Hazardous Waste Sources

The reported quantities of hazardous waste generated in the U.S. remained in the range of 250-270 million metric tn per year through most of the 1980s. Figure 11.2.1 indicates which industrial sectors generate these wastes. The majority of hazardous waste is generated by the chemical manufacturing, petroleum, and coal processing industries. As Figure 11.2.2 shows, waste generation is not broadly distributed throughout these industries; instead, a few dozen facilities account for most waste generation. While it is striking that a few dozen manufacturing facilities generate most of the country's hazardous wastes, these waste generation rates must be viewed in context. Figure 11.2.3 shows that 250-270 million tn of hazardous waste generated annually are over 90% wastewater. Thus, the rate of generation of hazardous constituents in the waste is prob-

tainer is empty or not. RCRA regulations consider a container empty when all possible wastes are removed using common methods for that type of container, and no more than an inch (2.5 cm) of residue remains on the bottom of the container or liner. Alternately, a container with a volume of 110 gal or less can be considered empty if no more than 3% of the capacity, by weight, remains in the container or liner. Larger containers are considered empty when no more than 0.3% of capacity, by weight, remains in the container or liner. If the material in the container was a compressed gas, the container is considered empty when its pressure is reduced to atmospheric pressure.

Regarding acute hazardous waste (P list), the test for an empty container is much more stringent. The container or inner liner must be triple-rinsed using a solvent capable of removing the commercial chemical product or manufacturing chemical intermediate. Alternative cleaning methods can be used if they are demonstrated to be equivalent to or better than triple rinsing. Of course, a container can also be considered empty if a contaminated liner is removed.

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