Steps For Safe & Effective Ways To Dispose Cooking Oil At Home (2021 Edition)

After preparing fried chicken, stir-fry, or bacon & eggs, pouring used cooking oil down the drain might seem to be the fastest and easiest solution. However, that’s the worst thing to do because grease can clog up kitchen pipes and local sewage systems. These are both situations you should avoid.

So, to help you with proper disposal, we’ve outlined the steps you can take to dispose of used cooking oil at home in a safe, effective, and eco-friendly way. We’ve also included some creative tips for you to incorporate used cooking oil in compost and in making other useful items like soap.

Remember that even the smallest amount of grease poured down the drain on a daily basis can have a cumulative and potentially harmful effect to your home and the environment.

Simple, Easy Steps for Cooking Oil Disposal

1. Store properly and then dispose along with other household waste

This is a common practice in most households since it is generally acceptable to store used cooking oil then dispose of it with the other household garbage. However, there are proper steps and points to keep in mind.

Additional Tips:

Also, just an interesting cooking oil fact:

Did you know that you can preserve cooking oil by freezing it? As long as it’s sealed tight, fresh, unused or unopened cooking oil can last up to 2 years in the freezer and about 1 year in the pantry.

2. Take used oil to restaurants for correct disposal

Do you know anyone who owns a restaurant? Or, perhaps, you live close by a restaurant? The reason why having a restaurant helps you in disposing of cooking oil is because they will have sources for hazardous waste disposal so you can be assured the waste is being disposed of properly.

3. Contact a household hazardous waste disposal company

This is a multi-beneficial option since companies that collect household hazardous waste (HHW) often collect other categories like medical waste. If they have a doorstep pick-up service, then this gives you a chance to get rid of multiple types of hazardous waste at one time. 

ACTenviro can most definitely help you with household hazardous waste disposal.Get in touch with us. We’re happy to provide you with a free quote.

4. Use a Grease Disposal System

This is actually a system kit that works as grease disposal. This system includes a plastic container with foil-lined bags that can hold a maximum of 32 ounces (2 lbs). You can choose many available options such as this The Fat Trapper Grease Disposal System sold by Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Just put a bag into the container then pour used/COOLED cooking oil into the bag. After the bag is full, seal it up and throw the bag into the garbage.

5. Add to compost

This might be surprising since it’s oil, right? Well, if you’re using 100% vegetable cooking oil, then it’s simply extracted from foods like:

So since these are all-natural foods, it’s perfectly safe to add to your regular compost pile. The exception is if you added animal fat or cooked with meat, since this could attract unwanted bugs and small animals.

Fun Fact: 

Earthworms actually enjoy eating cooking oil. So, when you add some cooking oil to your compost pile, you’re benefiting the oil and creepy crawlers underneath.

There’s a caveat, though: 

Try to minimize how much cooking oil you add. One reason is it might attract more critters besides worms. Another issue is it might cause a situation in which there’s too much grease and blocks air/water flow. If you want to impress your friends and family, the fancy term is “hydrophobic barriers.”

6. Mix with other solid waste materials

Before you dispose of the used cooking oil, you can actually blend it with other absorbent waste materials to “convert” it into solid waste. You can then just store that properly per normal process and then include it in your daily household waste disposal

It’s easy to see that this method helps to soak up the liquid quickly.This makes a less messy situation and helps out city sanitation workers at the same time.

To make a more profound impact on our environment, you can opt to reuse or recycle cooking oil. The next section explores these options further.

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Tips for Reusing Cooking Oil

1. Store in Glass Jars

This is an oldie-but-goodie option because it’s a great way to store used cooking oil before reusing it for another dish. Another benefit of this option is that it also allows you to reuse old jars.

Here’s what you need to do:

Storing used cooking oil in glass jars is one effective way to delay how soon you dispose of/recycle the grease. You won’t be able to reuse it an unlimited number times, of course.  However, based on factors like what kind of food you’re cooking (meat/veggies), how much food you’re cooking, and the cooking temperatures—you can often get about 2 to 6 (tops) re-uses from the cooking oil.

