Waste Management Services

Waste Management Services are performed by the Operations Department. Analytical chemists and customer service representatives profile and coordinate customer waste shipments. This group also establishes acceptance criteria, audits disposal facilities, establishes generic waste profiles, and tracks regulatory requirements for hazardous waste handling and disposal. The field services staff of RCRA-trained, medically-monitored personnel manage screening, loading and transportation of waste materials. Field services personnel have an average tenure of 17 years in the environmental industry and an average tenure with PTES of over 11 years.

Vehicles: The Company owns a large fleet of locally based vehicles and trailers available for use. The tractors and trailers shown at the left are used for the transportation of containerized waste products.

In addition to containerized waste products, the Company handles both bulk liquid and solid waste materials. For the handling of bulk solids the Company has a large inventory of both 20 and 40-yard rolloff bins. These bins are available locally on both daily and monthly terms and often represent a very cost effective method of managing larger volumes of bulk solid waste. For bulk liquid waste streams, PTES uses its own vacuum trailers which are based at the El Cajon facility.

Facility: PTES' El Cajon, CA, facility is a hazardous waste transfer station and equipment yard, which can hold packaged hazardous waste in secure cells for up to 10 days prior to shipment for recycling, treatment or disposal. In addition to the security of the waste storage cells, two additional levels of security and continuous monitoring of all stored materials are provided at the facility. Waste can be moved quickly and safely by PTES from your generating locations and safely stored at the PTES facility pending final disposal at carefully selected TSDs. The primary regulatory agencies for PTES facility operations are the City of El Cajon Fire Department and the County of San Diego. The facility has had no violations during the twelve years of facility operation.

Personnel Protective & Remediation Equipment: The Company has an extensive local inventory of personnel protective and remediation equipment for use on customer projects. This includes all equipment for work in levels A, B, C, and D, self-contained breathing apparatus, and confined space-entry equipment. Equipment for clean-up and remediation projects is in inventory and ready for both emergency and scheduled projects. The inventory includes specialized pressure washers, pumps, blowers, sorbents, and sampling equipment needed for a wide variety of remedial and emergency response projects.

Boxes & Containers: PTES has a large inventory of DOT-compliant drums, cubic yard boxes and other specialized containers at its El Cajon facility.

Solvent Recycling: Solvents are recycled by separating them from waste stream contaminants. The separation is accomplished by heating solvents to their boiling points in distillation columns. Solvents unsuitable for recycling are put into fuel blending or incinerated.

Solvent waste streams commonly recycled include:

  • Mineral Spirits
  • Solvent Blends
  • Perchloroethylene
  • Methylene Chloride
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Glycol Ether
  • Acetone
  • Methyl Ethyl Ketone
  • DBE Glycols

Solvent recycling facilities use various processing units such as vacuum stills, thin layer evaporators, and sieve tray fractionation columns. The recycled solvents are sold as reclaimed products or returned to the original generator as part of a tolling arrangement. The feasibility of recycling a solvent depends on the existence of a profitable reuse market. If the price of the virgin solvent is already low, it will be very difficult to sell the recycled product for a profit. Also, solvent recycling feasibility decreases as the amount of waste stream contaminants increase.

Aqueous Treatment: Aqueous treatment employs biological, physical or chemical treatment methods to eliminate or reduce the hazards of waste. In biological treatment, bacteria are used to digest or break down organic matter through respiration and secretion of enzymes. Physical treatment can be as simple as the dewatering of sludges,or stabilization of heavy metals by solidification. Chemical treatment can include neutralization of alkaline or acid wastes, chemical precipitation to remove solids, or chemical scrubbing to remove unwanted gasses.

Non-hazardous Treatment: PTES provides non-hazardous waste processing and disposal for a variety of industrial and commercial materials, including:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Cosmetic and Hygiene Products Expired Consumer Goods
  • Flooring
  • Containers, Crates, and Pallets
  • Non-RCRA Chemical Waste

Typically, PTES sends non-hazardous waste to resource recovery facilities that incinerate the waste to produce electricity and non-hazardous landfills, wastewater treatment facilities, and secure Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) landfills.

Lab Packs Disposal: The lab packs disposal method is the classifying, segregating, and packing of small containers of various chemicals or waste into large containers for transportation and disposal. In most cases, the container labels provide the information needed to determine proper packing and disposal procedures.

If the items are brand name products, commercial formulations or chemical mixtures, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) specify the proper handling and disposal methods. Unknown items usually require testing to determine their constituents and physical characteristics.

Based on label information, MSDS data, and testing results, PTES or its partners package the compatible containers in absorbent-filled drums. The drums are then labeled and transported with manifests to an appropriate disposal facility.

Fuel Blending Process: The fuel blending process uses high British Thermal Unit (BTU) waste streams as an alternative fuel to operate cement and aggregate kilns, boiler and industrial furnaces, or incinerators. Waste fuels must have a (BTU) value of at least 5,000 per pound to be considered for fuel blending. Waste disposed of through fuel blending includes:

  • Flammable Solvents
  • Paint Waste
  • Inks
  • Petroleum Products
Because the cement manufacturing process requires extremely high temperatures (up to 3,500ºF), cement kilns are an ideal disposal technology for these types of waste streams. In this process, waste fuels are blended with a primary fuel source (coal or oil) to produce the extreme temperatures required to turn limestone into calcium oxide. The calcium oxide becomes a cement clinker. The clinker produced in the rotary cement kiln is ground, mixed with gypsum, and sold as Portland Cement.

Incineration: Incineration is the thermal destruction of hazardous and non-hazardous waste. After incineration, ash and other hazardous waste residues are disposed in secure Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) landfills. Two common types of incineration are liquid injection incineration and rotary kiln incineration.

Liquid injection incinerators produce extremely high temperature (approximately 1,900ºF), making them an effective treatment for wastes containing chlorinated hydrocarbons and sulfur compounds. In this incineration process, waste that can be pumped is sprayed into the combustion chamber

Rotary kiln incineration is a versatile and widely used technology capable of burning a broad range of solids, sludges, and liquids. In this incineration process, rotation promotes complete combustion by continually mixing the burning waste with air.

Landfills: Hazardous and non-hazardous waste streams-their residues or solids-are deposited into secure Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Subtitle D landfills. Secure RCRA landfills differ from municipal or sanitary landfills, which are intended for household and non-hazardous waste. Unlike most landfills, secure RCRA landfills are designed for the safe disposal of hazardous waste.

The secure RCRA landfill system consists of a minimum of two heavy synthetic membranes up to 80 millimeters thick installed over compacted clay at least five feet in depth. Cells constructed with multiple liners, leachate collection systems, and ground monitoring devices protect the surface and groundwater from contamination. All leachate collected from the landfill undergoes treatment.

Secure landfill waste is strictly limited to drummed and bulk solids, pretreated sludges, and incinerator ash that meet all treatment standards as described in the land disposal restrictions (LDRs). Waste that does not meet LDR standards must be physically and/or chemically treated prior to disposal. For example, waste with free liquids must undergo solidification before deposition.


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1452 N. Johnson Ave   El Cajon, CA 92020   tel: (619) 441-1818   Fax: (619)441-2535   cust.srv@ptesinc.com

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