Even when not required by environmental regulations, the following best practices are recommended. Best practices for the storage and handling of hazardous waste containers in a storage area include:
- Wastes should be identified prior to arriving at the Waste Storage area. Process knowledge of the waste is best made upstream at the point where the waste is generated. Characterizing the wastes at the point of generation will save money on laboratory testing and is often more accurate.
- Waste containers storing unknown or uncharacterized waste should be stored separately until they are characterized and labeled.
- Maintain separate waste containers for compatible waste streams (i.e., acid, bases, oxidizers, organic solvents, radioactive waste, etc.).
- Separate containers with incompatible wastes with a berm, tub or other barrier. Store containers in an area that has secondary containment large enough to contain the largest foreseeable release of waste material.
- Log chemicals and quantities added to waste containers as chemicals are added.
- Train personnel on safe procedures to transfer chemicals to waste containers.
- Do not store waste containers where they have the potential to freeze or are exposed to high heat.
- Waste containers should be in good condition.
- Clearly mark the area as a hazardous waste storage area.
- Make sure waste containers are compatible with the waste type they are expected to contain.
- Keep an adequate spill control kit nearby. Kit should be large enough to control the release of the largest type of container in the storage area. Clean up spills quickly.
- When handling waste containers use mechanical aids such as drum lifts, drum hand trucks, and drum dollies. Do not roll drums on their side or edge.
- Make sure container caps are secure.
- Train personnel on spill clean up procedures.
- Maintain good general housekeeping. Keep aisles and walkways clear.
- Equip waste transport vehicles with spill containment equipment.
Training employees on proper procedures to reduce your school's impact on the environment is a best practice and in some cases required by regulations. More detailed training information is provided in the regulatory requirements sections of the tour. Employee training may include the following:
- Spill response training for personnel who handle hazardous material,
- Fork lift training,
- Stormwater pollution prevention education,
- Right-to-know awareness training,
- Use of personal protective equipment,
- Hazardous materials management, and
- Contingency plan implementation for large quantity generators.