Industrial Hazardous Waste Disposal & Management Services
In general, hazardous wastes are those wastes that have the potential to harm human health or the environment. Hazardous wastes come from many residential and industrial sources and come in many forms. The United States and Canada have developed specific -- though different -- guidelines for hazardous waste treatment and disposal.
Under US EPA regulations, “characteristic hazardous wastes” are defined as wastes that exhibit the following characteristics: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity.
- Ignitability: Ignitable hazardous wastes can create fires under certain conditions, are spontaneously combustible, or are liquids with a flash point less than 60 °C (140 °F). Examples include waste oils and used solvents.
- Corrosive: Corrosive wastes are acids or bases (pH less than or equal to 2, or greater than or equal to 12.5) that are capable of corroding metal containers, such as storage tanks, drums, and barrels. Battery acid is an example.
- Reactivity: Reactive hazardous wastes are unstable and can cause explosions, toxic fumes, radioactive particles, gases, or vapors when heated, compressed, or mixed with water. Examples include lithium-sulfur batteries and explosives.
- Toxicity: Toxic wastes are those containing concentrations of certain substances in excess of regulatory thresholds which are expected to cause injury or illness to human health or the environment.
Canada, under its Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR), divides hazardous waste into 10 classes. Three classes, including explosives (administered by the Explosives Act and Regulations) and radioactive material (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission), are regulated under separate laws. The seven remaining classes of hazardous waste covered by the TDGR include:
- Class 2: gases
- Class 3: flammable liquids
- Class 4: flammable solids; substances liable to spontaneous combustion; substances that, on contact with water emit flammable gases (water-reactive substances)
- Class 5: oxidizing substances and organic peroxides
- Class 6: toxic and infectious substances
- Class 8: corrosives
- Class 9: miscellaneous products, substances or organisms
SUEZ views the environment, health and safety as a top priority. Through our more than 40 hazardous waste disposal facilities operated worldwide, we have developed a complete specialized process line to safely treat and dispose of hazardous waste.
Waste arrives by means of trailer trucks. Verifications, labeling and regulatory paperwork ensure tracking of the disposal process.
Inspection and Pre-Treatment
The waste is inspected, analyzed in the laboratory and/or pre-treated (shredded, mixed, resized) before going through the main processes.
Organic wastes are destroyed in the incinerator at temperatures above 1922°F. This achieves a Destructive Removal Efficiency of at least 99.9999% of hazardous organic compounds.
Inorganic liquids are chemically and physically rendered non-hazardous in the “Phys-Chem” process, utilizing a combination of acid/base and redox properties.
Fly ash is mixed with cement, which constitutes one of the many barriers against leaching of trace amounts of heavy metals.
Flue gas scrubbing removes acids and particulates while effluents are cleaned using wastewater treatment techniques.
Stabilized material is disposed of in the on-site Class 1 landfill. Cells are secured with clay, geomembrane and are re-vegetated.
Treated liquid effluents are injected into a deep well roughly 6,000 feet below the surface into a stable geological formation.
Any potential impact of the activities on the environment is closely monitored. Surrounding wildlife, air emissions, surface and ground waters, landfill and deep well integrities are constantly studied in order to verify that the prime goal of the facility is achieved: protect the environment.