The Big Picture:
SWC Credit: Household Hazardous Waste Collection Infrastructure
(2 points, Reciprocal)
SWC Credit: Household Hazardous Waste Collection Infrastructure ensures the proper handling and disposal of HHW, preventing negative human health impacts and the pollution of the natural environment. Entities must demonstrate accessibility of this service to 95% of individuals served.
Dangerous chemicals found in HHW move through soil, air, and water if improperly disposed of. When these chemicals are consumed or accumulate in the environment, the effects can be detrimental to human and ecological health.
Accreditation will be awarded by demonstrating the accessibility of the program to 95% of people served, and examples of services must be provided. Such services may be establishing or publishing the location of collection drives and locations of facilities that accept/collect HHW, and supporting and/or facilitating Mail-Back Programs.
Case Study and Benefits
The City of Austin has a HHW collection site for items such as fluorescent bulbs, batteries, cell phones, paint and thinners, Pesticides and Herbicides, aerosol cans, and more. The city of Austin urges its residents to safely dispose of hazardous waste, as improper disposal can be harmful to the environment. This service is free for all residents. According to the EPA, there are economic benefits associated with HHW recycling, as it can increase production efficiency and reduce the costs associated with obtaining raw materials. The complete reduction of hazardous waste generation would also result in a business’s complete avoidance of RCRA regulatory requirements. Businesses may also benefit from the public’s positive perception of these environmental actions.
Referenced standards & definitions
Intent and Requirements
To ensure proper handling and disposal of HHW by the Local Government entity and greater community or the Company, preventing negative human health impacts and Pollution of the natural environment.
Local Government & Industry Requirements
Implement an exclusive program that handles Household Hazardous Waste as defined by the EPA and involves RCRA Subtitle C regulation, as well as household medical waste
Demonstrate accessibility to 95 percent of residents or customers served. Services may consist of “drop off locations,” “to-house pick-up services,” and/or recycling services. All of the following must be considered in program development:
- Light bulbs
- Cleaning products (i.e. drain, oven, glass, etc.)
- Automobile fluids (i.e. motor oil, brake fluid, antifreeze, etc.)
- Pesticides, Herbicides and Insecticides
- Other derivatives of HHW sub-programs will be taken into consideration upon review
- Household medical waste including but not limited to:
- Prescription drugs
- Needles and sharps
- Blood-soiled materials
- Chemotherapy residues
Why We Care
Hazardous waste, due to its inherent chemical properties, has the capability to cause harm to people or the environment. Dangerous chemicals found in HHW move through soil, air, and water if improperly disposed of. When these chemicals are inhaled, consumed through food and water, or left to accumulate in the environment, the effects can be detrimental to human and ecological health. Potential health risks involved with exposure to Household Hazardous Waste are behavior abnormalities, cancer, physiological malfunctions, genetic mutations, physical deformation, and birth defects.1
To avoid these dangerous effects, we must safely dispose of our toxic waste as described in SWC Credit: Household Hazardous Waste Collection Infrastructure.
How to Meet the Requirements
- Publish collection drives and locations of facilities or programs that accept HHW or collect it at the residents’ door.
- Support or facilitate Mail-Back Programs.
|Documentation demonstrating accessibility of the program to 95% of customers served. Services may consist of:|
|CALCULATE||Demonstrate accessibility of program to 95% of customers served|
Case Studies & In-Depth Information
According to the EPA, there are many benefits to recycling Household Hazardous Waste. Environmental benefits include reducing the consumption of raw materials, Pollution, energy usage, and the volume of waste produced. There are also economic benefits associated with HHW recycling, as it can increase production efficiency and reduce the costs associated with obtaining raw materials. The complete reduction of hazardous waste generation would also result in a business’s complete avoidance of RCRA regulatory requirements. Businesses may also benefit from the public’s positive perception of these environmental actions.2
The city of Austin, Texas has a successful Household Hazardous Waste program, in which the city has a collection site for items such as fluorescent bulbs, batteries, cell phones, paint and thinners, pesticides and Herbicides, aerosol cans, and more. The city of Austin urges its residents to safely dispose of hazardous waste, as improper disposal can be harmful to the environment. This service is free for all residents.3
RCRA Subtitle C Regulation
EPA Definition: Hazardous waste is regulated under Subtitle C of RCRA. EPA has developed a comprehensive program to ensure that hazardous waste is managed safely from the moment it is generated to its final disposal (cradle-to-grave). Under Subtitle C, EPA may authorize states to implement key provisions of hazardous waste requirements in lieu of the federal government. If a state program does not exist, EPA directly implements the hazardous waste requirements in that state. Subtitle C regulations set criteria for hazardous waste generators, transporters, and treatment, storage and disposal facilities. This includes permitting requirements, enforcement and corrective action or cleanup.
EPA Definition: A pesticide designed to control or kill plants, weeds, or grasses. Almost 70% of all Pesticides used by farmers and ranchers are herbicides. These chemicals have wide-ranging effects on non-target species.
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)
EPA Definition: leftover household products that can catch fire, react, or explode under certain circumstances, or that are corrosive or toxic. Products, such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides can contain hazardous ingredients and require special care when you dispose of them.
EPA Definition: A pesticide compound specifically used to kill or prevent the growth of insects.
Law Insider Definition: Mail-back program means the use of a prepaid post- age container transported by the United States Postal Service or a common carrier, using sealable packaging and shipping materials that are designed to prevent the release of mercury into the environment by volatilization or any other means, to return mercury-containing lights for a product stewardship plan approved by the department.
EPA Definition: Pesticide law defines a “pesticide” (with certain minor exceptions) as:
- Any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest.
- Any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant.
- Any nitrogen stabilizer.
National Geographic Definition: Pollution is the introduction of harmful materials into the environment. These harmful materials are called pollutants. Pollutants can be natural, such as volcanic ash. They can also be created by human activity, such as trash or runoff produced by factories. Pollutants damage the quality of air, water, and land.