Additional Tip:

To make the most out of your used cooking oil and keep it free from “impurities”, one common kitchen hack is to place  a small strainer or piece of coarse cloth on the mouth of the glass jar as you pour it. This allows you to effectively strain any bits and pieces of batter or other foodstuff. 

If you’re using a strainer, always remember to wipe out any excess traces of oil before washing it in the sink to avoid having even small amounts of grease going down the drain. 

Now, it might be instinctive of us to wipe out grease from strainers, dishes, pots and pans with paper towels, and then afterwards, throw the used, greasy paper towels in the recycling bin because – well, paper towels are generally recyclable, right?

But, wait. 

Paper towels that are lined with grease are generally not accepted by recycling centers. It’s best to use other more eco-friendly alternatives like a wash cloth cut up from an old t-shirt or a microfiber cleaning cloth that you can easily rinse, wash, dry and rid of grease while helping reduce non-recyclable waste.

2. When reusing cooking oil, keep track of its “expiration date”.

Knowing the telltale signs of bad cooking oil is the cardinal rule of reusing it. This is based on a wide range of signs, including the appearance, texture, and smell of the oil. Here are some general tips from the experts:

Based on the above, here’s a quick guide:

Are you reusing cooking oil from a dish that’s been breaded or battered? 

It’s safe to reuse up to 3 to 4 times. 

Are you reusing cleaner or clearer cooking oil from frying potato chips or french fries? 

It’s safe to reuse 8 times. This can be reused much longer if it is also replenished or combined with new, fresh oil.

3. Convert soybean oil into biodiesel.

Can you really rev up a diesel engine with soybean oil? It turns out it’s a possibility. Consider that corn is used for that exact purpose today.

One caveat is you’ll need more than the cooking oil used for frying an egg. You’ll actually require large amounts. In fact, some industries like restaurants have even made a business of it. They sell industrial amounts of cooking oil to companies, which convert it into biodiesel. 

You can find various online resources to find local companies that convert cooking oil into biodiesel. If they only accept bulk amounts, find a local restaurant that follows the practice. Perhaps you can donate your own household cooking oil.

4. Make soap.

This is probably the last thing most people would likely consider using used cooking oil for. Usually, soap is produced from fat. Thus, using cooking oil to make soap is practical since it’s another way to reuse the oil besides cooking with it again.

It’s also 100% better than tossing the oil into the garbage can. That’s the opposite of the 3-Rs and definitely less eco-friendly.

If you’re interested in learning how to make soap, you can find step-by-step, cooking oil soap-making instructions here.

5. Reuse cooking oil as a non-toxic insecticide or weed-killer.

Ironically while insects and small animals love cooking oil, you can also use it to keep bugs away. The oil effectively suffocates harmful bugs as it coats its bodies and blocks the pores that they use to breathe. Besides that, it’s also an eco-friendly option since it’s just veggie-based oil.

Here’s how you can make insecticide out of cooking oil:

When you’re ready to use your own homemade cooking oil pesticide spray mix, here’s what you need to do:

A related option is to use vegetable oil as a weed-killer. Use it the same way as a pesticide.

If you prefer recycling used cooking oil over reusing it, then the next section offers you some basic tips.

How to Recycle Cooking Oil

Step 1: Preparation

Consider if you prefer used cooking oil in liquid or solid form. 

Some people would rather deal with solid waste versus liquid form. If that’s the case, then simply let the oil cool down, and it will turn into a block of frozen grease. If you want it to be super-solid, then freeze the cooking oil after it cools down, so it solidifies more. One of the main benefits of freezing cooking oil is it’s easier to deal with. That includes whether you plan on reusing it soon or disposing of it.

If you don’t mind directly storing used cooking oil in its liquid form, then store it as we have earlier mentioned in the first part of this article: cool the cooking oil, transfer to a plastic container with a tightly-closed lid and then include it in your food waste bin for proper disposal.

Step 2: Pick the right container

For recycling, you have various options like plastic butter containers or coffee cans. Make sure to label the container, so nobody confuses cooking oil for ground coffee beans.

You don’t have to refrigerate the oil. The only exception is if you plan to reuse it later.

