There are many benefits to using compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs. One major advantage is they use 75 percent less energy than incandescent lamps. This makes them appealing to businesses and facilities such as schools, hospitals and government buildings. The fact that CFLs can last as much as ten times longer than incandescent bulbs also makes them an attractive option.
This is not to say CFLs don’t have a negative side. They do contain mercury in small amounts and this means they are classified as a hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. It can be assumed that nearly all CLFs will break at some point in their disposal. When CLFs break down the mercury is released into the atmosphere where it can build up eventually being released in precipitation, such as rain or snow. Once in lakes and river, this mercury can accumulate in the tissue of fish and then transferred to other animals and humans.
Due to the trace amounts of highly toxic mercury found in CFLs there are special requirements for their disposal. The Environmental Protection Agency allows for CFLs to be treated as non-hazardous if they are recycled properly. If you use fluorescent light bulbs in your home, you are exempt from the hazardous waste rules, but are still encouraged to properly recycle tubes.
The requirements for the disposal of CFLs in New Jersey are the same as they are on the Federal level. Low-mercury lamps can be disposed of in a dumpster. Higher mercury lamps, or those that are “green marked” require proper storage and transport to a disposal facility. A commercial business generating more than 220 pounds of hazardous waste in a calendar year must also follow the proper protocols for disposal. For those entities using less than that amount, it is recommended you check with your local or county government to find the closest drop off site for household hazardous waste.
In New Jersey, a solid waste hauler is allowed to transport certain waste types which must be identified before their application is approved. Before collecting and hauling solid waste in New Jersey, any person who wishes to do so must complete Section C of the Solid and Medical Waste Transporter Registration Application form. These waste types included the following.
- Dry Sewage Sludge – waste generated from sewage treatment plants
- Bulky Waste – includes household or commercial appliances as well as trees, branches and other wood
- Processing Waste – animal or food waste from processing plants
- Industrial Waste – generated through the manufacturing process
- Asbestos/Asbestos Containing Waste – a subcategory of dry industrial waste
- Incinerator Ash/Ash Containing – a type of dry industrial waste
- Semi-Liquid Waste – stored and/or discharged from a 20 gallon capacity vessel
- Liquid Sewage Sludge Waste – generated by sewage treatment plants
For homeowners transporting their own solid waste, there is a 9,000 pound limit on single unit vehicles. The weight limit is increased to 16,000 pounds for combination vehicles, such as a pickup truck pulling a trailer. These weight limits are for the gross weight of the vehicle and their contents. A truck fully loaded with waste must not exceed 9,000 pounds and a combination vehicle, fully loaded, is not exceed 16,000 pounds.
In some circumstances, due to the limits of a certain street or roadway, waste must be hauled in a smaller vehicle until it can be transferred to a larger collection vehicle known as a solid waste transport unit. This type of transport unit could include a dumpster, trailer tank or rail car.
Commercial operations hauling waste, including medical waste, in New Jersey need to educate themselves on all the rules and regulations governing the storage, transport and disposal of this material.
States may have regulations for transporting hazardous waste that may be more specific than federal regulations, so hazwaste transporters need to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations of each state they travel through. New Jersey is no exception. Solid waste transporters driving through, but do not stop in the state of New Jersey are not required to register under the solid waste transporter regulations. Household solid waste being transported in a vehicle with passenger plates also does not require registration.
There are two regulatory categories for solid waste haulers. One category includes government entities and self-generated solid waste transporters which are exempt from filing disclosure statements. They are not subject to the same waste licensing requirements. These waste haulers are called “self generators”. The second category is for haulers who collect and transport the solid waste of third parties. They must file a disclosure statement and obtain a proper license and pay a registration fee which helps cover the administrative costs, vehicle inspections and the general monitoring and oversight of the program in New Jersey.
A commercial entity, one that is non governmental and is not hauling waste they have self generated, must display a A-901 Licensed Hauler decal on their transporters. To obtain this license, it is necessary to file an A-901 disclosure with the Attorney General’s office as well as a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity with the NJ Economic Regulation Office. The decals themselves can be obtained by filing for a Transport Registration statement with the State’s Licensing and Registration Unit. Transporters who haul waste they created themselves as the result of their business, and not a third party, can obtain a self generator solid waste decal to display on their vehicles.
Commercial enterprises transporting and disposing of hazardous waste, including medical waste, in New Jersey need to know and follow all rules and regulations at both the State and Federal level.
Sturdier than paper, more pliable than wood, cardboard is a very effective and versatile way to package goods. Whether it’s a toaster oven from Target or a book shipped from Amazon, cardboard is an essential component in manufacturing and shipping goods to consumers. The downside is, the impact of cardboard on the environment is huge. The average person in the US will use seven trees worth of paper every year and this includes cardboard. Multiply that by the population of the US and that’s about two billion trees per year.
