There has been some discussion lately of the consequences of sending
solvent-laden printer's rags to industrial laundries. A number of
companies have taken a prevention approach to this problem by
centrifuging the solvent off the rags. The solvent can be reclaimed.
The rags go to the laundry with one-sixth the solvent or less on them
which eliminates compliance problems between the laundry and its POTW.
The John Roberts case in MN is well-known. Quad Graphics, Cadmus, and
Transcontinental also use explosion-proof centrifuges. In the Minneapolis
area Mary McCarty operates a portable centrifuge unit that she takes to
printers, uses to centrifuge rags and then returns the solvent and rags
to the printer who either recycles or disposes of the solvent and sends
the rags to the laundry. Apparently Minneapolis or MN passed a law
prohibiting laundering of solvent-laden rags after two trucks hauling
rags blew up and some manhole covers downstream from rag laundries blew off.
My questions are:
1. Does anyone know what kind of law was passed in MN that promoted
centrifuge use and are there any other places with similar laws?
2. Does anyone know of other printers using centrifuges to remove
solvent from rags either for reuse or recycle?