Step 3: Keep filling up container

This is especially true if you only use very little amounts of cooking oil. By topping it up as needed, you can make the most out of the container you’re using and also save time by dropping off all your used cooking oil in one go. 

You don’t have to worry about the different kinds of cooking oil mixed up in the one disposal container you’re using because, in this case, it’s assumed that these have already been reused to its maximum capacity and ready to drop these off at the recycling center

However, you should certainly remove any large pieces of meat or veggies.

Step 4: Find a recycling center

Sometimes recycling centers accept used cooking oil as part of household hazardous waste (HHW). In some situations, they’ll only accept cooking oil during the holiday season. If that’s the case, you can look for other disposal solutions.

Make sure to check with the local department of public works first to find out if there are any free programs available. You could just Google or call the relevant local or state office to find out whether or not such programs are available. Afterwards, you’ll just have to drop off the cooking oil. They’ll handle the rest of the work so others can use the cooking oil for some tasty fried chicken or shrimp tempura.

You can also use the following web-based resources to search for recycling centers that are happy to put your waste cooking oil to good use:

Another alternative is to contact the local fire department. In some situations, they’ll accept used cooking oil for recycling. This not only helps to get rid of the cooking oil but also supports your local FD.

Recycling cooking oil has some great benefits including:

Mistakes to Avoid When Disposing of Used Cooking Oil

Don’t pour down drain

It’s just as important to know how NOT to dispose of cooking oil than how to dispose of it. There’s no question that used cooking oil is nasty. It’s especially true if you’ve been deep-frying food, for example, since there might be lard or vegetable shortening involved in the process—that makes the oil even more dangerous.

Don’t pour down the sink - even in small amounts

This might seem like an easy step, but it’s also quite dangerous. Even a little cooking oil can clog up the kitchen/sewage pipes. If that happens, you’ll have to hire a plumber for repairs, which can be quite expensive.

If the sewage pipes get clogged up, that can actually affect neighborhood basements due to leaking sewage.

Don’t pour down toilet

Pouring used cooking oil down the toilet can cause several of the same problems as pouring it down the sink. That involves bathroom pipes, sewage pipes, etc.

One of the key problems is based on basic physics laws: oil and water don’t mix. Besides that, the drain line walls will also get damaged. Another factor is the oil moves slower than water. That, in turn, will cause it to mix with other stuff and clog up the whole piping system.

The situation is worse when you’re dealing with used cooking oil versus new cooking oil. When the oil is used, stuff like animal fat worsens the situation and increases the risk of clogged pipes/sewage.

Don’t pour hot oil into the garbage can.

This can attract lots of stuff like bugs and rats. It can even cause issues with garbage trucks as well as solid waste sites.

Don’t add to the septic system.

The reason is it can clog up pipes and even affect the drainage field and distribution lines. There’s even a chance it could pollute local waterways.

As much as it’s beneficial to properly dispose of, reuse and recycle used cooking oil, what actually works best is to reduce the use of it in the first place. Follow along the next section as we show you some effective ways for you to reduce the use of cooking oil.

Tips for Reducing the Use of Cooking Oil

One way to tick off used cooking oil disposal from your to-do list at home is to actually use less of it when cooking. Not only is “oil-less” cooking generally healthier, it also makes for more delicious, creative dishes.

Here are some tips that you can use in the kitchen for reducing the use of cooking oil:

Use an air fryer.

Designed to simulate frying, an air fryer is a great alternative to traditional frying. It utilizes hot air circulating at high-speed which then browns or crisps the food placed inside.

Bake.

While it may seem more tedious than frying, baking is a healthier alternative. There are tons of dishes that you can bake instead of fry: potato croquettes, samosas, fritters, kebabs and patties – these (and more) taste delicious, warm and tender when baked.

Steam or pre-cook.

Have you ever had steamed fish? Or steamed chicken breasts? When sprinkled with garlic, pepper, salt and generous amounts of butter, it tastes heavenly! Pair it up with some boiled potatoes and carrots, and you have a quick, healthy dish. Pre-cooking before frying also reduces the amount of oil needed.

Use a shallow frying pan. Instead of deep frying, frying from a shallow frying pan with a lid helps consume less oil. It also traps moisture which also helps cook food sooner and make it taste better.

