Experts classify any item or substance that can harm people’s health or the environment as hazardous waste. To manage and dispose of this waste appropriately, it’s crucial to know which category it belongs to. You may be wondering what the classifications of hazardous waste are. If you’re curious, read on to learn more.
Hazardous waste categories
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized four major classification groups for hazardous waste. With each designation comes a new set of risks and disposal solutions. This waste can be highly damaging to the environment if professionals don’t adequately control them.
There are four separate subtypes of listed waste. This includes F-list, K-list, P-list and U-list waste. Scientists consider anything specifically mentioned in these lists harmful.
The F-list includes waste with an unclear origin. Items on the K-list are the opposite, as they have a particular industry source. Commercial chemical goods that industries need to discard but won’t utilize further are on both the P-list and U-list.
Professionals identify characteristic wastes by their features, as the name suggests.
Four characteristics are the basis of this waste group:
Ignitability: Indicates an object is flammable
Corrosivity: The ability to corrode materials made of steel
Reactivity: The unstable state of waste
Toxicity: A substance’s poisonous capacity when absorbed
When waste contains hazardous and radioactive compounds, experts designate it as mixed waste. Because of this dangerous mixture of pollutants, professionals strongly advise that businesses generating mixed waste treat and dispose of it differently.
Regulated by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Atomic Energy Act, this type of waste is classified into one of three subcategories. This includes low-level mixed waste (LLMW), high-level mixed waste (HLW) and mixed transuranic waste (MTRU).
Often referred to as commonly generated waste, universal waste is the last classification of hazardous waste. This type of waste is among the most widespread, and it’s usually labeled “dangerous goods.” Light bulbs, pesticides and batteries are examples of universal waste.
Knowing the various types of dangerous material holds industries responsible for properly disposing of hazardous waste. Not all trash is the same, and by keeping that in mind, we can all save lives and make the world a cleaner place to live.