Our resources are not unlimited, so one way to make the use of cardboard more sustainable is through recycling. Cardboard is created from pulp which is a fibrous material extracted from trees through either a chemical or mechanical process. Recycling cardboard not only helps save trees, it also helps limit the hazardous gasses created as a byproduct of its manufacture.
Here are a few ideas on how to reuse and/or prepare cardboard for recycling.
● Keep cardboard dry. It is very difficult to recycle wet, or even damp cardboard.
● Store cardboard so that food and grease do not come into contact with it.
● Reuse cardboard boxes to store household items.
● Remove packing tape and labels from your boxes before placing them in recycling bins.
● Break boxes down for easier pickup and transfer and make sure recycling bins close completely so that rain or snow can not get in.
The cardboard used in packaging and shipping is mostly corrugated cardboard and is safe for recycling. Flat cardboard or paperboard is a single layer and may be coated in wax. It is important to keep flat cardboard clean and dry as well. Different recycling programs may have different guidelines on what they will accept and in what condition. Check with your local recycling facility.
Sewage sludge is basically what it sounds like. It is a semi-liquid waste that is an end product of the treatment of raw sewage. Not long ago in the US, we simply dumped our raw sewage into the ocean and other waterways and landfills. Now, thanks to new laws and efforts by environmental groups, we are a little more careful about how we dispose of sewage. Sewage sludge is either buried in landfills, burned down to ash, or applied to land as a fertilizer.
Once they get over the fact of what sewage sludge is, and think of it as a natural fertilizer, people shouldn’t have any problem using this waste on crops, right? Not everyone thinks so. We seem to be perfectly comfortable with the concept of using cow manure to cover crops, but for some reason, it’s hard to think of these types of wastes in the same way.
Sewage sludge is regulated by the EPA. Waste treatment plants are required to treat the sludge before it can be used as a fertilizer. Before this happens the waste has been rendered to be less biologically active and the number of pathogens has been reduced. After this process the sludge is a B Classified biosolid. Waste which has been treated a second time is an A Classified biosolid. This type has no detectable pathogens and is safe for use anywhere. So that makes them safe, right? Not exactly.
Some environmental groups argue that the regulations imposed on wastes by the EPA are outdated and too lax. Many human pathogens cannot be destroyed after even the second treatment. Thousands of chemicals, including pharmaceuticals and carcinogens, have been found in random tests of waste collected from treatment plants, so the science is far from settled. On the flipside, others argue that the levels of the chemicals found were so low they did not pose any significant threat to human health and would have a very limited impact on the environment.
Perhaps the general public doesn’t give much thought to how hazardous waste is transported from one facility to the next. If they were, there’s certainly no harm in being curious, but they can rest assured that the Department of Transportation imposes strict guidelines on the ways hazmat is transported on the roadways of this country. It is also in the interest of each state to regulate transport on state highways. New Jersey State regulations are intended to keep its citizens safe as trucks transport waste across bridges and through tunnel from New York.
The DOT has nearly a dozen regulatory classifications of hazardous materials including those for explosives, gases, toxic and infectious, radioactive, corrosive and others. On a country-wide level the DOT mandates that materials falling into these categories must be properly labeled, contain all necessary shipping papers, and will alert all workers in the transport chain of the dangers of the materials.
The State of New Jersey has many entryways including by the George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln and Holland tunnels. New Jersey and New York work together with the DOT to ensure public safety when materials are transported via these and other points of entry. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is required to inspect vehicles whose loads include hazmat before allowing them to pass through tunnels. Likewise, vehicles carrying radioactive materials are to be inspected before crossing bridges.
Hazmat includes materials used across a wide range of industries from farming to mining and manufacturing. This can include several ounces of material to several thousand gallons. Everyday millions of tons of these materials are transported across the country. Not all are moved by ground transportation. Air and sea vessels are also used to transport hazmat. All methods must observe guidelines and regulations for proper shipping safety. Frequent security inspections and rigorous hiring practices can help ensure public safety as well.
New Jersey State regulations, as well as those of the Port Authority and the US Department of Transportation, are intended to minimize, if not eliminate the risk posed by the hazmat traveling over the roads and waterways of the Eastern seaboard. With the cooperation between these regulating bodies, shippers and the facilities that hire them, help keep the public safe.
Just as the DOT requires specific labels and markings on hazardous waste containers, the United Nations also requires that the approved boxes and drums be used to transport these materials. Knowing which types of containers are UN rated helps facilities better follow shipping guidelines, including the regulations imposed by the State of New Jersey.
Packaging for hazardous waste materials includes containers made from metal, plastic and glass. A more specific type of packaging, such as infectious substance or special permit packaging may also be required depending on New Jersey State regulations. UN-rated drums, wooden boxes, pails, glass and plastic bottles are also available that will meet federal, state and local law as well as international requirements for air transport.
