TORONTO, Ont. – Industry experts gathered at the Canadian Fleet Maintenance Seminar to discuss the proper transportation, storage and disposal of hazardous materials May 10.
Frank Wagner, director of environmental health and safety at Safety-Kleen Canada Inc., opened by saying facility management needs to be aware of the regulations and guidelines that apply to their operations.
“Facility management must also be aware that there are also many other agencies that have rules that have impact on the storage and transportation of waste,” he said.
He cited many examples of government agencies which oversee storage and disposal of hazardous materials, including Transport Canada which, through the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations, requires training and the use of specific types of containers, labels and shipping documents when shipping hazardous wastes.
Wagner offered up some incentives for waste minimization and recycling.
“Operational costs can be reduced if facility management is on top of its waste generation and disposal practices,” he said.
“Simple best management practices could reduce how much waste is generated. For example, minimize the amount of gravel and dirt brought into the maintenance bays and pick up debris instead of sweeping into trenches.
‘This practice would reduce the amount of sludge that needs to be removed by vacuum truck when maintenance work is conducted on the facility interceptors.”
He also stressed the importance of using the right type and size of parts washing equipment in order to reduce waste solvent generation and using effective paint gun cleaning equipment to help reduce paint thinner usage and hazardous waste rag generation.
“Further cost saving can be achieved if hazardous waste is sent to a recycling facility instead of (being disposed of),” he said. “In Ontario, unless your operation is a motor vehicle retail facility, you are required to register with the Ontario MOE (Ministry of the Environment) through HWIN (Hazardous Waste Information Network).”
For a better understanding of regulations and guidelines, Wagner suggested contacting a trade or service organization, waste management service provider or directly to government agencies.
Representing those government agencies was Yosh Imahori, senior policy coordinator of waste management and hazardous waste with the MOE.
Imahori, whose MOE branch’s services include developing policy, legislation, regulations and guidelines on waste management and related issues, discussed the Part Five of the Environmental Protection Act.
Part Five of the Act is used to ensure waste is managed according to standards that protect the public and the environment and conserve natural resources. The protection helps avoid any “adverse effect” on property, plants, animals and people, among other things.
“It covers all aspects of waste management, including transportation,” he said.
Imahori went on to define hazardous wastes as “toxic and harmful to human health and environment” which can be generated by industry, a store or a homeowner and can be a gas, liquid, solid or slurry. Some examples are aerosol cans and used oil, paint or solvents.
Imahori outlined the Ministry’s current requirements for industrial wastes.
“Regulation 347 now requires annual registration of generators of liquid industrial and hazardous waste,” he said.
There is now also a charge for both the registration and the Ministry’s costs for managing the waste.
“For managing hazardous wastes, we have one commercial landfill site based in Sarnia.
‘We have on-site landfarms, landfills and incinerators. We have reuse at various manufacturing sites and we have several recycling facilities. We also have transfer stations and processing/treatment facilities. “
He listed items that can recycled as used oil, anti-freeze, batteries and tires and items that can be disposed of as waste paint, oily water and waste acids.
For storage of hazardous waste, Imahori stressed the use of appropriately labeled containers and ensuring employees are adequately trained.
He also gave some tips on what to expect in the event of an inspection.
“Depending on the purpose of the inspection, the Environmental Officer (EO) will look at some of the following: facility operations, waste management systems, air emission discharge points, wastewater discharges and pollution control equipment.”
In addition to the facility tour and interview, Imahori said the EO has the authority to access and copy records such as operation logbooks, equipment maintenance reports, environmental reports or any other environmental data held by the facility. So fleet maintenance managers need to be prepared.
Rick Arnold, head of Cambridge, Ont.-based Hotsy Cleaning Systems, spoke specifically on various wastewater treatment technologies relevant to the trucking industry.
The challenge of treating wastewater, Arnold said, is making sure what you generate is in compliance with municipal discharge regulations. And the treatment is usually left up to the customer.
“It depends on what kind of wastewater it is,” he said.
With the trucking industry, there are three commonly used methods which make up about 90 per cent of all wastewater treatment.
First is recycling the water for reuse.
“You either filter it or add some chemicals to (the wastewater) and then remove the contaminants and then reuse the water over again,” he said.
“If you generate 10,000 gallons of water, we treat it and you continue to use the same 10,000 gallons of water over and over and over. However, recycling is by far the most expensive method.”
A second method, ideal for the oily water that many maintenance facilities produce, is a process called oil/water separation.
“(Trucking companies) have a lot of oily water and we can separate that combination into water and oil. The leftover oil can be recycled, reused or disposed of.”
The most popular method of wastewater treatment is also the most economical: wastewater evaporation.
“What you do is you take large bodies of water, evaporate out the water and concentrate down the contaminants or discharge to a much more concentrated level and then dispose of that concentrated level,” he said.
“To give you an example, someone might have 1,000 gallons of coolant, which is made up of about 95 per cent of water but is still classified a contaminant.
“We can boil and evaporate that water off and instead of leaving them with 1,000 gallons, we leave them with 10 gallons.
‘It’s very cost effective and it can be done right on site.”