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The Different Types of Waste

Many people do not understand the different types of waste designated through the Environmental Protection Agency. Hazardous and Non-Hazardous waste has very specific handling and removal regulations.

Solid waste includes garbage, trash, wastewater treatment, and water supply treatment facility sludge, and air pollution control facility waste. It also includes discarded material whether solid, liquid, or semi-solid, and gases that come from industrial, agricultural, mining, and commercial applications. Solid waste can be broken down into two categories: Municipal Solid Waste which is your garbage; and Industrial Waste which is produced by manufacturing, industrial, and production sources. Solid waste can be hazardous, or non-hazardous.

Hazardous waste is waste that is dangerous for the environment and public health. Hazardous waste can be liquid, gas, solid, sludge, chemical, and other byproducts from commercial, industrial, and manufacturing companies.

The EPA breaks hazardous waste into different categories or lists. There are four: F-list, K-list, P-list and the U-list. F and K list apply to manufacture and industrial processes. F-list wastes are from non-specific sources. They include wastes from solvents, metal finishing, electroplating, dioxins, wood preservation, wastewater sludge from petroleum refinery wastewater, and multisource leachates.

The K-list is waste from specific manufacturing and industrial sources. There are 13 categories that run the gamut from explosives, petroleum refining, iron and steel production, coke from coal mining, aluminum production, pesticide manufacturing, and more. Both the F and K lists have assigned EPA hazard codes for the specific waste on each list. They are:

T- Toxic Waste
H- Acute Hazardous Waste
I- Ignitable Waste
C- Corrosive Waste
R- Reactive Waste
E- Toxicity Characteristic Waste

P and U lists waste is related to specific chemicals that are unused pure and commercial grade formulations. To be on both lists the wastes have to conform to three characteristics:

  1. It must contain one of the chemicals listed on either the P or U list.
  2. The chemical in the waste must be unused;
  3. It must be in the form of a commercial chemical product.

The EPA designates a commercial chemical product for both lists as a chemical that is either 100% pure, technical/commercial grade, or the sole active ingredient in the chemical formation.

Handling, storing, moving, and disposing of all waste whether hazardous or non-hazardous is serious for the sake of our environment and public health. Thanks to education, research, and regulations for public health the safe removal, transport, and disposal of this kind of waste has vastly improved. Having an environmental services partner certified, licensed, and trained in hazardous and non-hazardous waste is critical to any production, manufacturing, industrial, and commercial services.

At Pinnacle Environmental Services Inc., our goal is a zero-landfill waste. We are vigilant in our pursuit of reducing carbon footprints, effective waste stream management, and recycling for the environment and our customers. We are committed to helping our customers save money, reduce waste, recycle, and properly dispose of other forms of waste into renewable energy and other forms. Our services are personalized with a custom-designed plan for your business, or organization. Our comprehensive audit not only helps reduce waste-and its cost to your operations- but it also identifies the optimal disposal and recycling options for all that remains.

Mike Watts, President
Pinnacle Environmental Services,
864.236.5450