A hazardous waste is one whose properties make it harmful to the environment and human health. These hazardous wastes can be created from many sources, from industrial manufacturing, chemical production, or generated by other types of industries.
These wastes -which can be present in any state- are capable of causing damage due to an inadequate treatment of hazardous waste, and their consequences could be really negative. For example, people living near waste disposal sites may be in a very vulnerable position.
For all these reasons, governments strictly regulate the management of waste and hazardous waste. And thus be able to remedy existing problems and even prevent future damage. The destruction of this type of waste must be carried out by a Hazardous Waste Management Authorization.
In this article we explain the different forms of hazardous waste treatment that exist to guarantee proper treatment.
When a waste is considered hazardous?
Not all waste is considered toxic or dangerous. To have this consideration, they must meet a series of characteristics.
Although not all the characteristics are necessary to consider a toxic waste, to be so it must be an element:
Explosive or easily ignited.
With carcinogenic properties.
The fact of complying with these properties makes waste dangerous and, therefore, its treatment must be special and qualified.
Types of hazardous waste treatment
There are several types of hazardous waste treatment. It’s always best to reduce the amount of waste at its source, or even recycle materials that can be productively reused. However, these measures do not solve the problem of disposal of this waste.
Hazardous waste treatments are various, since there are several methods that can be applied:
Some of the chemical treatments are ion exchange, oxidation and reduction, chemical precipitation and neutralization. This method is used to transform hazardous waste into non-toxic gases, by modifying their chemical properties.
For example, cyanide can go through an oxidation process making this poisonous residue a non-toxic product. Another chemical process would be the separation of water, which allows extracting the water from some organic waste, and then eliminating it through incineration.
This method uses high temperatures for the incineration of materials. The thermal method can not only detoxify some organic materials, but also completely destroy them.
There are special thermal equipment used for the incineration of waste in solid, liquid or sludge state.
Despite its effectiveness, this method has a downside, and that is that the incineration of hazardous waste by thermal method can cause air pollution.
This is used for the treatment of organic waste, such as those from the oil industry. One method of treating biologically hazardous waste is soil cultivation.
This technique consists of mixing the waste with the soil surface in a suitable area of land. It is possible that some types of microbes are added in order to metabolize waste and some nutrients.
There are cases where genetically modified bacteria are used. Microbes are also used to stabilize hazardous waste. This process is called bioremediation. It should be noted that these soils are not suitable for growing food.
While the previous methods manipulate the molecular shape of the waste, the physical treatment consists of concentrating, solidifying or reducing the volume of waste. Some of the processes used are evaporation, flotation, sedimentation and filtration.
Another process that has become very popular is solidification, which consists of encapsulating waste in asphalt, plastic or concrete. Encapsulation produces a solid mass resistant to leaching. It is also possible that the waste is mixed with fly ash, water and lime to form another type of solid similar to cement.
Who is responsible for the disposal of hazardous waste?
Carrying out hazardous waste disposal processes is not something that anyone can do, but you must be trained for it and have the appropriate certifications for it.
We have all the certifications and highly qualified professionals that allow us to carry out the tasks of eliminating toxic and dangerous waste without representing dangers for third parties.
If you want to get rid of hazardous waste at an industrial level, always bet on certified companies. This will ensure not only that they have the appropriate professionals, but that they have been evaluated and validated by state agencies that are in charge of controlling the treatment of these discharges. Contact us and left to professionals treating hazardous waste!