Mitigate environmental contamination and associated exposures to hazardous waste.
This WELL feature requires the safe ongoing management and disposal of hazardous waste, including construction and demolition waste.
Hazardous waste is a threat to human health and the environment when handled, transported or disposed of in an unregulated or uncontrolled manner, creating exposure risk via soil, air and water. When discarded improperly, mercury-containing bulbs and batteries containing heavy metals can result in contamination of the local area, exposing people nearby to elevated toxic metals through soil, air and water. Leftover pesticides that have become obsolete or otherwise unusable, if not regulated, are often disposed in general-purpose dumps.
Neoplasms have been reported in excess in populations residing near toxic waste dumps. Neurological disorders in children have also been found in populations who live close to hazardous waste sites. Hazardous chemicals that are disposed improperly, such as materials and equipment containing heavy metals like mercury, lead and cadmium, are associated with cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and central nervous system damage. Pesticides that are improperly disposed can result in physical injury, environmental pollution and land degradation.
A protocol for handling hazardous wastes can help mitigate chemical pollution, which often results from the improper handling of hazardous waste streams that are frequently mixed in with municipal or solid wastes. Although the amount of heavy metals used in a product—for example, mercury used in a bulb—is relatively small, the cumulative impacts can have a significant effect on environmental contamination.
Manage Hazardous Waste (1 point)
Project addresses hazardous waste through the following:
A waste stream plan addresses the management of the following hazardous wastes per U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 40 CFR Part 273 Standards for Universal Waste Management, Subpart B or C (as applicable):
- Equipment and lamps that may contain mercury.
A waste stream plan includes the following:
- Waste receptacle access.
- Waste or source reduction (including prevention, minimization and reuse).
- Recycling and materials recovery (including batteries, pesticides, lamps and mercury-containing equipment).
- Disposal of waste.
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