How to Safely Dispose of Flammable Liquids

Tips for Handling Flammable Liquids During Waste Disposal

A flammable liquid is any liquid with a flash point under 100 degrees Fahrenheit. These liquids have highly flammable vapors and must be disposed of properly to avoid fire, damage, and injury. Some of the most common flammable liquids include gasoline, acetone, alcohols, kerosene, methylated spirits, heating oil, methanol, paint remover, styrene, ethyl, and lighter fluid. However, this list is by no means exhaustive, so it is crucial to thoroughly check all liquids before disposal to ensure you are following proper disposal protocol.

Keep reading to learn how to safely dispose of flammable liquids at your facility.

Important Things to Remember When Disposing of Flammable Liquids

Never pour flammable liquids down sinks or drains, as sinks and drains lead directly to municipal waste systems. It is imperative that you follow all relevant environmental laws when disposing of flammable liquids. Additionally, it is unsafe to burn down flammable liquids in a waste generator.

During the disposal process, be sure to check all empty containers that once contained flammable liquids. Any amount of residue can pose a threat if not disposed of properly. For example, it only takes about 14ml of flammable liquid in a 40-gallon drum to create an explosive environment—posing a potential threat to your safety and the surrounding environment.

Finally, never perform any tasks that could create a spark (e.g., drilling, welding, cutting, soldering, etc.) near any drums, even if they are assumed to be empty, until you have confirmed that all flammable liquids and vapors have been completely cleared.

Planning Flammable Liquid Removal at Your Facility

The safest way to dispose of flammable liquids is to create a filing system using designated containers. These containers should be labeled immediately as a flammable waste material so all staff members are aware of the containers’ contents and your facility will be in compliance with EPA and DOT storage requirements.

Additionally, it’s crucial to keep these designated containers away from any ignition sources and out of the way of all staff or visitors to your site. If you must handle flammable liquids for transportation or storage purposes, ensure everyone involved is following proper protocols. Ensure that the flammable liquids have been placed in the correct containers before transport. In addition, be sure work is halted and you have cleared space to pass when you are moving the flammable liquids, even if no ignition sources are nearby. Finally, create documentation that you can refer back to. This will help emergency responders in the event of an accident.

Hire a Hazardous Waste Disposal Company

Above all, working with hazardous waste disposal and collection companies like Vision Environmental is the best way to get rid of flammable liquids. When utilizing waste collection companies, ensure all containers are properly labeled with their contents and amounts so the disposal process is seamless.

Before you sign on with a hazardous waste disposal and collection company to dispose of flammable liquids on your site, make sure they follow best practices for code-compliant, sustainable disposal. Ensure that the company you hire is reliable, trustworthy, and using safe and effective protocols.

How Vision Environmental Can Help

Vision Environmental provides environmental solutions including hazardous waste disposal, remediation & UST closure, and health & safety compliance services. For more assistance with safely disposing of flammable liquids or for assistance with other environmental concerns, contact Vision Environmental today.