Household Hazardous Waste Management

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    United States Solid Waste and EPA530-R-92-026Environmental Protection Emergency Response August 1993Agency (OS-305)

    Household HazardousWaste Management

    A Manual for One-DayCommunity Collection Programs

  • This handbook is designed to help communities planand operate a successful household hazardous waste(HHW) collection program. The handbook focuses onone-day drop-off programs. Other types of HHW collectionprogramspermanent, mobile, and special-are not discussedin detail.

    The handbook is intended for community leaders and HHWcollection program organizers. It provides guidance for all as-pects of planning, organizing, and publicizing a HHW collec-tion program. It does not provide technical information aboutthe treatment, disposal, or transport of HHW. These jobs areperformed by professional contractors or others with special-ized training. The manual includes information about select-ing a qualified hazardous waste contractor

  • I

    Household HazardousWaste Management

    A Manual for One-DayCommunity Collection Programs

    Section 1

    Section 2

    Section 3

    Section 4

    Section 5

    Section 6

    Section 7

    Section 8

    Section 9

    Section 10

    Section 11

    Appendix A

    Appendix B

    Appendix C

    Appendix D

    Page

    Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...1

    Getting Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...5

    Selecting Wastes and Collection Methods . . . . . . . . . .11

    Selecting Waste Management Methods . . . . . . . . . . .17

    Minimizing Liability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...21

    Funding the Program and Controlling Costs . . . . . . . . .25

    Publishing the Request for Proposals and

    Signing the Contract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...31

    Selecting, Designing, and Operating the

    Collection Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...37

    Training the Collection Day Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41

    Education and publicity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...45

    Evaluating the Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...49

    Case Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...51

    Hazardous Waste Laws and Regulations . . . . . . . . . . .58

    State and Regional Hazardous Waste Contacts . . . . . . .62

    Information Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...68

    Sample Participant Questionnaire . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74

  • What Is Household once the consumer no longer has any use forHazardous Waste? them. The average U.S. household generatesmore than 20 pounds of HHW per year. As

    Many common household products con- much as 100 pounds can accumulate in the

    1

  • I N T R O D U C T I O N

    home, often remaining there until the resi-dents move or do an extensive cleanout.

    Hazardous waste is waste that can catchfire, react, or explode under certain circum-stances, or that is corrosive or toxic. TheU.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) has set stringent requirements for themanagement of hazardous waste generatedby industries. Some HHW can pose risks topeople and the environment if it is not used,stored carfully, and disposed of properly.However, Congress chose not to regulate itbecause regulating every household is sim-ply too impractical.

    Government and industry are working todevelop consumer products with fewer orno hazardous constituents. However, forsome products, such as car batteries and

    photographic chemicals, no safe substi-tutes exist. So, communities will need effec-tive HHW management programs for sometime to come.

    Communities FindSolutions

    HHW programs can benefit communitiesin several important ways. They can reducethe risks to health and the environment re-sulting from improper storage and disposalof HHW. They can reduce communitiesliability for the cleanup of contaminationresulting from improper HHW disposal.Finally, HHW programs can increase com-munity residents awareness of the potentialrisks associated with HHW and promote a

    ommon Household Hazardous Wast

    (These items, and others not included on this list, might contain materialsthat are ignitable, corrosive, reactive, or toxic.)

    Drain openers

    Oven cleaners

    W and metal cleaners and polishers

    Automotive oil and fuel additives

    Grease and rust solvents

    Carburetor and fuel injection cleaners

    Air conditioning refrigerants

    Starter fluids

    Paint thinners

    Paint strippers and removers

    Adhesives

    Herbicides

    Insecticides

    Fungicides/wood preservatives

    Source: A Survey of Household Hazardous Wastes and Related Collection Programs, Office ofSolid Waste and Emergency Response, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA/530-86-038.

