Process Selection

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The various waste streams managed in a facility should be surveyed. The waste streams should then be characterized using sampling and analytical techniques to quantify potential threats to human health and the environment. Then the most cost-effective and environmentally safe manner of managing these wastes should be determined.

The hazardous waste activities of other firms provides insight into what needs to be done within an industry to be competitive. Information based on competitive activities is generally accessible and can lead to a shorter learning curve for companies needing to achieve regulatory compliance.

The adaptability of various process technologies to specific hazardous wastes should help to define the limitations of any proposed treatment system. This critique should be made early in the decision-making process to ensure the selection of a technology that is compatible with the waste stream to be controlled (Grisham 1986; Long & Schweitzer 1982).

The selection of treatment systems and ultimate disposal options is usually based on the following considerations.

• Federal, state, and local environmental regulations

• Potential environmental hazards

• Liabilities and risks

• Demography

The selection of waste control technologies is based, in part, upon economics (Smith, Lynn & Andrews 1986). Government regulations, adaptability of process technology, public relations and geographic locations are also considerations. The final decision, in the end, can be largely influenced by subjective political reasons.

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