top of page

Hazardous Waste Management


Learning objectives

Define hazardous waste, explain the importance of managing it properly, and list the categories of hazardous waste generators.

List some actions industrial facilities use to manage hazardous waste and explain how you can assist your company with its hazardous waste management efforts.

Describe how to handle common types of hazardous waste.

Describe how you, and other individuals with various roles and responsibilities, should respond to an unintended release of hazardous waste.

Course overview

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Hazardous waste is waste that is dangerous or potentially harmful to our health or the environment. Hazardous wastes can be liquids, solids, gases, or sludges. They can be discarded commercial products, like cleaning fluids or pesticides, or the by-products of manufacturing processes.”

There is a growing awareness of the dangerous side effects of hazardous waste contamination. Years ago, many industrial plants discharged heavy metals and unstable organic compounds directly into streams or injected them into the earth’s subsurface through wells, causing illness in populations with close proximity to these toxic sites.

Nitrates, phosphates, and synthetic organic compounds in pesticides and fertilizers made their way into streams and ground water as a result of agricultural applications. With the arrival of the atomic age, radionuclide contamination emerged from man-made sources, like nuclear power plants.

Hazardous waste takes many physical forms. It may be solid, semi-solid, liquid, or gaseous. It can include spent solvents as well as many pesticides and excess, discarded, or spilled chemicals.

Hazardous waste is an environmental concern because:

  • It remains intact for many years;

  • It does not easily break down in the environment;

  • It can be transferred among air, water, soils, and sediments;

  • It can be transferred from one organism to another.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Cancer Institute estimate that between 60 and 90 percent of cancers are environmentally induced by contaminates such as heavy metals and toxic chemicals.

Other chronic health effects from waste contaminants include stroke, kidney and thyroid disease, cardiovascular damage, nervous disorders, and impairment of speech, hearing, vision, and memory.

Hazardous wastes are now regulated to:

  • Ensure safe treatment, storage, transportation, and disposal;

  • Prevent the generation of hazardous waste through pollution prevention;

  • Reduce the amount of any hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant released into the environment.

Treatment technologies may include:

  • Distillation

  • Stabilization

  • Neutralization

  • Incineration

  • Evaporation

Avoid generating hazardous wastes by:

  • Process modification (avoid the need for the hazardous material).

  • Product substitution (purchase the least toxic substance available).

  • Product purchase minimization (purchase minimum quantity and in small containers initially).

Waste Management Practices

  • Place waste materials in their properly designated containers.

  • Cover containers that hold chemicals.

  • Label containers.

  • Store chemicals out of the weather.

  • Follow the guidelines for proper management, handling, and disposal of hazardous wastes or “unknowns”.

  • Report chemical spills to your company’s Environmental or Health, Fire, & Safety Departments.

  • Dispose of aerosol cans in a manner approved by state or local regulations (these normally incorporate provisions for capturing and safe disposal of any remaining container contents and disposal of the empty aerosol cans).

  • Drain used oil filters and place in the marked container.

  • Place used oil in bulk used oil containers.

  • Never leave lids off of oil funnels, solvent containers, or other waste containers.

  • Never place full or partially full aerosol cans in trash containers.

  • Never place waste streams in improper, unlabeled containers.

  • Avoid storing chemical containers on bare ground.

  • Store chemical containers inside and on paved surfaces.

  • Follow the spill release reporting guidelines for chemical releases and spills.

  • For general waste management issues and questions, contact your company’s Environmental Department personnel for direction.


  • Procedures for proper response to an accidental spill or release should be in place.

  • Emergency response supplies and equipment should be on hand.

  • Waste receptacles should be clearly identified for the types of waste.

If you discover a hazardous material spill or release at work:

  • Immediately report it to your manager, supervisor, building administrator, or company environmental organization.

  • Call your company’s emergency number right away if it is life threatening or immediately hazardous.

Language Offered In.png


Mobile Ready

Course Time.png

20 min

Course Outline

Course Outline

  • Introduction to Hazardous Waste

  • Handling Hazardous Waste

  • Special Instructions for Common Wastes

  • Emergency Response



  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 40 CRF part 260-265

  • 40 CFR 261 Subpart D

  • 40 CFR 261 Subpart C


Click to view other courses in this Library:

Load More >



Provider Info
Provider Info

Compliance Plus is a group of libraries that gives you the flexibility to assign your workforce any number of the 285 plus courses listed. This includes all courses from the Occupational Safety & Health, Environmental Management, Human Resources, Transportation, Canadian Safety & Health, Higher Education, Healthcare, and Training Shorts Libraries for one low price!

You can purchase this course in the following ways:

Need Help?

Contact us


Library Group Level

Click here to add your own content, or connect to data from your collections.

Priced from:


Monthly or Annual

See Options
See Plans


Additional Features

See Plans

load more

Course Reviews

+ Add Review
average rating is 3 out of 5, based on 150 votes, Product ratings
98% would recommend

This Solution is provided by: 
Market Partner.png
ESSG App/Gig Partner
ESSG App/Gig Partner
Support info
Support Email.png
Provider Website
bottom of page