Case Study: Waste Drum Disposal

A Common Situation

Walden Environmental Engineering (Walden) is regularly retained by clients to consult on chemical storage drum removal. Often the targeted drums store unknown contents or hazardous materials. Improperly labeled drums are difficult to dispose of because the characteristics of the chemicals stored inside are unknown. Walden specializes in field inspections and sampling to help determine the proper protocol for drum disposal.

Challenge

Walden was recently tasked with coordinating the removal an existing 55-gallon drum containing a versatile low odor, water miscible wash. The product’s Safety Data Sheet (SDS) indicated the wash to be hazardous. When disposing of a waste product, different procedures are followed for a non-hazardous waste versus a hazardous waste. The hazardous waste must be disposed of at a special facility. To report the disposal of a hazardous waste, the generator must have an EPA Identification (I.D.) Number. If the facility that owns the hazardous waste is not registered, then an EPA I.D. number must be applied for. The process for hazardous waste drum disposal is extensive and therefore costly to our client.

Although the product’s SDS suggested the drum contents to be hazardous, the waste stored in the drum had been processed, therefore the makeup of the waste could have been different than the makeup of the initial product. As a solution becomes diluted, the hazardous components may change.

Action

Walden decided to sample the suspected hazardous waste prior to determining its disposal method. Due to the product’s usage, the waste was diluted from exposure to other chemicals through the cleaning process.

Result

The SDS indicated that the product is hazardous due to ignitability.  The waste drum’s contents were sampled for its current ignitability and the lab results determined the flash point to be greater than 140 degrees Fahrenheit, making the waste non-hazardous.

Benefit

Through simple investigative work, Walden was able to save our client money from the expenses that would have been associated with hazardous waste disposal.

Chemical Storage Experts

Walden strives to provide a complete and efficient service to its clients through its expertise. Give Walden a call for chemical disposal consulting at 516-624-7200 and check out our environmental consulting webpage to our other services.

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