New system modernizes hazardous waste disposal

By Tim Hoyle, Public Affairs and DSD South-East & Environmental Branch staffs DLA Disposition Services

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By the time Thanksgiving Day arrives, those who handle hazardous waste disposal will have much to be thankful for when it comes to easier processing for their materials.

Since last fall, DLA Disposition Services personnel have been working toward the deployment of the Hazardous Material Management System-Hazardous Waste Disposal system. Randy Smith, the functional lead for DLA Disposition Services, briefed senior leaders last year that it is a more modern system than DSS.

“It’s by far the best hazardous waste system DLA has,” Smith said. “I can’t tell you how much easier this is because the system is so intuitive.”

Environmental protection specialists from across DLA Disposition Services seem to agree after training on the system in May. Seventy specialists were among the trainees gathered in San Antonio, Texas, to learn about HMMS-HWD.

Morgan Gunn, environmental operations monitor for DLA Disposition Services’ South-East region said the training provided a complete look at the receiving and removal process along with the different reports available in HMMS-HWD.  Gunn said the improvements over DSS included the ability to update Hazardous Waste Profile Sheets as often as the user would like each day, and the input and removal process is smoother.

“The consensus was unanimous amongst the environmentalists I spoke to,” Gunn said. “HMMS is way better... we will have a learning curve… but I firmly believe that HMMS is a welcomed upgrade.”

Smith said the deployment of the system began in March and being done in a series of releases to a manageable amount of DLA Disposition sites about every three weeks until all sites have the software, which is expected to finish around Thanksgiving. Smith explained how the system takes over the hazardous waste process from both DSS and the Electronic Turn-In Document. In the future, customers who used electronic documents for turning in hazardous waste in the past will use HMMS-HWD.

 

“HMMS-HWD is a modern system developed for the Web that will meet or exceed audit readiness requirements and eliminate unnecessary additional paperwork,” Smith said. “HMMS is about improving the quality of hazardous waste information.”

An article in the Insight newsletter said the system provides complete tracking, management and reporting for hazardous waste.  The platform also satisfies federal, state and local reporting and compliance requirements for government facilities.  The visibility allows users to manage material before it comes into a facility until the waste is manifested and shipped to a treatment, storage or disposal location for final disposition.

Testing for the system was done last fall using a functional team of numerous DLA Disposition Services environmental specialists and the Operations Directorate’s Environmental Branch. They were joined by experts from the software developer and staff from DLA Information Operations. The testing included the use of data from turn–in documents and hazardous waste profile examples, plus the use of the new hazardous waste electronic turn-in document portion of HMMS along with receipt, delivery order request, issue, manifesting, and payment.

Participants from the San Antonio training are using what they learned to train others at their home site. Job aids, screen shots, and instructions on how to use HMMS-HWD are also being used to train.

Meanwhile the deployment to the sites will continue. Customers who turn-in hazardous waste should discuss HMMS-HWD with their DLA Disposition Services contacts at the sites. Those contacts can also be helpful in providing training materials to help customers understand HMMS-HWD and how it will help them.