Compatibility

Wasteloads are frequently consolidated before transport from point of generation to point of treatment or disposal. Accurate waste identification and characterization is necessary to:

• Determine whether wastes are hazardous as defined by regulations

• Establish compatibility grouping to prevent mixing incompatible wastes

• Identify waste hazard classes as defined by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to enable waste labeling and shipping in accordance with DOT regulations

• Provide identification to enable transporters or disposal operators to operate as prescribed by regulations.

Most wastes are unwanted products of processes involving known reactants. Thus, the approximate compositions of these wastes are known. Wastes of unknown origin must undergo laboratory analysis to assess their RCRA status, including testing for the hazardous properties of ignitabil-

ity, reactivity, corrosivity, or toxicity in accordance with methods specified in the regulations (See Section 11.4).

Once a waste is identified, it is assigned to a compatibility group. One extensive reference for assigning groups is a study of hazardous wastes performed for the EPA by Hatayama et al (1980). A waste can usually be placed easily in one of the groups shown in Figure 11.6.1, based on its chemical or physical properties. The compatibility of various wastes is shown in Figure 11.6.1, which indicates the consequences of mixing incompatible wastes. Complete compatibility analysis should be carried out by qualified professionals to ascertain whether any waste can be stored safely in proximity to another waste.

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