Get it Right! Correct Packaging for the Hazardous Wastes
Hazardous waste, which can range from toxic to highly reactive substances, is a frequent byproduct of manufacturing, scientific research, oil refining and other various businesses that deal with chemicals on a day to day basis. In order to throw away these substances, New Jersey regulations require that they be packaged carefully and transported to a disposal facility. But how can hazardous waste be packed to ensure that it reaches its destination safely? Read on for a primer on how to transport this material while minimizing risk, as well as complying with state and federal regulations.
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To ensure that no harmful reactions or breaking occurs, it’s very important to use the right container for each substance. Recommended containers vary according to the type of substance being dealt with:
- Flammable substances should be stored in either glass bottles, steel cans or high density plastic containers.
- Don’t use glass bottles for concentrated acids or bases as that can result in container breakage: Instead, pack these substances in “acid” bottles, which have been manufactured to withstand these materials.
- Aquaeous solutions, or solutions created with water as the solvent, can be stored in glass bottles, plastic bottles or plastic cans
- Solid waste, whether its contaminated or not, should be kept in plastic air lock bags, fiber boxes or plastic containers.
- Broken thermometers without free-flowing mercury can also be packaged using plastic air lock bags, fiber boxes or plastic containers. However, if a broken thermometer still contains mercury, it should be stored in a glass or plastic bottle, sealed with a tight cap.
While choosing the right container is essential, there are other important steps that should also be followed to minimize the risk of any mishaps. Before filling your containers with substances, remember to take the following precautions first:
- Ensure that all containers, including the tops and the sides, are clean and uncontaminated
- To make sure nothing spills, don’t fill liquid containers to more than 80 percent capacity.
- Sealing the containers with airtight screw caps is best. Never use rubber stoppers, corks or parafilm for this purpose.
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