  • 1990

    1991

    175

    2 4 8 31 94

    19881989

    I N T R O D U C T I O N

    PROGRAMS

    1 ,000

    800

    600

    400

    200

    0

    better understanding of waste issues ingeneral.

    Many communities have established pro-grams to manage HHW. The impetus forstarting a HHW program can come from thegrassroots level, from local or state gover-nment agencies, from community groups, orfrom industry. The number of HHW collec-

    tions in the United States has grown dramati-cally over the last decade. Since 1980, whenthe first HHW collection was held, morethan 3,000 collection programs have beendocumented in all 50 states.

    Although programs vary across the coun-try, most include both educational and col-lection components. Communities usually

    273

    1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986

    YEAR

    300

    L1987

    484

    859802

    693

    Number of HHW Collection Programs in the United States, 1980-1991.SourceWaste Watch Center, Andover, Massachusetts, 1991.

  • N T R O D U C T I O N

    begin a HHW program by holding a single-day drop-off HHW collection. Organizing acollection event is an important first step inreducing and managing risks associatedwith HHW.

    Some communities hold annual or semia-nnual collections, while others have estab-lished permanent HHW collection programswith a dedicated facility (open at least onceeach month) to provide households withyear-round access to information and reposi-tories for HHW. By 1991,96 permanentHHW collection programs were operating in

    16 states. In addition, communities haveinitiated pilot programs for curbside pick-upby appointment, neighborhood curbside col-lection programs, and drop-off programs forspecific types of HHW.

    The efforts of communities across thecountry provide a wealth of experience forother communities beginning HHW manage-ment programs. As the number of these pro-grams continues to grow, public awarenessabout HHW will also grow, and the environ-mental problems associated with improperstorage and disposal of HHW are likely todecrease.

  • Getting Started

    5

  • G E T T I N G S T A R T E D

    P lanning for your first HHW collection must begin very early-as long as 6 to 18months before a projected HHW collection date. See box for a sample timeline forplanning the HHW collection. In addition, the case studies presented in Section 11describe how two communities successfully planned HHW collection days.

    Define Roles andResponsibilities

    Although one person can be the catalystfor beginning a community program, thesuccess of the program depends on the in-volvement of a variety of individuals andorganizations. A key initial step in planningthe program is identifying who should beinvolved and defining their roles andresponsibilities.

    The PlanningCommittee

    The most important step in beginning aprogram is enlisting a core group of peoplewho can assemble the needed resources andmanage the program. The planning commit-tee can perform or oversee many differentfunctions, such as:

    Providing background information.Setting policy and goals.Obtaining finding and other resources.Championing the program in thecommunity.Supervising a sponsor.

    The process of forming a planning com-mittee can begin at a meeting of communityofficials and interested members of the pub-lic where they can discuss instituting aHHW management program. Telephoninginfluential community members and placingannouncements in the local media can helpboost attendance at the meeting.

    If sufficient support for a program exists,the people gathered can choose a programcoordinator, form a planning committee andsubcommittees, and begin planning the pro-gram. The planning committee usually in-cludes solid waste, health, public safety, andplanning officials; legislators; members of

    citizen groups; and representatives from lo-cal business and industry.

    The HHWProgram Sponsor

    Every community HHW managementprogram needs a sponsor or co-sponsors.Usually the sponsor is a government agency,but some programs are sponsored by a civicorganization or a business. The sponsorsrole includes:

    Managing and funding all aspects of theprogram.Developing Requests for Proposals(RFPs) and contracts with a licensed

    hazardous waste contractor.Recruiting, managing, and delegating re-sponsibilities to supporting agencies andstaff.

    Involving community leaders and resi-dents in planning and implementing theprogram.

    The HazardousWaste Firm

    Most communities contract with a quali-fied hazardous waste firm that handles theHHW at the collection site and brings it to ahazardous waste treatment storage, and dis-posal facility (TSDF). If you hire a hazardouswaste contractor to handle the HHW collec-tion, be sure to choose a firm or firms licensedto store, transport