Industrial waste from large- and medium-sized industries will generally not be regarded as disaster waste since these industries will often have their own waste management systems in place. If, however, these systems have been affected by a disaster and industrial wastes are not accounted for, they can then be considered as part of the disaster waste management programme.
The characteristics of industrial waste depend on the respective industrial branch the affected plants. Therefore, it is important to obtain information about what kind of (known) industries are located in the affected area. In addition, the DWM expert must expect small-scale industrial plants within residential areas.
The industrial disaster waste can include anything from harmless fresh construction wood, or machinery under construction, to heavy metals and strong acids, to toxic or carcinogenic chemicals from processing industries. It is important to understand that, even if the majority of waste is harmless, there can be substances used in the individual plant, which can form harmful and toxic disaster waste when mixed with rubble or mud.
After floods and tsunamis, industrial disaster waste is normally mixed with sludge and mud. Following earthquakes and tsunamis, containers and storage cylinders can also be destroyed, and their content may be mixed with rubble as well as manufactured goods and products.
It is advised to use the Flash Environmental Assessment Tool (FEAT) during the response.