So You Think Your Waste Is Just Non-Haz? There’s More to it Than That


So You Think Your Waste Is Just Non-Haz? There’s More to it Than That


We often hear, “Why do I have to profile my waste and provide samples? Man, it’s just non-haz.”

You may be under the impression that your waste materials are all non-hazardous so you don’t need to be nearly as cautious as facilities that produce RCRA-regulated hazardous waste. But let’s be clear: the word “non-hazardous” does not mean “harmless.” Federal, state, and local governments have strict stipulations for treatment processes for non-hazardous materials before they are released into the environment.

Under the EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) program, non-hazardous wastes are regulated under Subtitle D. RCRA Subtitle D helps waste management professionals develop environmentally sound methods for treating and disposing of non-hazardous waste. EPA has established mandatory minimum regulatory requirements for waste management facilities that receive nonhazardous solid waste (see 40 CFR 257 & 258 for details). States also have their own regulations, which must be equivalent or even more stringent.

Consider this: for many materials, whether or not they are considered hazardous or non-hazardous depends on the concentration of the material. Take saline solution, for instance. It’s just a solution of sodium chloride (table salt) and water: typically 0.9% sodium chloride and 99.1% water when formulated as a rinse for contact lenses and for medical care. However, should the amount of sodium chloride in water rise above 50%, then that material would be dangerous to the environment. It would need to be handled differently from normal saline solution at a waste treatment plant.

That’s why it’s crucial that your treatment facility sample your wastewater to perform a detailed profile and analyses to determine exactly what’s in your waste and the best methods to treat it. Always keep in mind that even non-hazardous waste materials contain contaminants that damage the environment. By conducting profiles, analyses, and careful treatment of your waste, you’ll stay in compliance with governmental regulations and do your part protecting our environment.

Although it’s true that your wastewater may be categorized as non-hazardous, it may still contain any number of materials that are environmentally harmful and government regulated. Certain chemicals, oils, salts, paints, soaps, and metals are included in this group. Make certain the waste treatment facility you choose takes proper precautions with your waste, even if it is “non-haz.”

Interested in more information on wastewater profiling and analysis? Visit our website at or call us at 800-399-2783. With Environmental Remedies on your side, all solutions lead to clean.