Hazardous waste is waste in any form that is harmful to human health and the environment. This kind of waste should never be mixed with non-hazardous waste streams or recycling.
Hazardous waste will usually have one or more of the following characteristics:
Explosive, flammable, or liable to spontaneously combust
Oxidizing, corrosive, or contains organic peroxides
Poisonous, infectious, toxic, or ecotoxic
Creates toxic gases in contact with air or water
Waste will also be considered hazardous if it reacts in the environment to create a hazardous substance. For example, when different materials react in a landfill to create hazardous leachate.
Hazardous wastes are not necessarily considered Dangerous Goods when being transported; but if a product was considered a dangerous good before it became waste, it is likely to be considered hazardous unless a process has somehow removed the hazardous characteristic. For example, when lime is added to acidic material to lower the pH.
If you need to deal with hazardous waste, there are tools you can use to help you classify it correctly. This will help you engage the right service provider and get good value for your waste service. You should have access to the product label, safety data sheets and any dangerous goods labels. You must also be able to specify your waste form (as solid, liquid or sludge), the volume of waste and how it is being stored.
Waste service providers may refer to hazardous waste using different terminology depending on the State you happen to be in. Controlled Waste (WA and National regulations and agreements), Waste that must be tracked or Trackable waste (NSW), Prescribed Industrial Waste (VIC) and Regulated Waste (QLD) are all used in relation to hazardous waste and usually refer to how waste is regulated under each State’s legislation.
Remember: To comply with regulations, hazardous waste should only be collected by licensed waste service providers.
If you have any questions about how to classify your waste or how it should be transported, please get in touch here