Frequently Asked Questions

You should generally dispose of it after using it 2 or 3 times. However, if the smell is OK and it burns hot, then you can keep using the oil.

You can, but it should cool down first. Put it in a sealed and sturdy container. This will help it from leaking into the other garbage.

Yes, you can use the cooking oil as compost, but only if you were frying plant-based foods. If you were frying any meat products, the oil could attract critters like rats and raccoons.

No. You can’t do that since grease will clog up pipes and damage the local wastewater mains. Better options include reusing the oil or storing it in a sealed/non-breakable container.

You can do that by putting it in a sealed/non-breakable container then toss it into the trash. You can take it to a local waste center if it accepts grease.

Conclusion

The global market for used cooking oil is worth about $6 billion (2019), according to Global News Wire. There are several options for “disposing of” cooking oil, including reusing, blending, and recycling. Besides the basics, you can also use the used oil for compost, pesticides, or biodiesel.

The main takeaway is to dispose of the cooking oil in a safe and responsible way. This will help to minimize the effects on your household, neighborhood, and city/town. That, in turn, means you can keep on cooking up tasty morsels.

If you need the experts to help you with disposal of used cooking oil for your household or business, contact ACTenviro or learn more about our household hazardous waste management services.

What’s in Your Safety Program?

Accidents and injuries are a risk for all businesses, and everyone can agree that good businesses should protect their employees from foreseeable safety and health hazards. To wit, this is enshrined as a general expectation for all U.S. employers. Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (called the “general duty clause”) requires employers to provide workplaces that are free of recognized hazards, and the requirements for California employers are more explicit. Cal/OSHA regulations (title 8 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 3203 – 8 CCR 3203) require employers to establish, implement and maintain an effective “illness and injury prevention program” (IIPP).

So why do I have to have a Written Safety Plan?
For California businesses, whether big or small, developing an IIPP is a requirement, but a formal safety program makes sense for all businesses, too. For example, companies may adopt voluntary safety plans to increase worker productivity, prepare for special emergencies and enhance workplace security in addition to simply reducing/preventing injuries and illnesses. In addition, a worker injury or accident will cost businesses money. For every dollar spent on employee injuries or illnesses, businesses spend more on associated costs such as lost production time for both the employee and the supervisors, operations interrupted by the accident, etc. The California IIPP has 8 elements that align closely with professional guidance for effective safety programs. These elements are Responsibility, Compliance, Communication, Hazard Assessment, Accident/Exposure Investigation, Hazard Correction, Training, and Instruction and Recordkeeping. All California employers must establish a safety plan consistent with the Cal/OSHA requirements, but an even more robust safety plan is a good business decision for all employers.

What other written safety plans should I have besides having an IIPP?
In addition to the general safety programs, OSHA (and Cal/OSHA) require written safety plans for more than two dozen specific general or construction activities and more than a dozen chemicals listed under Subpart Z of the general industry rules for Toxic and Hazardous Substances, such as asbestos, lead and benzene.

Some activities or safety programs for which OSHA and Cal/OSHA require a written safety plan include:

  • Hazard Communication (T8 §5194, 29 CFR 1910.1200(e)) plan for facilities where workers could be exposed to hazardous chemicals. Failure to have a written hazard communication plan is a very frequently cited OSHA violation.
  • Emergency Action Plan and Fire Prevention Plan (T 8 §3220., 29 CFR 1910.38 and 29 CFR 1910.39).
  • Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan (T8 § 5193., 29 CFR 1910.1030(c)) at facilities that anticipate employee exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials.
  • HAZWOPER Safety and Health Plan (T8 § 5192, 29 CFR 1910.120(b)) for facilities conducting “emergency response” activities.
  • Respiratory protection (T 8 §5144, 29 CFR 1910.134(c)) for workplaces where employees are required to use respirators.
  • Hazardous energy control (lockout/tagout) (T8 §3314, 29 CFR 1910.147(c)) program to prevent injuries during equipment service and maintenance.
  • Permit-required confined space plan (T8 §5157, 29 CFR 1910.146(c)(4)) for any facility that allows entry to permit-required confined spaces.

