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Management of Hazardous Waste in the US and UK - Essay Example

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Management of Hazardous Waste in the US and UK

The United States Agency in charge of disposing hazardous waste is the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA. The EPS is tasked with taking care of and handling the toxic and hazardous waste inside the United State's borders. The EPS defines hazardous waste as "a waste with properties that make it dangerous or potentially harmful to human health or the environment. The universe of hazardous wastes is large and diverse. Hazardous wastes can be liquids, solids, contained gases, or sludges. They can be the by-products of manufacturing processes or simply discarded commercial products, like cleaning fluids or pesticides" (Hazardous).
The EPS has also taken about the task of dividing the various different hazardous materials into different subcategories and lists. The first list, know as the F-List, is the list for non-specific source waste. This list includes various wastes from common manufacturing and processing plants. The many different processes that can result in creating these wastes are often varied and unknown, so these wastes are classified as coming from non-specific sources.
The second list is the K-List, which are source specific wastes. These waste materials come from specific factories and specific processes. Two of the industries that have this kind of waste are the petroleum refining industry and the pesticide industries.
The last two lists of classification for hazardous materials are the P-List and the U-List. This list includes discarded commercial chemical problems. It includes specific chemical products that have not yet been used. Some pesticides and medicines are classified under these two lists as hazardous waste when they are thrown away or gotten rid of.
However, a material may still be classified as hazardous waste even if it does not fall into any of these categories if it has one of four certain characteristics. If a material displays the characteristics of being ignitable, corrosive, reactive, or toxic, it can still be classified as a hazardous material under the EPA. The EPA has also "developed strict requirements for all aspects of hazardous waste management including the treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. In addition to these federal requirements, states may develop more stringent requirements or requirements that are broader in scope than the federal regulations" (Hazardous).
In the United Kingdom, DEFRA, of the Department for Environmental and Rural Affairs takes care of the management for classifying waste and disposing of it properly. DEFRA has classified hazardous waste as "waste that contains hazardous properties that may render it harmful to human health or the Environment. The European Commission has issued a Directive on the controlled management of such waste" (DEFRA).
DEFRA has also set about its own guidelines for classifying hazardous material. If a material has a "flash point of less than 55 degrees Celsius, has a total concentration greater than 25 percent" among many other various classifications (Consolidated).
DEFRA has also published a very easy to use guide to help agencies determine if their waste is hazardous and needs to be taken care of properly or not. This guide is a great recourse that easily helps any agency tell if it needs to take special precautions with dealing with any possible kind of waste imaginable. For ...Show more
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With today's world finally turning green, the treatment of the environment is starting to be a huge topic of debate. After years of policies that have not been as pro-environment as they should have been, environment activists have finally started to rally the cry for a more environmentally conscience global feeling towards the environment…
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Management of Hazardous Waste in the US and UK
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