Hazardous Waste Clean-Up Efforts in California

Essay by y2fuHigh School, 12th gradeA+, April 2004

download word file, 6 pages 3.8

California, like the other 49 states, is continually confronted with hazardous waste management. Disposing of corrosive, poisonous, flammable, combustible, ignitable and explosive material is a realm that merits serious attention. California's efforts, thus far have ranged from acid mine drainage to door-to-door collection programs to DDT remediation to passing environmental protection laws for Indians. Treating hazardous waste is a daunting task, but it will continue to gain attention from administrators and community-dwellers because of factors such as its potential to harm humans and animals, to pollute groundwater and to decrease the overall quality of life.

Hazardous waste is not only dangerous, but it requires management that is not always apparent upon first evaluation. Often, detailed programs and plans are required. The City of Redlands, California, began their effort by establishing what is called the "Hazardous Waste Collection," a program whose goal is to provide for proper disposition of hazardous materials that might otherwise end up in landfills or wastewater treatment facilities.

They made it their goal to dispose of excess materials such as diesel fuel, pool acids, paint solvents, aerosols, brake fluids, dry cleaning fluids, automotive oil and disinfectants. Included in this is a program to provide training and equipment to operate an Emergency Hazardous Material Response Team, should a leak or spill release hazardous materials into the city of Redlands.

In addition to the disposal of hazardous materials, pesticide use has become an ever-increasing problem. In an effort to decrease the amount of pesticides used, the California Department of Health Services in 1990 developed a reduction for pesticide formulation. By reducing the amount of hazardous wastes generated in the plants, this then reduces disposal costs, costs of future liabilities, offsite treatment costs and worker safety costs. In addition, the Department offered guidelines to begin a waste reduction plan. They...