Tag Archives: hazardous

What Makes Hazardous Waste Hazardous?

Simpsons Haz Waste Poster, via SafetyPoster.com

Despite Mr. Burns worst intentions, radioactive waste is not hazardous waste. Image via SafetyPoster.com

I am asked some version of this question or need to explain it nearly every month. What makes hazardous waste hazardous? Is this hazardous waste? What’s in hazardous waste?

The answer provided here isn’t intended for an environmental professional or hazardous material manager. It is for everyone else. No regulations, no citations, and nothing technical. Actually, I know a lot of environmental professionals who don’t work in the hazmat/waste field who would benefit from this. If you want the technical definitions and regulations, you can get them here from the EPA.

I’ve found that people have a generic, catch-all perspective that hazardous waste is all the “toxic stuff we have to throw out”. It is not a generic term. It has very specific characteristics and determinations.

Q: What is hazardous waste? Continue reading