Have you ever come across abandoned barrels of hazardous waste? It’s quite uncommon to see these types of wastes left unattended, but it still happens. The Protect team has done some clean-up of abandoned drums of hazardous wastes left in unobtrusive locations – often without the owner’s permission.
There are also many hazardous waste disposal sites that are abandoned or left unregulated in the United States. Some of these sites, as most scholars believe, have not even been discovered yet.
What are Hazardous Wastes?
Hazardous or toxic wastes are potentially dangerous byproducts of activities such as construction, hospitals, laboratories, automotive garages, farming, factories, water treatment systems, and many more. These wastes may contain chemicals, radiation, heavy metals, or pathogens and come in the form of solid, liquid, or sludge.
Hazardous wastes are harmful to the environment. They can harm living things as it can end up in the ground, water, or even air. Most especially when toxins such as mercury, lead, or radiation accumulate over time, humans or wildlife can absorb them.
How to Dispose of Hazardous Waste
If your business produces hazardous waste, certain regulations and guidelines should be followed.
1. Identify the waste.
You have to identify what kind of waste is in the barrel so that certified waste disposal companies know how to dispose of them. If you have no way of identifying the unknown wase, you can call a local laboratory to conduct tests on the chemicals. You can also consult a hazardous waste disposal company for the analysis and removal of your toxic wastes.
2. Manage the waste.
After a successful clean-up of your previous hazards, it’s best to do some precautionary management and prevention measures moving forward. You can label the waste containers and keep up-to-date records. You should also set aside an area for theses wastes to prevent hazardous substances from affecting their surroundings.
What to Do When You See Abandoned Barrels of Hazardous Waste
There are situations when you see abandoned barrels of hazardous wastes in a property. One common situation is during a new purchase of land. The generator of the hazardous waste left barrels of unknown substances in the property for the new owner to deal with. The reason for this abandonment could be the hefty fee that comes with its disposal. And so the previous owner would like to give this headache to the new owner.
This illegal handling of hazardous wastes is punishable with jail time and even more significant fines. Because today, there are strict federal regulations on how hazardous waste must be handled, stored, and disposed of.
Should this ever happen to you, it’s best to have your legal team deal with the previous owners and call a reliable clean-up company as soon as possible. The clean-up service company will do a site visit and assess the situation of the abandoned wastes. More often than not, you will be given a quotation for everything that needs to be done to ensure your company’s safety.
Don’t ever do the clean-up yourself, especially if you’re not certified to do so. Hazardous wastes are, I repeat, dangerous to people, wildlife, and the environment if they are not disposed of properly.
Just leave the wastes to the experts.
Call Protect Environmental Services for Help
Protect Environmental Services, Inc. has been servicing the Dallas Fort Worth area and North Texas for over 25 years. We have performed thousands of environmental clean-ups and are OSHA-certified. Don’t hesitate to call us for waste disposal, environmental remediation, or emergency responses. We are here to help.
About the Author
Richard Cameron is the CEO of Protect Environmental Services.
Protect Environmental Services, Inc. (PESI) is your best-in-class “clutch” performer when you need a First Responder. PESI tackle & remediate the most dangerous chemical spills & removal of hazardous waste. In fact, our pursuit of safety & rapid response for environmental sustainability surpasses ALL other environmental service companies. PESI has been rapidly responding to emergency environmental calls in North Central Texas since 1996.
Richard is also a published author of the “Ebola Response Procedures.” Additionally, he is considered an expert witness to many litigation and mediation cases. He works with multiple law enforcement agencies in forensics to hunt down illegal dumping perpetrators.