What is Liquid Waste Disposal?
Liquid waste is any kind of liquid residue that is harmful to the public health or the environment. Liquid waste can be produced by all industries and includes a variety of different by-products, such as wastewater from industrial processes and manufacturing. Since the term includes all waste in the liquid state, this category embraces both waste that has been converted into a liquid form for handling and waste produced as liquid.
Liquid waste can be divided into specific waste types based on its nature and the risks it poses. If the discarded liquid residues come from commercial processes, the waste is normally referred as ‘Liquid Industrial Waste’. Cleaning fluids, pesticides or the by-products of manufacturing processes belong to this category. A strict regulation – which is cover in the Environmental Protection Act - is in placed with regards to generating, storing, transporting, treating and disposing of hazardous liquid wastes. It is responsibility of the organization producing the waste to comply with it.
Liquid waste ca be found in many different forms. It can be the residue of processes involving surfactants, grease traps, septic tanks or wash-waters. Also, any leftover of solvents, resins, paint, inks, dyes, pesticides and other liquid chemicals components are to be considered liquid waste. Animal and human excrements and household wastewater coming from dishwashing, bathing and a variety of other domestic activities are examples of typical liquid waste.
A particularly hazardous type of liquid waste is made by the residues of chemical processes which contribute to the production of alcohols, formaldehyde, corrosive substances (caustics and acids), quarantine waste or contaminated soil.
Improper handling or disposal of hazardous liquid waste may result in serious problem for the environment and the public health. For this reason, it is paramount that you outsource your liquid waste disposal to a professional approved service.
An effective liquid waste management plan should follow the waste management hierarchy, which includes the following steps:
The application of good liquid waste minimization practices will keep the volume of liquid waste and potential pollutants to a minimum. This is the first aspect that should be addressed.
A safe collection in proper containers is essential to reduce the risks of leakage or infiltration and minimize the contact with the chemical waste.
Selecting the correct liquid waste treatment technology depends on the characteristics of the waste itself and the standards that have to be maintained.
Typical liquid waste reuse is mostly practiced in a number of manufacturing industries with a view of reducing operational costs. For organisations that produce large amounts of liquid waste, reuse can reduce the total discharge but rarely totally eliminate the need of disposal.
There are different methods to dispose of liquid waste. The most commonly used are:
- Dewatering: this method can be adopted only if the liquid waste is non-hazardous. The liquid waste is pumped into a special big bag, the water is removed until only the solid waste will remain.
- Sedimentation: with this method, the liquid waste is left in a sediment basin until it is possible to remove any solid contaminants. The water left in the basin will be filtered and treated, and the solid waste will be disposed of appropriately.
- Incineration: this is the disposal method most commonly used for hazardous liquid waste. The heat produced by either a fluidized bed furnace or a multiple hearth furnace will eliminate hazardous waste such as scrap materials, oils, acids, and other chemicals, while the water will be left clean.
Most businesses choose to hire a professional waste disposal company to handle their liquid waste on their behalf.
Collection and treatment of liquid waste
Any organisation that produces liquid waste is required by law to develop a system for holding and storing the liquid waste once it has been manufactured or converted into its liquid form. Based on the nature of the business and the liquid waste produced, this may be stored in either tanks or barrels which have to be kept in a dedicated area of the production facilities until collection. Only authorized personnel or your chosen hazardous waste disposal service should grant access to the area.
Frequently, liquid wastes need to be treated before they can safely be disposed of. Given the variety of different waste streams and their unique properties, treatment techniques must be adapted to the specific liquid waste in question.
Liquid medical waste must be placed in closable containers specifically designed to contain the liquid and prevent leaks. These containers need to be labelled with the contaminant inside.
Depending on the liquid waste it may be possible to add a solidifying agent to reduce the risk of spills. The solidified liquid can then be packaged and disposed of as hazardous waste. If the solidifying agent contains a disinfectant, it may be possible to dispose of the waste as non-regulated chemical waste, which is less expensive than going through the hazardous waste route.
Pouring contaminated liquid waste down the drain is forbidden by law. It can be also very dangerous as both splashing and aerosolization may occur when a liquid is poured. This puts the employee performing this job at risk of both coming in contact with chemical agents and releasing them into the environment.
At All Waste Matters we are specialists in liquid waste disposal. We operate our own wide range of waste collection vehicles and have no minimum quantity to qualify for a collection.
Many flammable liquids we collect are reused as secondary fuels for incinerators, whilst other chemicals are treated using the latest physico – chemical techniques, where by liquid wastes are actually blended together to neutralize the thers hazardous properties.
The range of liquid waste we can handle are vast and all of our staff are fully trained in handling hazardous liquid waste to ensure your collection is carried out with minimum fuss.