According to the Hazardous Waste Management (HWM) industry, the market for HWM technologies and services reached nearly $25 billion last year. Hazardous waste includes pharmaceutical waste, a big component of the industry worldwide. The industry also includes services such as hazardous waste collection, transport, treatment, and disposal. And many companies specialize in environmental testing and analytical services. The other large component of hazardous waste management is pollution from municipal and industrial activities.
There are many rules and regulations concerning how hazardous wastes are handled, such as whether they can be managed in on-site storage and treatment, how waste streams should be controlled, details about the transportation of waste and disposal, and more.
Managing hazardous waste can become very serious when substances such as nuclear waste are involved. Engineers study the principles and management of various types of solid waste including nuclear waste. But the most common type of hazardous waste management includes industrial air pollution and hazardous waste. These require accurate measuring, modeling, and testing to understand emissions and how they might be reduced.
Outside of nuclear waste, the worst waste over the past several decades has been runoff from industrial factories into lakes, streams, and water tables. These types of waste are governed by US Departments of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) which have regulations related to land and waste, Brownfields, cleanup programs, and other hazardous waste situations.
One big breakthrough in the management of hazardous waste is the emergence of automated waste handling systems and robots. According to market reports, the global hazardous waste handling automation market is growing at nearly 9% per year.
The following video shows an incidence of hazardous waste: “Radioactive Landfill Leaking Hazardous Waste.”