Think about how you manage workplace safety and health.
There are probably as many different types of safety and health programs as there are businesses. If you manage just a few employees in a low-risk industry, your program is likely to be a simple one: just being a careful observer, listening to your employees’ concerns and responding to them. As businesses grow and become more complex, so do their safety and health programs.

The important thing is to identify applicable workplace hazards, evaluate the severity and likelihood of those hazards and then implement effective controls. Control measures include engineering, administrative and personal protective equipment protocols. Programs to address workplace hazards should be documented and evaluated periodically. At a minimum, they must meet applicable regulatory requirements. Regardless of who you are – a small business owner, a division manager or supervisor on the shop floor – your role in managing workplace safety and health is an important one.

Do you have any questions about workplace safety requirements, or any other EH&S issues? Contact ACTenviro….

References:
https://www.dir.ca.gov/title8index/T8index.asp
https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910
https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1926

– brought to you by the ACTenviro consulting team – your EH&S compliance experts

Better Battery Management for Better Living

battery recycle bin

Batteries are such integral parts of our everyday lives, we often take their proper disposal for granted. However, they require more careful handling than many other household items. If disposed of incorrectly, batteries pose both safety and regulatory risks.

Lithium batteries are the most dangerous, due to the possibility of fires and explosions. They have brought down airplanes as well as destroyed many businesses. To ensure our own proper handling of these volatile batteries, ACTenviro has implemented a Lithium Battery Management Program that goes beyond existing governmental regulatory standards.

As part of this program, ACT requires that generators package all lithium batteries (including button cell-type batteries) in Ziploc bags or tape with clear tape. This allows for proper identification of battery type. Our technicians thoroughly inspect any drums containing lithium batteries to assess their condition. If any batteries are damaged or defective, our DOT SP-16532 permit calls for very specific measures as to how to package and identify them for shipment. Accordingly, price is also higher for recycling these batteries.

Dry cell batteries, such as alkaline, nickel cadmium and nickel metal hydride, do not have to be taped unless they are over 9 volts. Those above 9 volts can be taped with duct tape, as long as the battery type marking is still visible. Each battery type should be packaged separately due to the differences in the required recycling procedures.

All lead acid and wet nickel cadmium batteries must have terminals taped to prevent short-circuiting.

Automotive batteries are not Universal Waste. However, they can be shipped on a BOL using the proper DOT shipping name. If they are shipped on a pallet, they must have cardboard under and over each layer and be shrink wrapped to the pallet (this also applies to sealed lead acid batteries).

At ACTenviro, we take every necessary precaution to ensure the safe transportation and disposal of all our customers’ waste. Please contact your local ACT branch for assistance with any of your environmental needs.

– Julius Hannegan, Project Manager and resident battery expert

Getting Ahead of the Requirements for Truck Upgrades

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At the start of 2012, the state of California implemented stricter requirements on diesel emissions for newer heavier trucks. The same action put tighter diesel emissions rules in place for lighter and older heavier trucks at the start of 2015. The final step in this progression provides, “By January 1, 2023, nearly all trucks and buses will need to have 2010 model year engines or equivalent.”

Why are we telling you all of this? Because, faced with the same tough choice as all CA companies that use diesel trucks – between retrofitting our older, less-fuel-efficient trucks and upgrading our fleet itself – we chose the latter option. It was costlier in the short run to get new vehicles, but it was worth it.

Simply put, the newer our trucks, the more sustainably and efficiently we can assist you with all your transportation and disposal needs. Think of it like an airline’s fleet. Would you rather fly on a Dreamliner or an old turboprop? The photo accompanying this piece shows one of our newer trucks. It may not soar above the clouds, but our drivers have as much pride in this lower-emissions road dog as pilots have in their newfangled birds.

When We Say We Employ the Best and the Brightest, We Have Proof

SanDiegoBBlogoWin18_RGB

Congratulations to our Escondido branch, which was recently honored as one of “San Diego’s Best and Brightest Companies To Work For”! According to the press release from National Association for Business Resources, this program recognizes “companies that excel at employee relations, use innovation to motivate employees…and are making their workplaces, their employees and the community a healthier place to live and work.”

