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Any waste or combination of waste that poses substantial danger, now or
in the future; to human, plant and animal life.
Classified as hazardous based on four characteristics:
Ignitability (flammable)
It must be $A%&'(& or &I)*+)(& +,, with special precaution
,our basic characteristics:
Ignitable (flash point of - ./oC )
eacti!e (unstable or undergoes rapid or !iolent chemical reaction
with water, air or other materials)
Corrosi!e (dissol!es metals, burns the s0in or has a p$ - 1 or ph2
"o#ic (poisonous or can cause cancer, mutations or death)
Physical state of Hazardous waste
5 6as, )olid, 'i7uid
(n!ironmental Act 389:
(.;. (&io#in and ,uran) egulations 1//:
(.; ()chedule <astes) egulation 38=8
(.; ()cheduled <astes) egulations 1//4
(.; ()cheduled <astes) (Amendment) egulations 1//9
+ther 'egislations
The Department of Environment (DOE) is empowered under the
Environmental Quality Act 197 to control and prevent pollution and to
protect and enhance the !uality of the environment"
A set of re#ulations dealin# with ha$ardous waste mana#ement which
re#ulate the stora#e% transport% treatment and disposal of ha$ardous wastes
was enforced on &ay 19'9(
>Environmental Quality ()cheduled *astes) +e#ulations 19'9
>Environmental Quality ()cheduled *astes) +e#ulations ,--.
>Environmental Quality ()cheduled *astes) (Amendment) +e#ulations
>Environmental Quality (Dio/in And 0uran) +e#ulations ,--.
>Environmental Quality (1rescri2ed 1remises) ()cheduled *astes
Treatment and Disposal 0acilities) +e#ulations and
>Environmental Quality (1rescri2ed 1remises) ()cheduled *astes
Treatment and Disposal 0acilities) Order% 19'9
+e#ulations specify(
>3efore disposal% 2e rendered innocuous
>*astes #enerated shall 2e reduced
>4enerators notify DOE
>*astes #enerated stored% recovered 5 treated on6site
>7and farmin#% incineration% disposal% o86site recovers% stora#e and
treatment% 2y DOE licensed premises
>*aste containers 9 clear la2el% proper% ade!uate
>4enerators shall o2ey the re!uirement of consi#nment note system
when transportin#
1-7 cate#ories under )chedules *astes #rouped into , parts(
>1art 1 6 )cheduled *astes from :on )peci;c )ources
e"#" mineral oil from machines% spent oil% oil tan<er slud#e%
cleanin# solvent% spent al<aline waste% platin# slud#e%
patho#en and clinical waste
>1art , 6 )cheduled *astes from )peci;c )ources
e"#" mineral oil from re;nery% oil slud#e from wor<shop%
paint waste from paint factory% phenol from #lue factory%
spent catalyst from chemical plant
)cheduled wastes shall as far as practica2le% 2efore disposal% 2e rendered
4eneration of scheduled wastes shall 2e reduced usin# the 2est
practica2le means=
*aste #enerators to notify the DOE of any scheduled wastes #enerated
and <eep up6to6date inventory of scheduled wastes #enerated% treated and
disposed of (refer to Anne/es 1 and ,)=
)cheduled wastes may 2e stored% recovered and treated within the
premises of a waste #enerator=
7and farmin#% incineration% disposal% o86site recovery% o86site stora#e and
o86site treatment shall only 2e carried out at prescri2ed premises licensed 2y
the DOE=
>se of dura2le waste containers with clear la2els" )tora#e of wastes shall
2e proper and ade!uate=
*aste #enerators shall conform to the re!uirements of the consi#nment
note system when transportin# wastes to ensure it reaches the approved
destination and are carried out 2y licensed transporters (refer to Anne/ ?)=
*aste #enerators shall provide information to a transporters re#ardin# the
nature of the wastes transported and action to 2e ta<en in case of accidents
+e#ulations #a$etted ( ,. &arch ,--
+e#ulations e8ective date( 1 &ay ,--
1arameter to control ( Dio/in dan 0uran
These re#ulations apply to facilities(
1) &unicipal solid wastes incinerator
,) )cheduled waste incinerator
?) 1ulp or paper industry slud#e incinerator
) )ewa#e slud#e incinerator
:ew 0acility
>@ompliance date ( 1 &ay ,-- onwards
>@oncentration limit for air emission of Dio/in and 0uran ( -"1
nano#ramA:m? TEQ
E/istin# 0acility
>@ompliance Date ( 1 &ei ,-- 6 ?- April ,--7
>@oncentration limit for air emission of Dio/in and 0uran ( as prescri2e
in their licenseAapproval or the approved conditions stated in the
environment impact assessment report
>@ompliance date ( 1 &ay ,--7 onwards
>@oncentration limit for air emission of Dio/in and 0uran ( -"1
nano#ramA:m? TEQ
3asel @onvention6 Technical 4uideline on the Environmentally )ound
&ana#ement of 3iomedical and Bealthcare *aste"
&inistry of Bealth &alaysia% &ana#ement of @linical and +elated *astes in
Bospital and Bealth @are Esta2lishments% 199?
