity creating hazardous waste or hazardous waste by-products must devise a waste management plan to meet compliance standards. Such groups or individuals that could be hazardous waste generators are government agencies, small businesses, and gas stations with underground storage containers. Review Subtitle C for more information about hazardous waste regulations.
So, you’ve identified hazardous waste at your business and want to be compliant with RCRA. Keep reading to learn how recycling hazardous waste can benefit you and your business and make a difference in your life.
Benefits of Hazardous Waste Recycling in Los Angeles, CA
Hazardous waste reuse, recycling, and reclamation can help you keep the environment healthy, protect natural resources, reduce reliance on raw materials and energy, and provide you with financial benefits.
1. Reduces Pollution and Emissions
Landfills give off large quantities of CO2 and methane emissions that can be avoided, to some extent, through recycling. Recycling hazardous materials reduces the amount of waste that you must treat and send to the landfill. Universal waste also needs recycling; items like light bulbs, pesticides, and batteries, although not categorized as hazardous materials, can pose a threat to human health and the environment. You may still be emitting environmentally harmful gases but at a much smaller scale.
2. Reduces Consumption of Raw Materials
Reusing hazardous materials for other purposes, such as burning them for their fuel value, is cost-effective, as it cuts back on having to purchase new raw materials. Additionally, it reduces the amount of energy your operation uses. You can reclaim and reuse certain materials in other parts of your business, such as using cannabis waste in compost while following compliance standards, of course.
3. Kinder to The Environment
This benefit should stand on its own. Protecting our environment is a great goal, but on top of that, eco-friendly businesses have a much better reputation in the public eye. About 88% of consumers want companies and brands to help them make a difference. So, acting ethically and environmentally is a good business strategy.
To be compliant with the RCRA, you must recycle or responsibly dispose of hazardous waste and materials. Also, don’t forget to look more closely at EPA regulations and California state laws. If you don’t know where to start on your hazardous waste management plan in the greater Los Angeles area, schedule a consultation with Easy Waste Management to assess the costs of your unique needs.