Cradle-to-Grave Regulation of Hazardous Waste

The term CRADLE-TO-GRAVE refers to an environmental policy of managing hazardous industrial wastes from their point of generation (cradle) to their final disposal location (grave). The cradleto-grave provisions for managing hazardous waste are found in Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which regulates the generation, transportation, storage, treatment, and disposal of hazardous wastes. RCRA, enacted in 1976, was a departure from earlier legislation such as the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, which primarily regulated pollutants at the “end-of-pipe.”

All companies, big and small, generate wastes, ranging from everyday items such as fluorescent lights and batteries to industrial wastes such as paints, plating solutions, and pesticides. In the United States, it was once legal to dispose of hazardous wastes in ...

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