What are the useful methods of Hazardous Waste
Management ?
Hazardous wastes have become an important environmental and public health issue which concerns
many countries in the world. In the modern framework of hazardous waste management, a four
pronged strategy has been adopted:
1. Minimizing the uantity of waste
!. "ecycling of industrial waste
#. $reatment of the waste
%. &ollection, transport and disposal of waste in an environmentally sound manner.
'll four of these approaches are important and are not e(clusive of each other. )hen dealing with a
given hazardous waste problem, often there is a need to utilise a combination of the four general
approaches outlined above. )e will discuss, in brief, each of these four approaches.
Waste Minimization
$he first priority in hazardous waste management is to reduce the uantity of waste to minimum.
$hree ma*or waste reduction schemes which are often used can be summarized as below:
i) Process Modification:
+ften the industrial process can be altered in such a way that the use of raw materials is optimized
and the amount of,hazardous waste is reduced to barest minimum. -or e(ample, in zinc
electroplating, the sulphate salt is substituted by the chloride compound with slight modification of
the process. this can eliminate the cyanide problem.
ii) Waste Concentration :
$he waste can be concentrated using evaporation, precipitation or decantation techniues which
means that the volume of waste can be considerably reduced using these methods. Incineration, viz.,
o(idation of inflammable,waste is often practiced in order to reduce the volume of waste to be
handled. It is an e(cellent method of waste disposal, but the cost of operation usually e(ceeds the net
iii/ Waste Segregation : 0egregating the hazardous waste streams from non,hazardous streams
decreases the volume of hazardous wastes, thus, making it easier to treat.
Recycling Industrial Wastes
Many substances in refuse wastes have value. $hey include glass, wood fibre from paper products,
and metal. 0cientists have developed ways of recycling many wastes so they can be used again.
'lmost all materials are recyclable. However, in some more energy will be e(pended in recovery than
the recovered value warrants.
$he two broad ways of processing hazardous waste are waste reuse and waste recycling. )e shall
briefly deal with them.
i) Waste Reuse:
In some cases waste material can be used as a raw material with very little processing. $ransfer of the
waste 1as is1 without reprocessing, to another facility is known as waste reuse or waste e(change.
2nwanted materials of commence such as outdated chemicals or untested materials not meeting the
high uality control reuirements of purchasing industry, can be reused without processing. 3rocess
wastes such as cardboard for making paper pulp, copper or other metal salt solutions for metal
recovery, oils that can be used as fuels. $his includes a variety of other materials that can be reused
as industrial feed stocks.
ii) Waste Recycling :
"ecycling differs from reuse in that the waste must first be treated before it can be used in a
manufacturing process. )hen a transfer o
waste 1as is1 is not possible, reprocessing the waste for
material recovery is known as recycling. -or e(ample, baghouse dust from scrap steel processors,
containing upto !4 per cent zinc o(ide, can be combined with waste sulphuric acid to make
galvaniser5s pickle acid. $he spent pickle liuor containing 6,17 per cent zinc sulphate and some iron
salts is then usable, as fertiliser in agricultural fields. 2se of waste organic solvents is the best
e(ample of recycling waste.
Treatment of Hazardous Wastes
'fter material recovery, the waste water containing hazardous waste chemicals should be deto(ified
and neutralised through treatment. $here are many technologies available for treating hazardous
wastes before they are ultimately disposed of. $heir aim is to modify the physical and8or chemical
properties of the wastes so that they are rendered harmless. 0election of a treatment process depends
on many factors such as the nature of the waste, the desired characteristics of the output stream, and
economic and energy considerations. $he treatment technologies can be divided into the following
groups, namely:
physical treatment
chemical treatment
biological treatment
solidification, and
Physical treatment :
Is conducted using various methods such as phase separation. 3hase separation includes three steps,
namely: lagooning, prolonged storage in tanks and sludge drying in beds. 9agooning and tank
storage are collectively used to separate particulate impurities.
