Hazardous Waste Management

Hazardous waste is generated by all sectors of Irish society, from large industry, healthcare to small businesses, households and farms. The collection, treatment, and disposal of waste material that, when improperly handled, can cause substantial harm to human health and safety or to the environment. Hazardous wastes are classified on the basis of their biological, chemical, and physical properties. These properties generate materials that are toxic, reactive, ignitable, corrosive, infectious, or radioactive.  Toxic wastes are poisons, even in very small or trace amounts. They may have acute effects, causing death or violent illness, or they may have chronic effects, some are carcinogens causing cancer after many years of exposure. Reactive wastes are chemically unstable and react violently with air or water. They cause explosions or form toxic vapors. Infectious wastes include used bandages, hypodermic needles, and other materials from hospitals or biological research facilities. Radioactive wastes emit ionizing energy that can harm living organisms.

Hazardous waste is generally transported by truck over public highways. Only a very small amount is transported by rail, and almost none is moved by air or inland waterway. Hazardous waste can be treated by chemical, thermal, biological, and physical methods. Chemical methods include ion exchange, precipitation, oxidation and reduction, and neutralization. Among thermal methods is high-temperature incineration, which not only can detoxify certain organic wastes but also can destroy them. Special types of thermal equipment are used for burning waste in either solid, liquid, or sludge form. These include the fluidized-bed incinerator.

  • Solidification and Stabilization
  • Remedial Action
  • Incinerators
  • Boilers and Industrial Furnaces
  • Physical Chemical and Biological Treatment

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