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printreg, September, 2000
Disposal of wipers contaminated with solvents


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From:GaryJGATF (gjonesprinting@aol.com)
Date:Friday, September 08, 2000 11:37 AM


Technically, solvent laden shop towels are usually a hazardous waste and as such cannot simply be sent to a landfill without treatment. Disposing of shop towels contaminated with ink and solvents in a landfill can be done legally as long as certain conditions are met. These conditions are rather narrow and you need to document that they are being met in the event you are inspected and asked to prove it. The conditions are as follows: 1. You are a conditionally exempt quantity generator of hazardous waste. This means that you generate less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste per month, which is about 1/2 of a 55-gallon drum. 2. The towels are not saturated with solvent, which means that no solvent can be squeezed from it. You also need to store the towels in a closed container and not let them air dry. They should be stored in a drum with a false bottom and be allowed to drain for 24-48 hours prior to disposal. 3. The towels do not contain any solvents on EPA's list of listed solvents. For the "F-listed" solvents, you are allowed up to 10% in the solvent blend before the waste solvent is classified as listed. The most common F listed solvent found in printing is methylene chloride and it is usually in metering roller cleaner. 4. The towels do not exhibit the characteristic of ignitability, which means they do not spontaneously combust and have a flash point below 140oF. Typically if the towels are not dripping wet or saturated, they will not exhibit this characteristic. 5. The ink on the towel does not contain anything listed or cause the towel to exhibit a characteristic of being a hazardous waste. Typically, lithographic inks do not exhibit a characteristic. However, barium from warn reds can cause occasional problems. I would suggest that you download from the PNEAC web site a fact sheet entitled "What is a Hazardous Waste" that gives a good review of the definition of a hazardous waste. If none of the conditions explained above make sense, you can give me a call and I can go over them with you. My phone number appears at the bottom of my email. Gary Jones Graphic Arts Technical Foundation 200 Deer Run Road Sewickley, PA 15143 412/741-6860 x608 - Phone 412/741-2311 - Fax



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