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Top 3 Toxic Chemical Producing Industries

Top 3 Toxic Chemical Producing Industries

And How They Can Benefit from Resource Recovery

With the July 1 deadline for Toxic Release Inventory reporting rapidly approaching, companies across the U.S. are evaluating their calendar year’s toxic chemicals releases. It is common at this time of year to reevaluate and search for new strategies to manage, minimize and recycle chemical waste for a better report next year. In fact, implementing a cost-effective waste minimization and recycling program can result in benefits for the environment and your company. These include:

  • Removing you from RCRA regulations 
  • Decreasing liabilities
  • Improving employee safety
  • Conserving valuable resources
  • Preventing potential adverse effects on the environment and human health
  • Providing social and economic benefits 

For companies using TRI-listed chemicals, contacting consulting experts at Enviro-Safe Resource Recovery about waste minimization and proper recycling / disposal programs can be particularly beneficial. While many types of commercial and industrial activities cause waste, three industry sectors account for 72 percent of the reported quantities of TRI chemicals disposed of or otherwise released in 2017. Here are the top three generators of TRI-listed chemicals that may benefit most from proper waste minimization and recycling programs. 

Third Place: Electric Utilities

According to EPA data, the electric utilities industry sector accounted for 9 percent of all TRI chemicals reported last year. Electric utilities generate, transmit and distribute electric power. The primary toxic chemicals reported by the industry are those fuels which are used to generate power, namely coal and oil. With thorough recycling programs, it is possible to safely manage and store used oils to protect employees health. Recyclable chemicals that appeared in EPA reports included Ethylene Glycol (EG), Methanol, Toluene, Xylene and more. At Enviro-Safe, our knowledgeable and experienced staff of professionals manage the recycling, safe disposal and transportation of toxic chemicals. 

Second Place: Chemical Manufacturing

Chemical manufacturing accounted for the second highest spot at thirteen percent on the EPA’s list. Chemical manufacturers produce industrial chemicals and convert raw materials like metals, natural gas, and minerals into thousands of products. Some of these products are used for commercial and manufacturing purposes, such as plastics, while some are produced for home use, such as cosmetics. From acetone to hydrogen peroxide to xylene, a chemical manufacturing company’s failure to properly dispose of or report toxic chemical releases could result in a variety of devastating consequences to humans and the environment. Many chemicals used and created by chemical manufacturers are known to cause birth defects or cancer, can create public health crises by entering the water supply, resulting in risks to employees health.

But waste minimization techniques and recycling programs like those offered at Enviro-Safe can help. Our experts help your company reduce chemical waste through improved audits, better inventory management, equipment modifications, updated production and maintenance processes and more. We can also assist with hazardous chemical substitution or find secondary markets for slightly used chemicals, or used as supplemental fuels. In fact, the EPA reports many companies are trending towards resource recovery; in 2017, only 3 percent of this sector's waste was released while the rest was managed through treatment, energy recovery, and recycling. 

First Place: Metal Mining


Metal mining far exceeded any other industry in terms of TRI-listed chemicals, accounting for a whopping 50 percent of all toxic chemical releases on the EPA’s list. Unfortunately, chemical waste from metal mining activity is extremely difficult to recycle. In fact, the EPA reported 97 percent of the metal mining sector's production-related waste from 2017 was disposed of or otherwise released rather than recycled. The majority of this waste consisted of metals, with zinc and lead compounds at the top of the list.

But this does not mean companies in the metal mining industry cannot benefit from recycling. Chemicals used to maintain machinery or as organic solvents in metal mining such as methanol or toluene are TRI-listed chemicals the EPA and States monitor. Metal mining companies must also adhere to Federal and State workplace safety standards.

Enviro-Safe respects the generator and strives to go above and beyond Federal and State regulations while saving you money. All said, 98 percent of everything we touch is recycled. Recycling and waste minimization are ultimately the best ways to deal with hazardous and non-hazardous waste and protect the environment and human health. Working with recycling experts will ease the reporting burden on your employees and save you money.

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