Inadequate hazardous waste storage or disposal operations can pose a serious threat to the environment and human health. At abandoned warehouses, factories, or hazardous waste storage sites, reactive and toxic chemical wastes are often stored in unsound and unsafe conditions. This can lead to serious accidents (e.g. fires and explosions). TAUW is experienced in the completion of inventories of (abandoned) hazardous and chemical waste, investigation of disposal sites, and supervision of site clean-up.
Hazardous wastes and low-hazard waste can be present as solids, liquids, sludges, gases and can have toxic, reactive, ignitable, corrosive, infectious, or radioactive properties. These wastes can be located in different places (e.g. shipyards, abandoned, bankrupt factories, military bases, dumpsites, transformer stations). Proper labelling and registration of present chemicals and hazardous wastes; presence of a sound storage facility and disposal site; and/or sound packaging of wastes are frequently lacking in the event of hazardous and chemical wastes being abandoned and/or managed inadequately. The generators of these hazardous wastes are often unknown or no longer available, leaving the problems to third parties to solve.
Typical examples of improperly handled hazardous and chemical wastes include:
Due to lack of proper labelling and registration of present wastes, the quantity of wastes, form of wastes (e.g. solids, liquids), chemical composition, and hazardous materials classification are unknown. Due to their poor storage conditions, the soil, groundwater and building materials at the sites with abandoned hazardous wastes are frequently contaminated.
Hazardous waste clean-up and destruction is a complex task. TAUW has a long track record of the assessment and inventory of hazardous wastes sites. Throughout our decades of experience with the inventorying of POPs (e.g. 'EU-wide inventory of HCH and lindane sites), pesticides (e.g. 'Environmental Sound Disposal of Obsolete Pesticides and other Crop Products' in Bulgaria), global remediation of POPs and obsolete pesticides in developing countries, we have created the tools to inventory all sorts of hazardous wastes. TAUW can assist clients in the entire process, from the initial inventory, the preparation of documentation for clean-up, up to the supervision of the clean-up itself.
In general, our procedure to clean up abandoned hazardous wastes entails the following steps: