Waste Management Project

Treatment, Storage, and Disposal

The project consists primarily of permitted, or soon to be permitted, operating mixed and dangerous waste treatment, storage, or disposal facilities (Central Waste Complex [CWC], Waste Receiving and Processing [WRAP], Low-Level Burial Grounds [LLBG], T-Plant, Allied Technologies Group [ATG], Sitewide Liquid Effluent Services, Miscellaneous Streams, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and US Ecology, Inc.). The project also includes the retrieval, repackaging, and shipment of transuranic (TRU) mixed waste; Hanford Site Solid Waste Strategic Planning; and Hanford Waste Acceptance Processing.

Project Mission

The mission of the WM Project is to ensure the safe management of mixed wastes (waste with hazardous and radioactive components) at Hanford as well as at mixed waste sites throughout Washington State.

The WM Project primarily deals with Hanford Site facilities that treat, store, and/or dispose of dangerous wastes. Some of the solid waste facilities include the Waste Receiving and Processing (WRAP) facility, Central Waste Complex (CWC), and the Low Level Burial Grounds (LLBG). Non-Hanford solid waste facilities include Pacific EcoSolutions and US Ecology operating facilities.

The liquid waste facilities include the 200 and 300 Area Effluent Treatment Facilities and the Liquid Effluent Retention Facility (LERF).

The U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) began retrieving suspect TRU waste stored in LLBG in November 2003.

Major Cleanup Milestones

Ecology has overseen USDOE's efforts to:

  • Retrieve all contact-handled suspect TRU waste stored in the LLBG by 2010.
  • Retrieve remote-handled TRU waste stored in the LLBG by 2011.
  • Treat backlog of mixed low-level waste (MLLW) by 2009.
  • Treat remote-handled MLLW by 2008.
  • Treat remote-handled mixed TRU waste by 2012.

Terms to Know

  • Transuranic (TRU) waste: Any item, such as tools or clothing, that is contaminated with plutonium or other heavy man-made radioactive elements
  • Mixed low-level waste (MLLW): A combination of hazardous chemical waste and low-level waste
  • Low-level waste (LLW): Any item, such as tools or clothing, that is contaminated by radio isotopes
  • Contact-handled: People can touch or handle the waste without the use of machinery
  • Remote-handled: People must use machinery to handle the waste due to the danger of exposure to radioactivity