Hazardous materials may sound scary, but the reality is that many of these hard to dispose of materials are a part of our everyday household products. Waste streams that contain flammable, corrosive, toxic, or reactive elements fall under this designation. To ensure your cannabis business is compliant, you’ll need to follow the standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In this article, we discuss the basics of how to dispose of hazardous waste properly.
What You Need to Know About Hazardous Waste Disposal
Just like with your cannabis waste, it’s crucial to monitor the use, storage, and disposal of your hazardous waste. Improper removal or destruction can damage the environment, threaten humans and animals’ health, and even cost your business a hefty fine. Developing a hazardous waste disposal plan is critical in maintaining compliance with local, state, and federal laws.
What is Hazardous Waste?
Before we dive into disposal options, it’s important to understand what is classified as hazardous waste. Household hazardous waste (HHW) is a part of all of our daily lives. Drain cleaners, cleaning products, motor oil, antifreeze, and even light bulbs are often classified under this designation. The EPA’s broad definition of hazardous waste includes anything that can be potentially harmful to public health or the environment. Cannabis cultivators and other businesses within the industry commonly generate the following:
- Flammable solvents and refining chemicals
- Aerosols and compressed gas products
- Reactants and other biohazards
- Pesticides and fertilizers
- Cleaning products and disposables
In addition to liquid and solid waste that comes in contact with THC, your organization likely generates other hazardous and universal waste products. Like a variety of small businesses, some of the products you utilize in your day-to-day operations can’t be thrown out with your regular trash. Mercury-containing thermostats, smoke detectors, bleach, and other household cleaners should all be addressed in your waste management plan.
Hazardous Cannabis Waste Management Options
Despite California’s legalization of cannabis, it is still a Schedule 1 Federally Controlled Substance. As a result, hazardous products that come in contact with THC have to be disposed of under more rigorous requirements. While some small businesses are eligible to use household hazardous waste collection via drop-offs or mail-in services, cannabis waste must still be rendered unusable and unrecognizable. Furthermore, hazardous cannabis waste still needs to be documented via Track-and-Trace reporting to maintain compliance.
Household Hazardous Waste
The waste that you generate that does not come in contact with THC still requires special care. To stay compliant with local, state, and federal guidelines, you’ll need to address CalRecycle’s regulations in addition to the EPA’s policies and rules, depending on your generator category.
Hazardous waste, and the implications of improper disposal, may sound intimidating. Luckily, Easy Waste Management is here to simplify your processes while offering environmentally friendly and safe disposal. If you need hazardous waste disposal in California, get in touch with us today to request a consultation. We’re committed to providing industry-leading service, making sense of complicated regulations, and streamlining your waste management plan for a better tomorrow.