Chemical treatment :
Is used to facilitate complete breakdown of hazardous wastes and more usually to modify the
chemical properties of the wastes, e.g., to reduce water solubility or to neutralise acidity or alkalinity.
$he techniues involve o(idation, chemical reduction, neutralisation, heavy metal precipitation,
oil8water separation and solvents8fuels recovery.
iological treatment :
$he gross impurities obtained from treatment of sewage are
collectively known as sludge, which is given biological treatment, before disposal. $his is known as
sludge processing which has become important since improvements in industrial waste water
treatment. $he typical technologies for sludge processing include conditioning, digestion,
composting, thickening or dewatering and solidification.
i/ Conditioning : In this step the sludge is e(posed to atmosphere for a stipulated period until a
desired consistency is reached.
ii/ !igestion : In this process the sludge is treated with bacteria which break down the long chain
compounds into simpler ones
iii/ Com"osting : In this step the organic matter in the waste sludge is converted into a usable
stable material.
Soldification :
3processes convert the liuid waste into insoluble, rock,hard material and are used as pre,treatment
prior to landfill disposal. $his is usually done by mi(ing the waste with various reactants to produce a
solid mass. $he basic aim of solidification process is to immobilise the hazardous constituents of the
waste, so that these do not leach out at the landfill disposal site,
Collection# Trans"ort and !is"osal
)aste disposal is a multiphase activity, the different stages of which, i.e. collection, interim storage,
transport, treatment and disposal are highly interdependent, both technically and organizationally.
0afe collection and transport of hazardous waste form a critical link in the chain between its point of
generation and its place of treatment and disposal. In many respects, the same precautions apply to
hazardous waste in transit as apply to the carriage of dangerous goods. however, additional problems
arise from the hazardous nature of certain wastes because:
i/ waste in general has no perceptible economic value to the generator.
ii/ the chemical and physical properties of a waste may not be precisely known because it is
freuently a comple( mi(ture from which all economically useful components have been e(tracted :
iii/ mi(ing of non,compatible wastes for convenience in transit could create an acute hazard, either
immediately or on treatment and disposal :for e(ample, a mi(ture of ether waste containing a
sodium residue with an aueous ether waste will e(plode/.
$herefore, for a safe and secure disposal of hazardous waste, there should be a proper collection,
transport and storage system. $he non,compatible wastes should be segregated and transported
!ISP$S%& $' H%(%R!$)S W%ST*
$he final disposal of the hazardous wastes also needs to be carefully planned. $here are four different
ways in which hazardous wastes can be finally disposed.
1. 9andfill disposal.
!. Incineration.
#. ;umping at sea
%. 2nderground disposal
)e shall now discuss each of the above method of disposal of hazardous wastes.
&andfill !is"osal
$he disposal of hazardous waste by landfilling is an important method of disposal in many countries.
9andfilling means storing harmful substances under the ground. $his involves hauling the refuse to
an area allocated for this purpose. In India such areas range from unsanitary o"en dum"s to
properly operated sanitary landfills+ $"en dum"s are a poor method of waste disposal because
they cause environmental problems. -or e(ample, they can ruin the appearance of all area and
provide a home for rats and other rodents who spread disease. If garbage is e(posed, it rots and
smells foul. Most dumps allow some burning, which fills the surroundings with smoke. In addition,
rain water can drain through refuse and carry harmful substances to streams.
3roperly operated sanitary landfills cause little damage to the environment. $he area to be filled with
waste must be lined with a nonporous substance such as clay, or high density polyethylene :H+3</=
plastic membrane to prevent the wastes from leaking to the surrounding areas. $he wastes are
packed and dumped at the site and covered with earth each day. $hey cover of earth prevents insects
and rodents from getting into refuse. +perators of these sites forbid burning. In time, sanitary
landfill sites become filled up, many communities then cover the site for a final time and use the area
for recreational purpose.
' typical landfill site consists of an artificial double liner at the bottom and a cover at the top. $he
above design of landfill site does not have any provision for monitoring and repair of the site. In the
recent past, a new concept has developed in which the landfill site is constructed on a structure
consisting of concrete cells. $he cell is a space for plant personnel to visit and observe any fault and
repair the same.
Incineration burns waste products. $his is another method many industries and large cities use if
they do not have enough vacant areas for disposal sites nearby. Most hazardous wastes are deto(ified
in this process. $his is also an e(cellent method of waste minimization, waste deto(ification and
disposal, but its cost of operation is very high, if the heat content of waste is not reutilized.