San Diego was the second metro area that ACT expanded into back in the early 2000s, and it has always held a special place in our collective heart. Our company culture has always been very strong in Escondido, and that’s even more true today.

Said Branch Manager Jeff Ruhl, “Every day, our team lives ACT’s core values – Safety, Family, Professionalism, Customer Commitment and Forward Thinking. We challenge ourselves to meet the expectations of our clients and each other. And we have a lot of fun doing it.”

Well-done, Jeff. You and your team should all take a bow. Now back to work!

Why Use a COLIWASA?

Coliwasa“COLIWASA” stands for composite liquid waste sampler. The COLIWASA is a device for obtaining a representative sample from stratified or unstratified liquids. It is commonly used for sampling containerized liquids, such as tanks, barrels and drums. It may also be used for pools and other open bodies of stagnant liquid. However, it is not recommended for moving liquids. The COLIWASA obtains a vertical column of liquid representing an accurate cross-section of the sampled material. When sampling, utilize the correct type of COLIWASA for the sampled material.

I bring up the subject as I’ve encountered numerous generators who improperly sample their waste. This can lead to an inaccurate representative sample and faulty analytical results. The end result can be an improper waste determination that is a violation of the regulations. Worse yet, someone could be injured.

Years ago, I happened to visit a generator while they were extracting a sample from the bottom valve of their 2,000-gallon vertical tank for analysis. Primarily water, the sample was extremely clear. I asked how they accounted for the top and middle sections and got a puzzled look back. I retrieved a COLIWASA, took a sample, and found about a four-foot layer of Jet A and diesel fuel as a result.

At another site, a generator asked me to take some acid samples to a lab for their annual sampling, which included PH and RCRA 8 Metals testing. Upon further discussion, I found out they were just scooping the liquids off the top. Therefore, I suggested using a nine-foot COLIWASA to acquire a representative sample. The analytical results showed a measurable increase of three regulated metals which were then added to their waste profile.

In conclusion, using a COLIWASA can be instrumental in taking a proper representative sample, making accurate analyses and determining the correct waste(s). This can minimize potential fines, endangerment of personnel and, potentially, damage to the environment.

– Rusty Lea, Account Manager

Why You Should Never Store Poly Drums in the Sun: a First-Hand Experience

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Wrong-Way_Text

Throughout my 18 years in the hazardous waste industry, I have always warned my customers about the dangers of storing poly containers outside. Here is why:

About 10 years ago, I was doing a lab pack inventory and a customer had 20-30 five-gallon containers (poly) that were being stored outside; the containers had weathered the elements there for 1-2 years. While I read a label on one of the containers, I put my hand on another container for support…only to have it explode on me! Liquid waste spilled out of the container, drenching my arm. Although I was wearing a smock, long sleeve shirt, safety glasses and latex gloves, they would not have lasted long as protection against the corrosive waste. Thankfully, there was a water hose within 3 feet. Had water not been so close by, or had it been a larger drum or container, this could have resulted in the dispatch of an emergency response team.

Since then, I have always advised my customers to keep poly containers inside – or at least out of direct sunlight – as the sun deteriorates the plastic and causes it to become brittle.

To make sure your hazardous waste is being stored safely and according to regulation, or for other environmental service needs, please contact your local ACTenviro branch.

– Mike Przewoznik, Account Manager

When You’re Stuck in the Car Five Hours a Day, Who You Gonna Call? Commute-Busters!

Long commutes rob workers of time with their loved ones. At ACTenviro, we do whatever we can to help our employees deal with this issue, by adjusting hours to avoid traffic, facilitating interstate branch moves, etc.

Recently, not one but two of our employees, Samuel Rodriguez and Jose Ratliff, transferred from our Sunnyvale branch to our Merced, California branch, which is much closer to their homes. Brian Trefault, their new branch manager in Merced, said, “I am proud to share this as both Sam and Jose have made huge positive impacts on our facility.” Here, then, are Samuel and Jose’s stories, in their own words:

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Samuel Rodriguez

I’ve been with ACT for 5 years. Two years ago, I purchased a home and moved my family from the Bay Area to the Central Valley. I commuted for 15 months, spending about 20 plus hours a week just driving to and from work. This past summer, a driver position opened in Merced and I applied then interviewed and got the job. I feel the difference in myself with getting more rest and getting to spend a lot more time with my family. I have two girls (11 and 10months) and my wife. Family time means a lot to us and with making the move to Merced I can go to softball games and watch my newborn grow. Thank you, Sunnyvale – my time there was great. To Brian and the Merced branch, thank you for welcoming me and making my transfer seamless. I’m looking forward to learning and advancing with the company.

