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The Business Case for Effective Hazardous Waste Management

Posted on 2/19/2019 by Roseanne Bottone

Environmental professionals know that effective hazardous waste management has many benefits. Unfortunately, to the decision-makers who allocate resources within large organizations, those benefits may not be immediately obvious. In many organizations, environmental compliance is viewed simply as a cost or even a “necessary evil.”
 
So, how do we make a persuasive business case for effective hazardous waste management?

Legal Exposure and Reputation Management

Let’s start with the obvious: it is a legally mandated requirement to manage hazardous waste appropriately, and if it’s not done correctly penalties can be hefty. The EPA recently increased the RCRA maximum civil penalty to $74,552 per day!
 
We also have an ethical duty to protect human health and the environment for future generations. Jimmy Carter said, “Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.”
 
Save your seat for upcoming RCRA hazardous waste training in San Antonio, Phoenix, Denver, Portland, Salt Lake City, Grand Rapids, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, and Cincinnati.
 
Positioning your company as a good environmental steward will positively affect its reputation – it will help you stand apart from the competition and give potential customers and clients a perspective for engagement and create opportunities for growth.

Avoiding Long-lasting CERCLA Liability

By managing waste effectively your company will also limit potential liabilities from accidents and releases. The Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) requires a cleanup if there is a release to the environment.
 
Unlimited recoverable costs from a liable party include those for sampling and monitoring; detecting, identifying, controlling and disposal; assessing danger to the public; project administration and overhead; and legal enforcement.
 
Liability for damages are limited to $50 million unless the incident resulted from non-compliance with regulations. You’ll also want to protect your employees from the physical and health dangers associated with exposure to chemicals.

Recycling to Save Money or Create New Income 

When the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) was passed in 1976, Congress declared several goals for the United States including conserving valuable energy and natural resources. Recycling – either by reusing materials “as is” or reclaiming them to recover a usable component – is one way to achieve this goal.
 
Not only is recycling good for the environment, it can be good for your company’s bottom line too. Significant savings can be realized by minimizing the purchase of virgin material and not paying a TSDF for treatment and disposal.
 
Better yet, if you recycle on-site, you’ll also save transportation costs. Many recycling units have a return on investment that generate a profit in a relatively short time period. Some companies have turned scrap metal recycling, the sale of recovered materials, and precious metals recovery into income streams as well.
 
Ultimately, managing waste effectively is a financially prudent move for your company.

Advanced RCRA Training

Want to make a persuasive case for effective waste management in your organization? At the Advanced RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Workshop, put your RCRA knowledge to work in new ways! This unique workshop emphasizes cost-cutting options such as: 
 
  • Capitalizing on waste ID and counting exclusions
  • Keeping solid waste “out of the system” of RCRA
  • Treating waste without a RCRA permit
  • Best practices for waste minimization and pollution control
  • Managing used oil and universal waste, and more

The Advanced workshop comes to Salt Lake City, Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, North Jersey, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Houston, and Philadelphia in 2019.
 

Tags: Advanced RCRA, hazardous waste, hazardous waste management, RCRA, recycling

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