What Is Industrial Waste – and How Do You Transport Correctly?

Last Updated On July 23, 2022

Across the globe, manufacturing centers, power plants, factories, and other facilities are all generating industrial waste. But what is industrial waste, and more importantly, how do all of these places transport it after its generated?

In this blog post, we’ll address the key question of how to transport industrial waste. Safe industrial waste handling is critical for the protection of humans, animals, and the environment, and different kinds of waste will require different kinds of transportation.  

What Is Industrial Waste?

Industrial waste is a large umbrella term used to describe materials that are the byproducts of manufacturing procedures. This could include a wide range of materials, both hazardous and non-hazardous. 

Many sectors of industrial manufacturing produce large amounts of waste, including:

  • Factories
  • Mines
  • Textile mills
  • Food manufacturers
  • Chemical plants
  • And much more

Because industrial waste can encompass such a wide range of byproducts, it’s difficult to determine exactly how much industrial waste the United States produces annually. Some estimates are as high as 7.6 billion tons per year.

With so much waste exiting our manufacturing industries, there’s a critical need for proper, regulated waste disposal procedures. This includes learning how to transport industrial waste without posing a threat to the environment or other humans. 

Types of Industrial Waste

(1) Solid Waste 

Solid waste makes up a large portion of industrial waste in the United States. It can be created by a wide range of processes, including power generation, water treatment, metal manufacturing, and more. 

The most common kinds of solid waste most organizations deal with include paper, cardboard, wood, plastic, and metal shavings. 

(2) Chemical Waste 

As the name indicates, this kind of waste contains harmful chemicals – but not necessarily hazardous materials. Chemical waste can include any solid, liquid, or gaseous waste that, if improperly handled, could damage human health or the environment. 

For chemical waste to be considered hazardous, it must be ignitable, corrosive, reactive, or toxic, as determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

(3) Toxic Waste 

Toxic waste is waste that has been deemed hazardous to humans, animals, and/or the environment. Typically, this is industrial waste that has been generated by facilities such as factories, hospitals, or manufacturing centers. 

Laws for industrial waste transport vary from state to state but are especially specific for toxic waste removal. Before figuring out how your organization will transport industrial waste to a safe location, make sure you understand how to legally and safely deal with hazardous materials.  

(4) Secondary Waste 

This includes secondary, non-hazardous materials such as scaps and residuals produced during manufacturing processes. For example, construction and demolition materials are often considered to be a form of secondary waste unless they pose a threat to human health or the environment. 

How to Transport Industrial Waste

Step 1: Collect and Contain the Waste

The first step in industrial waste transport is safely collecting and containing the waste. Depending on the waste and its hazardous properties, this can be more challenging than it sounds.

For any kind of industrial refuse, you’ll need high-quality waste containers that prevent leaks, dust exposure, and general contamination from occurring. If you are dealing with hazardous waste, you will require specific storage solutions that are designed to keep unsafe materials from escaping.

As you select your waste containment options and make plans for collecting the materials, know that you also need to consider the law. Pay close attention to what the EPA requires, as well as the regulations set by federal, state, and local regulatory agencies.

Step 2: Load and Secure the Waste

Next, as you discuss how to transport industrial waste, consider how you will load and secure the waste on a vehicle, plane, boat, or train. Different modes of industrial waste transport require different methods of securement. For example, if you are moving your waste by train, you’ll likely need to look into heavy-duty railcar liners.

Another major concern at this step in the industrial waste transport process is spill containment. Chemical spills are an especially serious problem, as is the potential for contamination if a waste container were to enter a body of water. 

It’s estimated that water contamination results in nearly 7 million legal cases a year, and nearly a thousand fatalities. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in – deciding how to safely secure containers is one of the most important parts of learning to transport industrial waste. 

Step 3: Transport Industrial Waste to the Disposal Site

Finally, it's time to transport the industrial waste to the disposal site. Your disposal location and method will likely depend on the type of waste you are dealing with. 

For example, some non-hazardous waste may be taken to industrial waste landfills. On the other hand, hazardous waste may need to be incinerated or injected into an underground well, where it cannot cause any damage.

Need Help Transporting Industrial Waste?

What is industrial waste, and how can we safely transport and dispose of it? These are the kinds of questions we work hard to help organizations answer at PacTec Inc. 

Our goal is to empower organizations to efficiently collect, transport, and dispose of their waste materials. PacTect offers innovative solutions to waste packaging, as well as tools to assist with spill containment and hazardous waste transportation. 

Whether you’re looking for a tried-and-true product or a custom solution, you’re in the right place. Contact us today to learn about our safe industrial waste transport products.

Topics: industrial waste waste management industrial waste transportation