The field of stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs) is a nuanced one, and contains several specific areas that may be important in a given setting or jobsite. One such area that must not be glossed over, even if it sounds simple and straightforward: Management of trash and other waste in the area. 

At Silver Leaf SWPPP, we're here to help clients around Utah with all their SWPPP needs, from SWPPP plans and documentation to on-site needs like street sweeping, dewatering and more. While specific requirements here will vary from location to location, here are some general tips when it comes to waste management within the realm of SWPPP. 

How Waste Products Can Cause Pollution

For understandable reasons, we get why some people don't fully consider physical waste within the world of stormwater management. The term is based around water-based issues, after all, such as chemicals, sediment and other similar areas. But the truth is that trash and waste products can be just as detrimental to this area if not properly managed. They can cause blockages in stormwater systems, which leads to flooding or erosion issues.

Additionally, certain materials – such as plastics – are known for carrying toxins that could eventually poison local waterways if they're not disposed of correctly. For these reasons, waste and trash management are a vital part of any SWPPP plan.

Trash and Waste Receptacles

Firstly, let's discuss the actual containers for waste products. You'll need to have these on hand in order to handle any trash or waste produced by your project, and there are a few different options available depending on your needs:

  • Dumpsters: For larger-scale projects that will produce more waste, dumpster rentals may be necessary.
  • Garbage cans: For smaller projects with less overall waste production, a few strategically placed garbage cans may be enough.
  • Recycling bins: If your project produces recyclable materials, make sure to have designated recycling bins available as well.

Now, there will usually be a few specific requirements for any receptacles used within SWPPP setups. Some examples:

  • Protection from both water and wind: These are the two most common sources of potential issues when it comes to receptacles. Make sure all containers are properly covered and secured. In many cases, this will need to be done at the end of the workday, or prior to any expected heavy rain or wind. 
  • Proper labeling: All receptacles must be clearly labeled for their intended purpose (garbage, recycling, etc.)
  • Regular maintenance: You'll need to empty and clean these receptacles regularly in order to prevent any overflow or other issues.

Sufficient Number of Containers

Down related lines, make sure you have enough containers on-site to handle the expected waste production of your project. The exact number will vary based on things like project size and scope, but be sure not to underestimate here – a lack of proper receptacles can lead to significant issues if not addressed quickly.

This is one area where our team of SWPPP professionals can be a huge asset for you. Our team will help assess your project and determine the proper number of containers needed to keep things clean and safe, then provide these on-site as part of our comprehensive services.

Overflowing Containers

In any cases where containers are overflowing despite regular maintenance, you'll need to take action. The best method here will depend on the situation – in many cases, renting an extra dumpster or even just emptying a container more often may be enough.

Furthermore, be sure to address any trash or waste that may have spilled out of overflowing containers. This can lead to pollution issues if left unattended, and is a violation of most SWPPP regulations.

Specific Sanitary Waste Units

One form of waste receptacle that we wanted to save for its own section is the sanitary waste unit, which refers to products like portable toilets, hand washing stations and other items that might be necessary on larger job sites. These units must be serviced regularly in order to prevent any potential pollution from occurring – our team will help manage this process for you as part of our comprehensive SWPPP services.

Furthermore, sanitary waste units have several specific considerations typically attached to them:

  • Located away from storm drains, plus in a safe location where they cannot be tipped over
  • Located at least six feet from impervious surfaces
  • Anchored so they cannot be moved by heavy winds
  • Regularly maintained and emptied

For more on any of the areas we've discussed, or to learn about any of our SWPPP or related services around Utah, speak with our team at Silver Leaf SWPPP today!

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