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How is Hazardous Waste generated?
Hazardous Waste generation
| 2 Min read

Improperly managed hazardous waste can be a threat to the environment. In this blog, learn about hazardous waste and its sources.

What is hazardous waste? 

Hazardous waste is defined as waste that can be a threat to the environment, whether alone or when in contact with other wastes or substances Any waste which possesses the characteristics being physical, chemical, reactive, toxic, flammable, explosive or corrosive, comes under the umbrella of hazardous waste. 

What are the sources of hazardous waste? 

Below are the processes and the waste generated as a result – 

ProcessWaste Generated
Petrochemical processes and pyrolytic operationsFurnace/reactor residue and debris Tarry residues Oily sludge emulsion Organic residues Residues from alkali wash of fuels Still bottoms from distillation process Spent catalyst and molecular sieves Slop oil from wastewater 
Drilling operation for oil and gas ProductionDrill cuttings containing oilSludge containing oilDrilling mud and other drilling wastes 
Cleaning, emptying and maintenance of petroleum oil storage tanks including ships Oil-containing cargo residue, washing water and sludgeChemical-containing cargo residue and sludgeSludge and filters contaminated with oilBallast water containing oil from ships
Petroleum refining/re-processing of used oil/recycling of waste oil Oily sludge/emulsionSpent catalystSlop oilOrganic residues from process Spent clay containing oil 
Industrial operations using mineral/synthetic oil as lubricant in hydraulic systems or other applications Used/spent oilWastes/residues containing oil 
Secondary production and/or industrial use of zincSludge and filter press cake arising out of production of Zinc Sulphate and other Zinc Compounds.Zinc fines/dust/ash/skimmingsOther residues from processing of zinc ash/skimmingsFlue gas dust and other particulates
Primary production of zinc/lead/copper and other nonferrous metals except aluminium Flue gas dust from roastingProcess residuesArsenic-bearing sludgeNon ferrous metal bearing sludge and residue Sludge from scrubbers 
Secondary production of copperSpent electrolytic solutionsSludges and filter cakesFlue gas dust and other particulates 
Secondary production of leadLead bearing residues Lead ash/particulate from flue gas 
Production and/or industrial use of cadmium and arsenic and their compoundsResidues containing cadmium and Arsenic 
Production of primary and secondary aluminium Sludges from off-gas treatmentCathode residues including pot lining wastesTar containing wastesFlue gas dust and other particulates Wastes from treatment of salt slags and black drosses 
Metal surface treatment, such as etching, staining, polishing, galvanising, cleaning, degreasing, plating, etc. Acid residuesAlkali residuesSpent bath/sludge containing sulphide, cyanide and toxic metalsSludge from bath containing organic solvents Phosphate sludgeSludge From staining bathCopper etching residuesPlating metal sludge 
Production of iron and steel including other ferrous alloys (electric furnaces; steel rolling and finishing mills; Coke oven and by product plant)Sludge from acid recovery unitBenzol acid sludgeDecanter tank tar sludgeTar storage tank residue 

How is hazardous waste taken care of? 

The Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989, notified under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and subsequent amendments in 2000, 2003, 2008 and 2009 as the Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling and Trans-boundary Movement) Rules, regulate management of hazardous wastes generated within the country as well as export/import of such wastes. 

These regulations balance the conservation of resources, while ensuring the protection of human health and environment. Many hazardous wastes can be recycled safely and effectively, while other wastes will be treated and disposed of in landfills or incinerators.

Recycling hazardous waste has a variety of benefits including reducing the consumption of raw materials and the volume of waste materials that must be treated and disposed of. To know more about how Recykal handles industrial waste from pre-production to post-production, reach out to us. 

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