At the end of this module, you will be able to:
- Describe the purpose of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
- Describe how to identify a hazardous waste
- Differentiate between listed and characteristic hazardous wastes
- Describe the four hazardous characteristics
The following key questions are answered in this module:
What are the hazardous waste identification steps?
1. Determine if the waste is a solid waste
2. Determine if the waste is specifically excluded from RCRA
3. Determine if the waste is a listed hazardous waste
4. Determine if the waste is a characteristic hazardous waste
What is a solid waste?
A solid waste is any discarded solid, semisolid, liquid, or contained gaseous material
What is a listed waste?
The EPA maintains lists with a precise narrative description of a hazardous waste based on its origin
What is a characteristic waste?
Not every waste can be listed, so if a waste exhibits one of 4 characteristics (ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity), then it is hazardous
What is the mixture rule?
The mixture rule states that a mixture made up of a nonhazardous solid waste and any amount of a listed hazardous waste is considered a listed hazardous waste.
Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:
Ignitable wastes readily catch fire and will sustain combustion. Most ignitable wastes are liquids. To determine if a liquid waste is an ignitable hazard, a flash point test is used. The flash point is the lowest temperature at which the chemical ignites when exposed to flame. A flash point of less than 140 degrees Fahrenheit, 60 degrees Celsius, means the chemical is hazardous. A non-liquid waste is considered hazardous if it can spontaneously catch fire by friction, moisture absorption, or spontaneous chemical changes under normal atmospheric conditions and burns vigorously and persistently once ignited. Finally, many compressed gasses and oxidizing chemicals are also considered hazardous because of ignitability.
Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:
- Environmental Protection Agency - http://www.epa.gov
- EPA Information Resources - http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/inforesources/online/index.htm
- EPA Quick Reference Guide - http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/inforesources/pubs/trifold.pdf
- EPA RCRA Policy Outline - http://www.epa.gov/agriculture/lrca.html