Thursday, January 9, 2014

Requirements of Hazardous Waste Area

Today, our environment is facing the biggest and most unnoticed threat in the form of hazardous waste that is disposed off by humans into the atmosphere. Often, this waste poses substantial or potential damage to both nature as well as human life. Hazardous waste may be flammable, toxic, reactive or corrosive. It may be in the form of solids, liquids or vapor and are not disposable by common means. The physical state of the waste material will decide if it can be broken down or decomposed by the use of various treatment and solidification procedures. Common man awareness is important to reduce environmental pollution caused by these hazardous materials.

Requirements of hazardous waste landfill
A hazardous waste area is the allotted area or part of the land which can be safely used for the accumulation and accommodation of waste containers and their contents for the required amount of waste accumulation period. The landfill may be a land, a surface impoundment, a salt dome formation, an underground mine, cave or an underground injection well.

Landfill control
A hazardous waste accumulation area must have a run-on control system (hold the flow onto the active side of the area during peak discharge of 25 yr storm), a run-off management system (collect and control the flow of water from a 25 yr storm), and control the dispersal of particulate matter by wind. The tanks or containers for collecting the contents of run-on and run-off systems should be emptied after passing of the storms.

Documentation and labeling
Each landfill should have a guiding map with exact location markings and specifications, including the dimensions of cells in comparison to permanently surveyed standards.

Also, all the hazardous waste containers should be labeled “hazardous waste” (with the chemical name of the waste, its classification and the date) at the time when the waste is first added to the container.

Closure
While designing and constructing the final cover of the hazardous landfill, following points should be considered-
  • minimal migration of liquids from the closed waste area
  • minimum maintenance requirement
  • promoting drainage and preventing erosion or damage of the cover
  • maintaining the balance of the cover by tolerating settling
  • permeability should be kept lower than that of the bottom liner system
Postclosure
The balance between the integrity and the effectiveness of the final cover should be maintained which may also include making changes to the cover as required (to maintain the effects of erosion, settling and subsidence). Postclosure involves thorough checking of all leak detection and groundwater maintaining systems and may normally last for at least 30 years after closure.

Safety
Proper care should be administered while handling hazardous waste materials. Safety requirements include an applicable emergency information and equipment such as-
  • Emergency equipments like shower and eyewash
  • Warning and directional information regarding the nearest telephone, exit or signs for emergency equipment
  • Signage that indicate area and contact information

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