While some may think of commercial waste streams as nothing more than trash of various formats, in reality they represent more than this. While they do include several types of waste, these streams also offer vital data points that can provide you insights in areas ranging from regulatory and operational to sustainability and overall finances.
At Enviro Care, we’re proud to offer several areas of assistance when it comes to waste management services, whether you’re looking to keep better records, meet compliance regulations more accurately, understand land disposal restrictions or a variety of other related needs. What are some of the primary areas that drive data collection within waste streams, and which important elements of your business can be affected by these data points? Let’s take a look.
Drivers and Common Waste Categories
There are several specific drivers of the kinds of categories you should be considering within waste data collection. Several of these relate to regulatory requirements, which come from a variety of government organizations depending on your specific waste types. In addition, transparency in waste reporting is vital for everyone from investors and customers to ratings agencies and other organizations.
With this in mind, a few of the most important waste-related categories you should be tracking include:
- Weight of waste deposits
- Number of hauls required
- Whether waste is hazardous or non-hazardous
- Revenue generated vs costs incurred
- Disposition method for waste (recycling, reusing, incineration, landfill, other)
Areas of Waste Data Use
So once you have the information above and are continuously tracking it, where can it be put to use? There are several specific answers here that will help you understand just how valuable this data can be:
- Financial decisions: Once you understand the important data points related to waste, you can apply them to vital budgeting, auditing and forecasting areas within your overall business. For many businesses, waste disposal is a huge budgetary area.
- Regulatory: Waste data is very important for certain permits and other regulatory reporting, which can create several issues if not done correctly.
- Sustainability: You can also use the data you’ve collected to set sustainability goals for reduction of waste in certain areas. When you meet these goals, this is great information to share with customers and investors alike.
- Operational areas: All data is good data when it comes to understanding the areas where you could stand to tighten up a bit operationally. This information will help show you the most effective waste tools in your business and the least effective ones.
- Tracking: Not only can you track your waste trends against previous months and years, you can also match them up against your industry as a whole and see how you stack up against the competition.
For more on the drivers of waste data collection and the areas where this is applied, or to learn about any of our hazardous waste disposal and transportation services, speak to the staff at Enviro Care today.
At Enviro Care, we’re proud to offer trusted industrial waste disposal and transportation as one of our many environmental services. Trusted by public safety agencies and enterprises throughout Utah, we help customize waste management, disposal and recycling solutions to meet the needs of your specific industrial facility and keep you in compliance with all local regulations.
One of the most common questions we get from new or potential clients: What happens to my waste once it’s removed from my facility? Today’s blog will go over several treatment technologies out there that might be utilized depending on the materials being disposed of and the local LDR treatment standard for any chemicals.
When mostly organic materials are those being disposed of, the primary process used tends to be incineration. This is generally done using a high-temperature rotary kiln, which heats up to extreme temperatures to efficiently combust organic materials.
In other cases, incineration may still be used even if there are not organic materials involved. However, this tends to come at an increased cost. There will also be certain circumstances where incineration is not allowed for a given material, such as when RCRA metals are used alongside no organic materials. Our team will inform you of scenarios where incineration won’t be an option if they arise.
For certain solids soaked with (or containing) high quantities of BTU organic solvents, a process called solvent distillation is sometimes used. It involves contaminated solids sent into a very high distillation unit (often multiple stories), where extreme temperatures will be used to evaporate the solvents off the solid.
From here, the solvent vapors can be recondensed and processed as clean fuel formats. This is a method that helps re-use forms of solid waste, and as such it may be considered for state waste minimization tax breaks if used regularly enough.
This is a treatment format usually used for clean fuels, commonly organic solvents with high BTU values. It’s not technically a recycling process, but several states do recognize it as a more environmentally-friendly approach to recycling for fuels. It typically generates products that can fuel items like cement kilns and other industrial applications.
Finally, for heavy metal recycling, metal reclamation is often used to salvage certain recoverable parts. Several part types are often good candidates here, including lead pigs, bricks and various silver fixer formats. SRU columns are also often used for metal reclamation. Mercury is another good example – it will be reclaimed virtually any time it’s being disposed of.
At Enviro Care, we’re proud to serve as your one-stop specialists for all areas of waste management and transport services. Our industrial waste transportation fleet includes numerous trucks, trailers and other pieces of equipment, with licenses to haul virtually any hazardous waste format out there.