UN specification packaging is also known as hazmat packaging, UN-certified or UN-approved and dangerous goods packaging. Variation packaging is the type which requires a combination of components. This could mean several containers stored together in a larger container with the proper cushioning inserted to keep them separated and secure. Also called V packaging, this includes components such as pressure vessels and a dry ice shipper or bio-hazard pressure bags.
It is worthwhile to note that despite the use of the UN in the terminology of this type of packaging, the United Nations does not need to approve every container that is shipped. The correct term is “UN specific” in that the UN approves of the type of packaging for transport of hazardous materials.
Regardless of the terminology used to described these boxes, drums or other containers, it is important for all facilities to properly store, label, package and transport their infectious or other hazardous waste so as to limit the risk to the general public. Knowing and following all guidelines and regulations at all governmental levels keeps facilities operating within the law and ensures the safety of employees and the public alike.
The general public may be unfamiliar with what acetone is, especially if they’ve never had to remove resin or waxy buildup from glass or other hard surfaces. However, if they’ve ever used nail polish remover or stripped paint or varnish from old wood, they have used products containing this solvent. When used properly, acetone doesn’t pose a major risk to an individual’s health, but that isn’t to say it is not a hazardous material. Exposure to acetone through overuse or misuse can be dangerous to one’s health and safety.
Both the New Jersey Department of Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require employees who use this chemical to be properly trained in its cleanup should a spill occur. In such cases, all personnel are to be removed from the area, all ignition sources must be eliminated and dirt or sand us to be used in order to absorb the liquid.
Acetone will eat through plastic and can ignite around open flames. There are also certain chemicals that can cause explosions when mixed with acetone, so proper storage and disposal is necessary to ensure safety.
Acetone is commonly used as a solvent in the following:
- Production of SBR latex
- Nail remover
- Paint stripper
- Varnish and stain remover
- Manufacture of polystyrene
- Degreaser and cleaning solvent
The Dangers of Acetone:
- Flammable – do not use around an open flame
- Eye, nose and throat irritant – proper eye and respiratory protection should be used when using to Acetone
- Skin irritant – prevent Acetone from coming into contact with the skin
- Exposure – exposure to high concentrations can cause vomiting, headaches and dizziness
While limited exposure to small quantities of acetone does not pose a significant health risk, the state of New Jersey recommends its proper storage, use and disposal as necessary. Acetone should always be stored and used in a well ventilated area, designated no-smoking area where there is no chance of flame or spark to ignite it.
The general public may be fearful when they hear words “hazardous waste.” Images of some Hollywood movie involving mass contamination and disease outbreak may come to mind. What they may not be aware of is how tightly hazardous waste is regulated on federal, state and local levels. This regulation includes guidelines and requirements for its handling and disposal, as well as how it should be labeled with the proper waste tags.
The DOT has different label requirements for both bulk and non bulk containers. A hazardous waste label refers to the diamond-shaped hazmat logo, while other labeling information is referred to as markings. New Jersey State regulations may require waste tags to provide specific information on waste containers. This information helps all parties involved in transport and disposal by alerting them to the contents and possible dangers involved. These tags should be filled out according to both federal and New Jersey State regulations.
Filling out a Hazardous Chemical Waste Tag helps ensure the proper handling, transport and disposal of waste materials. When using a bottle that has been previously used to store waste, any original marking or labels must be removed or defaced to avoid confusion. Each container requires a separate tag. The exception to this would be a collection of small bottles placed in a larger box. In this case, one tag for the box would be sufficient.
It is important to fill out the tag completely and accurately and to follow all instructions. A hazardous waste packing form should also be filled out and will help the facility meet the labeling requirements. A description of the contents, including information on the chemicals contained in the waste, will prevent any delay in the transport of hazardous waste.
Following all guidelines for using waste tags and labeling hazardous waste helps facilities stay within New Jersey state regulations, keep them organized and help the stay safe.
Hazardous waste falls into many categories. One basic categorization of waste is that which is produced in liquid form. For an example of what liquid waste is, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that any material that can pass through a .045 micron filter at a pressure differential of 75 psi is considered to be liquid waste. That’s a very technical explanation, of course. On the other hand, it is too simplistic to say, you’ll know liquid waste when you see it.
Almost every industrial enterprise generates some form of liquid waste. There are various rules and regulations for it proper storage, transport and disposal according to local, federal and state law. New Jersey State regulations may vary from neighboring states, and companies operating within its borders must comply with individual state laws.
Waste water is any water that has been altered by humans. The water found in sewer systems would be waste water. Industrial waste water is produced by the food, iron, steel, pulp and paper industries. Some of these materials may require separation by centrifugation before part of the material will fit the above definition as liquid waste.
Liquid waste can include oil and oily water which requires separation. Fats, oils and grease as a byproduct of the food industry are also considered to be liquid wastes. Waste from septic systems, portable toilets and other sanitary systems also fall into this category.
Liquid waste containers are available in various sized cans and barrels and made with materials such as metal and plastic. There are regulations and guidelines at local, state and federal levels to ensure the proper storage, transport and disposal of waste water.