News & Views
26 April 2018
Packaging Hazardous Waste: A ‘How To’ Guide

It is vital to follow the correct procedures when packaging, managing and disposing of hazardous waste, not only to protect your employees, local residents, and the environment from harm, but also to remain compliant with regulations and avoid fines. Used and empty drums which are stored in the workplace may pose a threat to your employees and the environment, which you can read more about here.

This guide outlines three crucial elements of successful hazardous waste management, namely containers, labelling and final packaging. The Enva Hazardous Waste team have also produced a printable infographic for organisations who package hazardous materials regularly, which you can access here.

hazardous-waste

Hazardous Waste Containers

There are various containers available for storing different types of hazardous waste, and it’s essential to use the correct container for each type. The correct container must be used for each hazardous waste, and where applicable must be UN approved. They should also be kept clean and dry, free from dents, corrosion or residues, and they should always be stored upright. Drums or boxes containing smaller liquid packages should be packed with an absorbent filling (e.g. Vermiculite), to absorb any leakage. Before choosing a container, always make sure the waste chemicals are compatible and won’t react with each other causing corrosion, fire or explosion. See below for a list of the different containers available and types of hazardous waste they are suited to, as well as some additional safety conditions to observe.

Plastic Tight Head Drum

Materials: Corrosive Liquid Sludge, Flammable Liquid Sludge and Toxic or Harmful Liquids

  • Plastic drums must not be older than 5 years
  • Always leave sufficient free space to allow for liquid expansion
  • Drums must not be modified in any way, e.g. with valves or taps added

Plastic Open Top Drum

Materials: Corrosive Solids, Flammable Solids and Toxic or Harmful Solids

  • Liquids should never be stored in open top drums
  • Plastic drums must not be older than 5 years
  • Leave sufficient free space to prevent overfilling
  • Ensure all clamps are tightly closed
  • Drums must not be modified in any way, e.g. with valves or taps added

Metal Open Top Drum

Materials: Flammable Solids and Toxic or Harmful Solids

  • Leave sufficient free space to prevent overfilling
  • Ensure all clamps are tightly closed
  • Drums must not be modified in any way, e.g. with valves or taps added

Metal Combination Drum (Combi Drum)

Materials: Flammable Liquid Sludge and Toxic or Harmful Liquids

  • Leave sufficient free space to allow for liquid expansion
  • Ensure all clamps and caps are tightly closed
  • Drums must not be modified in any way, e.g. with valves or taps added

Plastic IBC

Materials: Corrosive Liquid Sludge, Flammable Liquid Sludge and Toxic or Harmful Liquids

  • Plastic IBCs must not be older than 2.5 years
  • Adhere to the max permissible weight as per design – but be aware of substance density, e.g. a thousand litres of sulphuric acid can weigh up to 1,800kg
  • Do not fill past the indicated fill mark – leave sufficient space to allow for liquid expansion
  • Ensure tap and all caps are tightly closed and ‘O’ rings are in place
  • IBCs require labels on two opposite sides

UN-approved Box for Solid & Packaged Liquid Waste

Materials: Flammable and Toxic or Harmful Dry Solids

  • Stack containers upright within the lined box
  • Liner must be in place
  • Adhere to the Max permissible weight as per design Pallet and box must have a similar footprint
  • Pallet box requires labels on two opposite sides

Hazardous Waste Labelling and Signage

The European Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation (CLP) has been in force since 1 June 2015, which required many hazardous waste chemicals to be assessed against a new set of criteria. While these updated obligations were similar to the previous EU legislation, many products needed to be re-labelled to comply with CLP, including consumer goods like paints and detergents, in addition to industrial mixtures.

Labels should always detail the specific class of waste, and include any sub-risks, as well as all relevant CLP symbols and pictograms, so the nature and severity of the hazard is immediately apparent.

Hazardous Waste Packaging

The utmost care must be taken when packing hazardous waste. Containers must never be overfilled, as the volume of waste materials could fluctuate and cause leakage. All clamps, caps, lids and clasps must be securely fastened at all times; and any taps need to be both closed and covered. Broken pallets should never be used to transport hazardous waste; and all packages should be firmly shrink-wrapped onto the pallets, without protruding over the edges, so they don’t move in transit.

Enva have created a printable inforgraphic for organisations who package hazardous materials regularly, which can be accessed and printed here.  For more information about packaging hazardous waste, please contact us today; our expert team will be happy to help.

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