One might think that if it is someone's job to properly manage hazardous waste, that person would properly handle the hazardous waste. That worker failing to safely store or discard the materials would be like a chef forgetting to turn the stove on when cooking.
The difference between a hazardous waste worker and a chef, however, is that improperly storing waste can put an entire community in danger. In the case of one Georgia man, he was criminally charged and sentenced to prison for his actions that put the environment and public at risk.
The waste that people create, whether at home or from a huge factory, doesn't just disappear without help. There are workers whose jobs it is to safely store or get rid of waste or hazardous materials. The federal government charged a Georgia worker for not responsibly doing his important job.
Officials reportedly found a significant number of large barrels filled with waste in a storage facility that the defendant had. Storing them there is not a proper or safe way to handle the hazardous materials from factories. The defendant's wrongdoing was so severe that he was convicted to 10 months in prison.
There is a reason that the government sets laws regarding waste disposal and hazardous materials. Environmental laws are important to protecting the environment. Also, improperly handled hazardous materials can lead to health issues or dangerous incidents that threaten the well-being of unsuspecting men, women, children and animals.
If you believe that a company, individual or group is violating environmental laws related to waste disposal, work with an environmental lawyer who can evaluate the situation.
Source: Guardian Liberty Voice, "Hazardous Waste Leads to Lengthy Sentence," Lindsey Alexander, March 20, 2014