Our experts are also here to assist you in understanding all the costs and benefits associated with any area of waste disposal and transportation, including facilities looking to purchase new waste equipment like trash compactors or balers. While the initial cost of these items will be to acquire them, there are a few more ownership areas you should consider when looking at the bottom line and whether this equipment purchase will end up as a net positive for your business.
Waste Cost and Benefit Areas
The primary area most facilities consider here, and with good reason, is the way a new piece of equipment will impact overall waste management expenses. Will a new compactor, for instance, significantly cut down on the number of trips a hauling company needs to make from your facility to the disposal location? You can break this down and determine precisely how many trips – and therefore how much money – you’ll save.
On the flip side, you have to consider potential future costs when it comes to equipment repairs. Many manufacturers of large-scale waste equipment will offer repair warranties, though these will differ depending on whether you’re renting the equipment or own it outright. In cases where you’re in charge of any needed repairs, you need to factor in any additional cost that comes with equipment downtime and hiring a technician for the repairs.
Equipment Life Expectancy
Another vital area for calculating overall costs and potential profitability of any piece of waste management equipment is understanding how long the equipment is expected to last. Balers, compactors and other similar items have several specific moving parts, and while repairs are always possible for minor issues, there comes a point where some of these parts may wear down to extreme levels.
If you’re renting equipment, ask about situations where you can switch out certain pieces based on changing waste needs. If you have this flexibility, it can make a big difference to your bottom line.
Site Prep and Installation
Finally, you have to consider the costs that will come with site preparation and installation for any new equipment. These pieces require electrical power and several other significant bits of planning, including consulting with either in-house or equipment dealer engineers so everything is set up professionally and without any safety hazards. Ensure installation is planned well in advance and you understand the costs it will incur.
For more on assessing the full range of costs and cost benefits associated with waste management equipment, or to learn about any of our hazardous waste collection or disposal services, speak to the staff at Enviro Care today.
At Enviro Care, we’re proud to be your reliable, go-to outlet when it comes to environmental services and hazardous waste disposal services. We can help with everything from collection and transportation to the cleaning of various tanks and other excavation services, with solutions that public safety agencies are experienced with and know they can trust.
In addition to these areas, we can also provide consulting in the realm of waste compliance. One of the primary formats here is an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) inspection, which will ensure that all regulations and health standards are being followed. Our pros are happy to assist you with all the areas you’ll need to have in order for these inspections, making sure you’re both compliant and environmentally friendly. Here are a few of the key points you should consider before an inspection as any laboratory or company that deals with hazardous waste.
Emergency Contact Information
It may sound unusual, but often one of the first things an EPA inspector asks about when visiting your facility is whether emergency contact information has been recently updated and is current. Safety and the ability to manage emergencies is a huge priority for the EPA here, and another area that will be asked of you is testing the primary and secondary methods of acquiring an MSDS if an emergency does take place.
For instance, many facilities will acquire an MSDS on the internet these days. But you have to be sure you have an alternative method available here, such as calling the emergency hotline, in case some incident prevents this online format from being available when an emergency takes place.
Facility Maintenance and Records
A few basic points to think about in terms of your facility’s maintenance and training records for staff:
- It’s likely that at least some of your staff will be interviewed by the inspector, with questions directed toward waste management areas, safety procedures, and any relevant chemical compatibility issues in the way you store your products.
- No unusable, out-of-date or excessive amounts of chemicals should ever be stored in the lab, and this will raise a red flag to inspectors if found. These are viewed as negative lab practices and will not reflect well on your report.
- All lab training records and SOPs should be made readily available.
Main Accumulation Area and Inspection Log
- In the main accumulation area (MAA), proper maintenance is vital. This is an area that requires weekly internal inspections, and this plus all related areas of the MAA will be heavily scrutinized by the EPA inspector. The space should be clean and organized, with emergency contact info posted prominently and a phone nearby in case of emergencies.
- Weekly logs for internal inspections should go back at least three full years, with no gaps whatsoever. Holiday and weekend schedules should be noted.
For more help with EPA inspections for your business, or to learn about any of our environmental services or emergency response offerings, speak to the pros at Enviro Care today.