1. Background

Transportation of hazardous wastes (HW) are planned and expected to :
  1. satisfy the needs of occupier and handlers,
  2. meet national and -if necessary - international, e.g. UN, safety labeling

Transportation is one of the most important areas of concern associated with handling HW because the packaging and method of transporting HW will determine the likelihood that an accident or spill with occur. Proper and rapid identification of a spilled substance will determine how effectively and safely the situation can be controlled.

Spill risk is high during loading, transportation and unloading. This is one reason that the transportation of HW is generally highly regulated. HW transportation regulations cover the transportation of HW outside of an installation, e.g. the way from the waste generator to the waste management facility. These off-side transportation requirements involve proper :

  • Container : appropriate material, leak proof, mechanical stability...
  • Labeling of container : Identification, description,...
  • Vehicles : equipment, labeling...
  • Collector/transporter selection : technical competence and relevant skills and other requirements.
  • License/Manifest : application and documents,
  • Emergency procedures : spills, accidents,...
  • Fees and fines : license, break of regulation

On site transportation typically involves smaller amounts of materials over shorter distances. On-site transport does, however, pose significant risks from the frequency of the activity and the lack of proper regulation.

Regulatory requirements of packaging, labeling and transportation of hazardous wastes are given under Rule 7 of Hazardous Wastes (management & Handling ) Rules, 1989, as amended, notified under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. it is the responsibility of the occupier or operator of a facility to ensure that hazardous wastes are packaged, based on the composition in a manner suitable of handling, storage and transport. The labeling and packaging is required to be easily visible and be able to withstand physical conditions and climatic factors.

These guidelines are issued to facilitate safe transportation of hazardous wastes in compliance of the regulations.

2. Packaging

The containers must be able to withstand normal handling and retain integrity for a minimum of six months. In general, packaging for hazardous substances must meet the following requirements :

  1. Items must be of such a strength, construction and type as not break open or become defective during transportation.
  2. Items must be constructed and closed in a manner to prevent spillage of hazardous substances.
  3. Re-packaging materials including fastening must not be affected by the contents or form a dangerous combination with them.

The containers when used for packaging of the hazardous wastes should meet the following requirements :

  • Container shall be of mild steel with suitable corrosion and roll-on roll-off cover which may either be handled by articulated crane or by a hook lift system works comfortably for a large variety of wastes. Other modes of packaging like collection in 200-L MS and plastic drums, cad board cartons, PP and HDPE/LDP containers also works for variety of waters. However all such container should be amenable to mechanical handling.
  • It should be leak proof.
  • In general, containers for liquid HW should be completely closed (in fact : sealed). There should be no gas generation due to chemical reaction and therefore, no need for air vents; expansion due to temperature increase/decrease normally does not need air vents.
  • Container should be covered with a solid lid or a canvas to avoid emissions, spillage, dust and to minimize odour generation both at the point of loading as well as during transportation.
  • Container should be easy to handle during transportation and emptying.
  • As far as possible manual handling of containers should be minimized. Appropriate material handling equipment is to be used to lad, transport and unload containers. This equipment includes drum, dollies, forklifts, drum handling equipment, lift gates and pallets. Drums should not be rolled on or off vehicles.
  • Where 2-tier or 3-tier storage is envisaged the frame should have adequate strength to hold the container.
  • The multi-use containers should be re-usable. One-way containers (especially 160 I - drums) are also allowed.
  • Load are to be properly placed on vehicles. HW containers are not to overhang, perch, lean or be placed in other unstable positions. Load should be secured with straps, clamps, braces or other measures to prevent movement and loss. Design of the container should eb such that it can be safely accommodated on the transport vehicle.
  • Dissimilar wastes shall not be collected in the same container. Wastes shall be segregated and packed separately. This is necessary to ensure that each waste finds its way to the right disposal pathway.
  • Occupier/hazardous waste generator shall not resort to the dilution of wastes (predominantly organic wastes).

3. Labeling

There are two types of labeling requirements :

  1. Labeling of individual transport containers ranging from a print-size to a tank and
  2. Labeling of transport vehicles.

All hazardous wastes containers must be clearly marked with current contents. The marking must be water proof and firmly attached so that they cannot be removed. Previous content labels, when different, should be obliterated. Proper marking of containers is essential.

Containers that contain HW must include the words "HAZARDOUS WASTE". The information on the label must include the code number of the waste, the waste type, the origin (name, address, telephone number of the generator), hazardous property (e.g. flammable) and the symbol for the hazardous property (e.g. the red square with flame symbol).

The label must withstand the effects of rain and sun. Labeling of containers is important for tracking the wastes from the point of generation upto the final disposal. Following are the requirement for labeling :

  • The label should contain the name and address of the waste management facility where it is being sent for treatment and final disposal.
  • Emergency contact phone number shall be prominently displayed. For example respective

Regional Officer of the Station Pollution Control Board, Fire Station, Police Station.

Explanation : As a general rules, the label has to state the origin/generator of the waste. He- and only he - is responsible and should know - in case of accidents/ spillage etc. - what kind of wastes it is, what hazard may occur and which measures should be taken. Second in the line is the collector/transporter, who has to know the risk and what to do to minimize risks and hazards.

4. Transportation

Following are the requirements pertaining to the transportation of hazardous wastes.

  • Vehicle used for transportation shall be in accordance with the provisions under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1986, and rules made thereunder.
  • Transporter shall possess valid authorisation from State Pollution Control Board for transportation of wastes.
  • PUCC (Pollution Under Control Certificate) shall be properly displayed.
  • Vehicles should be painted preferably in blue colour with white strip of 15 to 30 cm width running centrally all over the body. This is to facilitate easy identification.
  • Vehicles should be fitted with mechanical handling equipment as may be required for safe handling and transportation of the wastes.
  • The words "HAZARDOUS WASTE" shall be displayed on all sides of the vehicle.
  • Name of the facility operator or the transporter, as the case may be, shall be displayed.
  • Emergency phone numbers and TREM Card shall be displayed properly.
  • Vehicles shall be fitted with roll-on/roll-off covers if the individual containers do not possess the same.
  • Carrying of passengers except in the cabin and those working with the waste haulers, shall be strictly prohibited.
  • Transporter shall carry documents of manifest for the wastes during transportation as required under the Hazardous Waste Rules, 1989, as amended.
  • The trucks shall eb dedicated for transportation of hazardous wastes and they shall not be used for any other purpose.
  • Each vehicle shall carry first aid kit and fire extinguisher.
  • Educational qualification for the driver shall be minimum of 10th pass (SSC). Driver(s) shall be properly trained for handling the emergency situations and safety aspects involved in the transpiration of hazardous wastes.
  • The design of the trucks should be such that it should prevent spillages during transportations.