Owning a commercial business comes with a lot of responsibilities, toxic waste disposal being one of them. According to FindLaw experts, there are a number of waste recycling options available to businesses now due to increasing federal regulations. Disposing of hazardous waste correctly not only helps protect the environment but it also shields businesses from liability exposure.
Not all hazardous waste is easy to identify. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there is a four-step process to help businesses determine if their waste is hazardous.
1. Is the material a solid waste?
The EPA has a specific definition of what waste is “solid.” If a business has waste that does not meet this definition, it is not subject to hazardous waste regulations.
2. Is the material excluded from the solid or hazardous waste definition?
If a business’ garbage meets the definition of solid waste, it may be exempt from waste regulations if the type of waste is on the exemptions list.
3. Is the waste a characteristic or listed hazardous waste?
If the waste produced by a business meets the characteristics of hazardous waste, or it is a waste known to be hazardous, then the waste is usually subject to regulations.
4. Is the waste delisted?
If a business produces waste that is hazardous but does not hold the dangerous characteristics of hazardous waste, it may be “delisted.” For this to occur, the business must file a petition and follow the procedures in place to have its waste delisted, and therefore not regulated.
If the waste from a business is solid waste, is not found on an exclusion list, is a listed or characteristic hazardous waste and is not delisted then it is subject to federal regulations and must see proper disposal.