Hazardous Waste Disposal Methods

If you are looking for hazardous waste disposal methods, you probably want to reduce your disposal costs, maybe even reduce the amount of hazardous waste you generate or perhaps eliminate the liabilities associated with your hazardous waste.

Totes prepared for acid recycling

“One of the hazardous waste disposal methods we provide to clients is recycling acids and caustics.  The acids and caustics are used to transform industrial wastewater into clean, reusable water,” shares Tom Wendler, AWS Pennsylvania General Manager.

If you want to reduce your disposal costs or the amount of hazardous waste you generate, first confirm your hazardous waste is indeed hazardous and not mischaracterized non-hazardous waste.

Improper hazardous waste characterization is rare and costly, but correctable and we’ve seen it occasionally when helping clients implement a waste minimization program or GRIP program.

Hazardous Waste Disposal Methods

We list 5 common disposal methods. The first 3 hazardous waste disposal methods could help you achieve cost reduction and reduce the amount of hazardous waste you generate. These disposal methods are Fuel blending, Beneficial Re-Use and Elementary Neutralization.

Fuel Blending

Hazardous wastes with a high BTU value, might be ideal candidates for fuel blending. Fuel blending is a process where high BTU value hazardous wastes are burned as fuel for an industrial furnace or cement kiln.

Flames burning in fuel blending kiln

“We can help clients recycle their solvents, but if it’s too contaminated fuel blending is the next best option,” shares Jaymes Barrera, AWS Indiana Results Advisor. (Photo by Nigel Howe from Sydney, Australia)

Solvents that are too contaminated for solvent recycling are ideal for fuel blending.  Examples include Methyl Ethyl Ketone, Glycol Ether, Acetone and Trichloroethylene.  Depending on the BTU value, oil based paints might also be appropriate for fuel blending.

If you have gasoline, diesel fuel or other fuel sources that have become contaminated, it might be possible to remove the contaminates and re-use the fuel, instead of processing it for fuel blending.

Beneficial Re-Use

Acid and caustic hazardous wastes might be ideal for beneficial re-use in wastewater treatment.  In chemical precipitation of industrial wastewater treatment, metal contaminants are removed from wastewater by adjusting the pH.  Acids like Sulphuric acid and hydrochloric acid reduce the pH; caustics like sodium hydroxide raise the pH of the wastewater.  At different pH level, metals precipitate out of the water.

Jordan overlooks a 7000 gallon tank of wastewater treated with spent acid from a client.

“Right now I’m precipitating the solids out of this machining coolant with used acid that we received from a client for beneficial re-use,” shares Jordan Rice, AWS Milwaukee Wastewater Treatment Operator.

This is a terrific method to Re-Invent your sustainability story by transforming your hazardous waste into a resource to generate clean, reusable water.  Annually, Advanced Waste Services helps clients treat 50 million gallons of industrial wastewater.

Elementary Neutralization

If you have corrosive only hazardous waste it might be a candidate for elementary neutralization.  It’s a process that adjusts the ph to a non-hazardous level.

Composite tanker for acids and caustics being steam cleaned.

“We are cleaning this composite tanker because we want to avoid any reactions from occurring after we pickup the neutralized acid,” shares Pat Wheaton Jr. AWS Milwaukee Tank Wash Operator.

This significantly reduces your disposal costs because your waste becomes non-hazardous.  Make sure you have an experienced professional that will not raise or drop the pH too aggressively.  This could create a dangerous level of heat during the neutralization process.

The last 2 hazardous waste disposal methods listed are Stabilization and Landfill and Incineration. The 2 options provide a high level of liability protection and it might be worth the additional cost of disposal or even required.

Stabilization and Landfill

Stabilizing hazardous waste before landfill disposal is usually a two step process.  The hazardous waste is chemically stabilized to be insoluble and then lime or cement kiln dust is added to form an insoluble solid.

Advanced Waste Services flat trailer driving down the road to a client's site.

“Our clients may not have an entire bulk shipment of hazardous waste for stabilization and landfill so its important we can provide long-haul transportation for offsite disposal of waste in totes, drums and other non bulk sizes,” shares Chris Currier AWS Milwaukee Driver.

This might be an ideal option for hazardous wastes that include acids sludges, cyanide wastes and heavy metal wastes containing D004 Arsenic, D005 Barium, D006 Cadmium, D007 Chromium, D008 Lead, D0010 Selenium and D011 Silver.


Incinerators are used to burn hazardous waste primarily for waste destruction and treatment purposes.  Toxic organic constituents are destroyed.  Metals do not combust so incineration is not an effective method for treating metal-bearing hazardous wastes (ref EPA website).

PCB label for proper handling and disposal.

“Even though PCBs were banned in US production in 1979, we still have clients that need methods to safely dispose of PCB contaminated wastes,” shares Jeff Dean, AWS Milwaukee General Manager.

If you have PCB contaminated materials or PCB wastes, incineration will likely be your disposal method.

To learn more about Advanced Waste Services hazardous waste disposal methods visit our website, schedule a facility tour or ask us a question below.

Advanced Waste Services | 800-842-9792 


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