The Retrofit Companies Blog

Choosing a Reputable Partner Minimizes Your Risks for Regulated Waste Related Fines


One of the most important concepts for generators of waste to understand is Cradle-to-Grave.  You can see the EPA’s definition HERE.  But, in a nut shell, this means that the generator of waste is responsible to ultimate disposal.  Nothing will relinquish a generator of this responsibility and there’s no expiration date or time limit.  Hiring someone else to transport and dispose of your waste does NOT transfer responsibility. 

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Recently, charges have been filed against two vendors who were previously trusted to properly handle their clients’ waste.

Luminaire Environmental and Technologies Inc. Plymouth, MN

Recycletronics Sioux City, IA

Because the actions of your chosen vendors can also negatively affect your company image, as well as result in fines and other additional fees for you, it’s important to know the following about anyone you allow to manage your regulated waste:

  • Can they provide names and contacts to current customers (similar to you) as references?
  • Does the vendor have adequate insurance? They should be able to provide not only commercial liability, but also pollution coverage.
  • Where does the waste go? Can the vendor provide all downstream channel and facility information?
  • What documentation and paperwork is provided? Depending on the waste type, waste profiles and hazardous waste manifests may be required. Certificates of Recycling/disposal should be provided every shipment, and your vendor should be able to provide you with usage reports, as requested.

You should be prepared and have a plan. [Check out our blog for help preparing a waste management plan.] Monitor and manage your plan, and the service provided to ensure you are in compliance should never be overlooked.

At The Retrofit Companies, your environmental compliance is our top priority. We offer a range of environmental services, assisting with material inventories, legal documentation, and access to approved packaging options. In addition to proper shipping procedures and an extensive network of disposal partners, rest assured that your waste handling and recycling needs are covered by TRC. We're here to be the hazardous waste recycling and disposal partner you are looking for.  

Consult our haz waste team


Preparing A Hazardous Waste Management Plan

Hazardous Waste Management & Chemical Cleanup Resources for Businesses

There are a few obstacles to overcome when safely handling and disposing special waste and preparing a hazardous waste management plan. Aside from the obvious health risks, hazardous waste generators must also be aware of concerns that range from handling and storage to transportation and recycling. This article will help you understand what aspects to consider when deciding on a plan of action to dispose of your business’s special waste, including when to consult a certified Hazardous Waste Recycler.

Chemicals that are not frequently used often accumulate and are overlooked when it comes re recycling on a regular basis. These can be small bottles of miscellaneous chemicals, expired products, aerosols, or even cans of old paint. If you have ever generated any of these things you will remember that finding a recycling outlet can be difficult. Items like these not only tend to collect in our personal basements, but in the storage closets and cabinets at businesses as well. You must be aware that most chemicals, solvents, or any oil based waste are considered Hazardous Waste by the EPA. Your normal garbage company will not take these, so finding a safe and legal disposal method will be up to you.

What hazardous wastes might I have?

The chemical items we previously mentioned are classified as Hazardous Waste for a reason. Exposure to these chemicals or products could be detrimental to the environment and the health of others. Be sure you are properly trained before handling any hazardous waste.  While most businesses have minimal needs for chemical clean outs, there are a few industries where this service is practical and necessary:

  • Manufacturers – Expired products, maintenance chemicals, vendor samples, process wastes, spill waste
  • Educational Institutions – Research waste, lab waste, cleaners, maintenance chemicals, science department chemicals
  • Property Management – Expired products, old paint, expired cleaners, abandoned miscellaneous waste
  • Link to Top 40 Chemical Offenders

Storing & Handling Hazardous Wastes the in Workplace

The easiest way to find information on any chemical you come across is by referencing its Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). An MSDS is required to be provided with any potentially dangerous product. Every MSDS provides the following information:

    • Supplier Information (manufacturer of the product)
    • Hazardous Ingredients
    • Physical and Chemical Characteristics
    • Fire and Explosion Hazard data
    • Reactivity Data
    • Health Hazards
    • Safe Handling Precautions
    • Control Measures

There are multiple databases on line where you can look up the MSDS if you do not have a physical copy. The Material Safety Data sheet will be the first request from any Hazardous Waste Recycler. Download our

Having the proper paperwork is only useful if your employees are aware of it. Anyone who deals with hazardous chemicals or materials should know of their whereabouts. Store these documents in a convenient location so any employee can reference them if need be. Information is the most important tool when it comes to storing and handling your waste. Train employees on the proper safety procedures when using each waste. When it comes to accidents involving Hazardous waste, education is always the best prevention.

What Are the Benefits of Professional Hazardous Waste Disposal Service?

Disposing of Hazardous Waste is a time consuming, detail oriented process. Many of the chemicals listed above are not common recycling items. If you are unfamiliar with the chemicals you need recycled, it is likely that you are unfamiliar with the handling, packaging, and transportation regulations to dispose them. Also, if cleaning out your old chemicals is a rare occurrence, there could be a multitude of different wastes. Due to the potential risks, all Hazardous Wastes must be legally documented, packaged, and transported according to the Department of Transportation. This can be an overwhelming undertaking for the inexperienced.

Consulting a reputable Hazardous Waste Recycler is a simple solution. Experts will come on site and identify, sort, and take a detailed inventory of all of you Hazardous waste. They provide the required shipping documents, packaging, and labeling for each item. Their service does not stop there. After the necessary preparation, your waste is transported to vetted, licensed, and audited end facilities. Keep in mind: generators have “Cradle to Grave” responsibility for their Hazardous wastes, so having a trusted waste handling partner is important. Under the CERCLA legislation, even after you have paid for proper disposal you are liable for a cleanup. A  Hazardous Waste Handler will ensure all end facilities are a trusted, proven outlet for all wastes.

Do Your Research

Generators are legally responsible for their Hazardous Waste. It is crucial that you seek out a reputable Hazardous Waste Recycler when you are liable for any malpractice. Do some research. There are some credentials that you should look for when searching for this service:

  • Your Hazardous Waste Recycler should have a valid EPA ID number.
  • They should have at least a satisfactory rating from the Department of Transportation.  
  • A clean record when it comes to inspections is a must.
  • Recyclers that do not comply with the laws are shut down instantly.

 A Hazardous Waste Recycler’s reputation in this industry is invaluable. Full disclosure should be the selling point. Check what companies are registered locally when seeking out a professional service. The right Hazardous Waste Recycler can provide all of the necessary knowledge to properly dispose of your waste. Most importantly, they can provide peace of mind.

Our team is always standing by to help answer your questions. Contact us today!


Free Hazardous Waste Consultation

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