Earth Day & Universal Waste Management Standards

Earth Day & Universal Waste Management Standards

Following Universal Waste Management Standards to Protect the Environment

April 22nd is Earth Day – a day dedicated to bringing awareness to the threats of various pollutants on the environment. The first Earth Day was in 1970 and came about after then-Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed the idea as a type of sit-in to teach our nation about water, air, and land pollution. On that day, millions of people across the country participated in rallies to raise consciousness about the need to protect the environment.

The Time Before Earth Day

Before that time, very few people or corporations showed concern about how the products they used and the waste they produced were destroying the earth’s natural resources. Many Americans drove gas guzzling cars that released pollutants into the air, and companies produced chemical waste without facing any legal consequences.

Impacts of Earth Day

Earth Day was a driving force that led to the development of different projects and initiatives designed to regulate the production of pollutants and protect the environment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established on December 2, 1970 largely because of the increased environmental concern that arose after the first Earth Day. The EPA is now charged with monitoring and regulating activities to maintain a safe, healthy environment.

Universal Waste Management Program

The EPA regulates the management of universal waste. The guidelines established by the EPA set standards for storing and transporting common types of waste accumulated by various entities.

The 4 materials managed include:

  • Batteries
  • Pesticides
  • Mercury-containing equipment
  • Lamps

The EPA is also currently proposing to add aerosol cans the universal waste list.

Under the regulations, participants must properly label waste, prevent its release into the environment, have guidelines in place should release occur, and transport it to an approved facility. The standards apply to large and small universal waste handlers, transporters, and destination facilities.

The Universal Waste Program is designed to reduce the amount of hazardous waste items in the municipal solid waste stream, to encourage recycling and proper disposal of certain common hazardous wastes, and to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses that generate these wastes. It is also beneficial to construction companies as it streamlines the requirements related to notification, labeling, accumulation time limits, employee training, response to releases, offsite shipments, tracking, exports, and transportation of “universal waste.”

As encouraged by the EPA, most states also have universal waste rules and regulations. Many follow federal standards, with some states including additional materials. Other states do not include all the materials identified by the EPA.

Call RPF Environmental for a Consultation

Our goal at RPF Environmental is to provide testing and consulting services that contribute to a healthier environment. We will work with you to develop cost-efficient solutions to ensure you comply with state and federal regulations.

Speak with one of our experts by calling us at (888) 293-0619 or contacting us online.

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