Incineration is a 5process for the high,temperature o(idation of gaseous, liuid or solid wastes,
convening them into gases and an incombustible residue. $he flue gases are released to the
atmosphere with or without recovery of heat and with or without cleaning. and any slag or ash
produced is deposited in a landfill. In general, incineration may be considered as an alternative
method of deto(ifying some non,recoverable highly to(ic wastes. It is an e(cellent method of
reducing waste volume, and in addition offers the possibility for recovering the heat content of the
waste. In some communities heat from municipal waste incineration is used to produce steam. $his
steam drives turbines that produce electric power. "ecycling of heat thus reduces the cost of
operation of incinerators.
Waste In"ut
>enerally, the wastes having inflammable characteristics are incinerated. $he following types of
wastes are commonly treated in hazardous waste incinerators:
0olvent waste and sludges
)aste mineral oils
?arnish and paint wastes and sludges
3lastics, rubber and late( waste sludges and emulsions
+ils, emulsions and oil8water mi(tures
3henolic wastes
Mineral oil sludges
"esin waste
>rease and wa( wastes
3esticide wastes
'cid tar and spent clay
+rganic wastes containing halogen, sulphur or phosphorus compounds.
)astes having high chlorine, sulphur, nitrogen and phosphorus contents, polychlorinated biphenyls
:3&@/ and those containing heavy metals and carcinogenic substances need special incineration
technologies and precautions. ' large number of municipal incinerators lack adeuate air pollution
control devices. @urning in many of these devices may release gases and solid particles that may
harm human health, damage property and kill plants. $he flue gases from ordinary incinerators can
be dangerous in the absence of pollution control devices. -urthermore, as you have read earlier,
incineration sometimes becomes a costly affair.
!um"ing at Sea
'nother method of disposal of hazardous wastes involves dumping wastes at deep sea, designed to
prevent contamination of groundwater.
;isposal at sea, of waste generated on land, is based on the misconceived notion that,the enoromous
volume of water available for dilution, enables the seas to be used as a dump without permanent
damage. However, this is an erroneous conviction. $he decision to choose this method of disposal is
generally based on financial considerations. $he site of disposal is determined by the geographical
location of the waste producer.
;isposal of waste at sea is controlled by international legislation and by the national legislation
reuired for the ratification of the international legislation. $o prevent pollution of the seas by the
direct discharge of waste, the international legislation bans the dumping of e(traordinarily
hazardous wastes such as organic silicon compounds, halogenated organics, mercury and its
compounds, cadmium, carcinogenic waste and plastics into the sea. $he last of these can seriously
disturb fishing and navigation.
)nderground !is"osal
It maybe e(cessively e(pensive to dispose off certain hazardous wastes, such as radioactive nuclear
wastes, in an environmentally acceptable manner at landfill still sites or incinerate them at thermal
treatment plants. $hese wastes are generated in all operations associated with the use of nuclear
energy for national defence or peaceful purposes such as mining of radioactive ore, production of
nuclear fuel, laboratory e(periments and medical treatment. 2nderground disposal may provide
an .environmentally and economically viable option in case of radioactive wastes. $he underground
disposal of hazardous waste is acceptable only in inactive or partially active mines that meet specific
geological and technical criteria. )orldwide, only one deep,mine disposal facility is currently in
operation: a worked,out halite8potash salt mine at Herfa Aeurode in the -ederal "epublic of
>ermany :now united >ermany/.
0alt mines are often used for radioacti,e -aste dis"osal because the e(cellent properties of salt
deposits prevent the interaction of wastes with other geological formations. $he very e(istence of a
salt deposit is a proof that the underground site has been unaffected by water for .millions of years.
0alt is impermeable to liuids and gases. ;ue to its hygroscopic nature, salt is capable of absorbing
water entering ,the formation from outside and of repairing minor fractures by re,crystallization,
thus maintaining the original impermeability. $his feature is freuently supplemented by
impermeable upper strata consisting of wastes, usually rock, from mines or other industries.
$he atmosphere in salt mines is e(tremely dry, so metal euipment and containers do not rust. $here
is no risk of methane e(plosions as in coal mines. @ursting of carbon dio(ide gas inclusions in the
salt mines may be observed during e(cavation of rocks but this does not pose a risk, particularly after
mining operations have ceased. $hermal conductivity of salt is good. 0alt is strong, permitting the
e(cavation of spacious, stable galleries. In addition, salt has a certain plasticity under pressure,
allowing the dispersion of strain and increasing the overall stability.
$hus, in principle you have learnt that there are four methods of waste disposal.
1. 9andfilling of solid wastes
!. Incineration of inflammable organic wastes
#. ;umping of wastes at sea, and
%. 2nderground disposal usually of radioactive wastes.