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Jose Ratliff

I am now the Senior Field Chemist at the Central Valley Branch located in Merced, CA. I’ve been working for ACTenviro for over twelve years now. I was originally hired to work out of the Sunnyvale branch because I lived in the San Jose area at the time. Back then,ACTenviro did not even have a Central Valley Branch.

Over the course of my employment, I have moved my family from one city to another a couple of times, but I have recently settled down in Manteca, CA in a new home that I was able to purchase. I have been in my home for about two years now and as I’m sure everyone experiences, the traffic and commute have only been getting worse with time for everyone. I love my job with ACTenviro and have stuck it out, regardless of how far away I lived from the office, due to ACT’s commitment to its employees. However, I recently saw a job posting at the Central Valley branch and thought this might be a great opportunity for me.

It was hard to even consider leaving the Sunnyvale team thatI developed a special bond with and almost felt like a family to me at times, but I felt this change would be able to improve my personal life dramatically. I had been commuting a total of five to six hours on bad traffic days (every Friday at minimum) and it was starting to take a toll on me. During the application process, everyone from both locations was supportive and stressed that they wanted me to make a decision based on what was best for my family and me.

After doing a visit and meeting with Brian Trefault, the General Manager of the Central Valley branch, and the rest of the team, I felt comfortable and believed that making this move would be the best decision. I have now been at the Central Valley branch almost two months and must say that the quality of my life has totally changed, physically and emotionally. I used to wake up at 3am every morning to arrive at work on time. I now get up at 6am, and have reduced my commute time dramatically. This allows me to spend more time enjoying my new home and my family…oh yeah, and getting more sleep is a definite plus as well.

I’m very grateful that Brian Trefault and the Merced family welcomed me with open arms and that ACTenviro is a forward-thinking, professional organization with family values and customer commitment!

Thank you to ACTenviro for everything.

Most Common Environmental Health Violations Issued to Biotech/R&D Facilities in CA

ticketManaging your company’s environmental programs involves complying with regulations from multiple agencies. One such agency, the California Department of Environmental Health, typically conducts annual inspections of a company’s hazardous waste program. These inspections can be stressful, as most inspectors will arrive onsite with no warning. Maintaining compliance with all the regulations enforced by DEH can be quite the task. To make it a little easier on you, here is a list of the most common areas of non-compliance to keep in mind:

1) All hazardous waste containers must be properly labeled, complete with an accumulation start date.

2) Hazardous waste containers must be fully closed at all times, except when adding or removing waste.

3) All waste containers must be disposed of within the allowable accumulation times (180 days for Small Quantity Generators and 90 days for Large Quantity Generators).

4) Accumulation in satellite containers cannot exceed one year.

5) HMBP must be kept up to date.

6) Copies of all hazardous waste manifests must have been mailed to the DTSC.

7) TSDF-signed copies of manifests must have been received for all hazardous waste shipments. These must be kept available for inspection for a minimum of three (3)
years.

8) All medical waste containers must be properly labeled, including generator’s name, address and phone number (applies to San Diego County).

9) Medical waste tracking documents for the past three (3) years are available for inspection.

10) All red biohazard bags must be kept in rigid, leak-resistant containers that are kept clean.

The County of San Diego has provided a self-audit checklist to assist with conducting weekly inspections. This checklist also provides more details on labeling and storage requirements:
http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/dam/sdc/deh/hmd/pdf/hm-9635%20(05- 07).pdf

Should you need additional assistance with compliance, ACTenviro has an experienced EHS team at your disposal. You may visit our website for more details:
https://www.actenviro.com/environmental-management/#.

We look forward to serving you!

– Vanessa Clark, Account Manager