What is an Industrial Waste Landfill According to the EPA?

What is an Industrial Waste Landfill According to the EPA?Discarding industrial waste is no easy process. Unlike ordinary household garbage, it requires disposal in a specially designated industrial waste landfill. The EPA regulates separate facilities designed to process different types of waste. If you are carrying out any project involving construction, manufacturing or large scale processing, you may be producing non-hazardous, industrial waste.

Here, our experts at Box Brothers will outline the main differences between the various landfill categories and explain how you should go about disposing of your industrial waste. 

Created to provide a safe location to dispose of solid and hazardous waste, landfills are designed according to strict rules to ensure the surrounding environment is not contaminated. Improperly dumped waste can leak harmful gasses, poison groundwater, and cause environmental damage. Checking which landfill is suitable for your waste means you are doing your best to protect the environment and the health of the community. 

Landfills are categorized as either hazardous waste (Subtitle C) or solid waste (Subtitle D). Hazardous waste is most commonly produced by industrial processing, laboratories, generators, and chemical or pharmaceutical processing. This waste can contain harmful chemicals, radioactive materials, and biological toxins. Anybody producing such waste should have a specific disposal program set up according to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Solid waste is subdivided into municipal waste, otherwise known as household waste, and industrial waste. This covers a wide range of commercial and institutional solid wastes. Industrial waste landfills receive all materials that do not get sent to municipal solid waste landfills, Subtitle C hazardous waste landfills or the Toxic Substances Control Act hazardous waste landfill. The EPA has set out requirements that must be met by all industrial waste landfills, however, each state may impose additional regulations. These landfills are responsible for the collection of a significant percentage of solid waste.

There are two main types of industrial waste landfills. A Construction and Demolition debris landfill will accept materials such as wood, glass, concrete, metal and building components. Waste produced during the construction, renovation or demolition of roads, bridges, and buildings can be disposed of there. Additionally, they will receive trees, earth, and rocks removed when clearing land. Plastics, plumbing fixtures, bricks, and asphalt are all suitable for disposal in a Construction and Demolition debris landfill.

The other type of industrial waste landfill is the Coal Combustion Residual landfill. This landfill accepts waste produced by coal-fired power plants. Some of the by-products that remain after coal are burnt include ash, boiler slag, and flue gas desulfurization material. These by-products amount to one of the largest amounts of industrial waste produced every year in the United States. Coal ash can contain substances such as mercury and arsenic, which, if improperly disposed of, can contaminate waterways. For these reasons, the EPA has created designated landfill facilities for this type of waste.

If you think you may be producing industrial waste through your commercial activities, your best option is to check the requirements for disposal in your state. The Construction Industry Compliance Assistance Center offers information on the environmental rules for the construction industry. You can also contact Box Brothers for help, and we’ll point you in the right direction.

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