Checklist: Prevent pollution through better material receiving and storage

It's no secret that hazardous materials must be handled carefully to prevent
harm to people and the environment. But nonhazardous, overstocked supplies can
also pose an environmental problem; anything that becomes outdated or damaged
in storage becomes waste.

These checklists highlight ways to cut back on pollution through proper
material receiving and raw material and product storage, whether those
materials are hazardous chemicals or common business supplies.

Material receiving

  • Establish a centralized purchasing program.
  • Use a "just-in-time" ordering system to prevent overstocking of raw
    materials and hazardous materials, which may become obsolete or outdated.
  • Initiate a first in-first out use policy for all materials purchased.
  • Establish an inventory control program to trace chemicals from cradle to
  • Inspect material before accepting a shipment to ensure material is to
    specifications and that containers are in good condition.
  • Date materials containers as received.
  • Rotate chemical stock.
  • Develop a running inventory of unused chemicals for other departments? use
    or advertise with a waste exchange.
  • Select quantity and package type to minimize packing waste. Use
    rinseable/recyclable or reusable containers.
  • Switch to a less hazardous raw material.

Raw material and product storage

  • Establish a spill prevention, control and countermeasures plan.
  • Maintain Material Safety Data Sheets to ensure correct handling of spills.
  • Install overflow alarms for all tanks and vessels.
  • Store containers in such a way as to allow for visual inspection for
    corrosion and leaks.
  • Provide a covered area to protect materials and containers from degradation
    due to sunlight and precipitation.
  • Provide adequate lighting in the storage area.
  • Maintain distance between different chemicals to prevent
  • Stack containers in a way to minimize the chance of tipping, puncturing or
  • Install secondary containment areas.
  • Cover individual containers to prevent evaporation, contamination by
    foreign particles and the frequency of spills. Use floating-roof tanks for VOC
  • Use vapor recovery systems.
  • Maintain a clean, even surface in transportation areas.
  • Empty drums and containers thoroughly before cleaning or disposal.
  • Use proper tools and procedures for moving containers.

Further Information:

AplusA-online.de - Source: Environmental Protection