Goals • Define terms related to waste reduction • Hazardous waste recycling • Discuss advantages associated with waste reduction and recycling. • Discuss recycling of specific MSW components • Discuss ways to increase recycling
Terminology • Reduction: Reduction in generation, reduction in amount of material, increase lifetime, or eliminate the need • Recycle - used, reused, or reclaimed, use of the material as a source raw material, involves physical transformation • Reused: The direct use or reuse of a secondary material without prior reclamation • Reclaimed: regeneration of wastes or recovery of usable materials from wastes (e.g., regenerating spent solvents in a solvent still). Wastes are regenerated when they are processed to remove contaminants in a way that restores them to their usable condition materials that must be reclaimed/recycled prior to use or reuse • Recovery - Process to recover useful material from mixed waste (energy is an example)
Hazardous waste materials that are recycled may be: • Excluded from the definition of solid waste and fall out of RCRA altogether; • Subject to less-stringent regulatory controls; or • Required to comply with the full universe of hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal regulations.
Inherently waste-like materials • The following materials are solid wastes when they are recycled in any manner: • (1) Hazardous Waste Nos. F020, F021 (unless used as an ingredient to make a product at the site of generation), F022, F023, F026, and F028. • (2) Secondary materials fed to a halogen acid furnace that exhibit a characteristic of a hazardous waste or are listed as a hazardous waste
Materials are solid wastes (and potentially hazardous waste) if they are recycled in the following ways: • Used in a manner constituting disposal - Directly placing wastes or products containing wastes on the land is considered to be use constituting disposal. • If, however, direct placement on the land is consistent with its normal use (e.g., pesticides), then the material is not regulated as a solid waste. • For example, heptachlor can potentially be a P-listed waste. This pesticide is not regulated as a solid waste, however, when it isused as a pesticide. • Burned for energy recovery • Reclaimed (with some exceptions) - materials that must be reclaimed/ recycled prior to use or reuse • Accumulated speculatively
Materials that are not solid waste (and therefore not hazardous wastes) when recycled: • (i) Used or reused as ingredients in an industrial process to make a product, provided the materials are not being reclaimed; or • (ii) Used or reused as effective substitutes for commercial products; or • (iii) Returned to the original process from which they are generated, without first being reclaimed or land disposed.
Materials Subject to Less Stringent Standards • Universal Waste regulations include batteries, pesticides, lamps (e.g., fluorescent bulbs), and mercury-containing equipment (e.g., thermostats) (see 40 CFR Part 273). • Used Oil includes petroleum-based or synthetic oil that has been used (see 40 CFR Part 279 ). • Waste-Derived Fertilizers (e.g., zinc fertilizer products) and Other Materials Used in a Manner Constituting Disposal (see 40 CFR Part 266 Subpart C). • Materials Utilized for Precious Metal Recovery (see 40 CFR Part 266 Subpart F). • Spent Lead-Acid Batteries (see 40 CFR Part 266 Subpart G - note that lead-acid batteries may also be managed as a Universal Waste). • Hazardous Waste Burned in Boilers and Industrial Furnaces
Recycling Advantages • Prevents the emission of many greenhouse gases and water pollutants, • Saves energy, • Supplies valuable raw materials to industry, • Creates jobs, • Stimulates the development of greener technologies, • Conserves resources for our children’s future, and • Reduces the need for new landfills and combustors.
MSW Recycling Goals • 25% by 1995 (was met) • 30% by 2000 (was met) • 35% by 2005 (not met)
Recycling Challenges • Location of wastes (9000 curbside programs) • Uncertainty of supply • Administrative and institutional constraints • Legal restrictions • Uncertain markets • Technical challenges to recycling • Changes in materials (i.e. light weighting) • Too many items in waste • Actually encourages waste production (because recycling will take care of it)
SWANA Recommendations to Increase Reduction/Recovery • Encourage more extensive product stewardship by product designers, manufacturers retailers, and consumers • Expand efforts by federal, state, and provincial governments to develop markets for recycled materials and recovered energy • Provide financial incentives for investments in recycling, composting and the use of recovered materials
SWANA Recommendations to Increase Reduction/Recovery • Include WTE and conversion technologies in renewable portfolio standards and green power programs • Encourage the recovery and use of landfill gas by maintaining federal tax credits and through renewable portfolio standards and green power programs • Support technology transfer and research efforts that have the potential to increase waste recovery rates
Paper Recycling • Problems • Chlorination produces dioxins/furans • Inks are petrochemical based • Acid used to break fibers shortens life • Coating of high gloss paper • Demand for high quality paper • Glues, laminates, plastics, inks not water soluble • Paper can only be reused 4-12 times, always need a virgin source
Paper Recycling • ~ 50% of consumed material and growing • Goal 55% by 2012 • Strong markets for old corrugated cardboard (OCC) and newsprint (ONP) • Expanding domestic and international demand • Office paper lower demand
Steel Recycling • Expanding economy – increased steel demands; China and India biggest markets • 36.4% of steel is recycled • Use of plastic for automobiles is a problem • One ton steel recycled saves 2500 lb of iron ore, 1000 lb of coal, 40 lb of limestone, and significant energy savings
Aluminum Recycling • About 51 percent of aluminum cans is being recycled • Twenty years ago it took 19 aluminum cans to make one pound, but today, aluminum beverage cans are lighter and it takes 29 cans to make a pound. • Americans throw away enough aluminum every three months to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet. • Making new aluminum cans from used cans takes 95 percent less energy and 20 recycled cans can be made with the energy needed to produce one can using virgin ore. • Domestic recycling has declined recently, collection is expensive
Glass Recycling • Glass always lags other recyclables • Alternative markets needed – grind for construction fill, “glassphalt,” fiberglass • Transportation of heavy glass is expensive • Raw materials are inexpensive • Contamination is an issue • Reuse used to be common practice; however as manufacturing plants became larger and decreased in number, bottles had to be carried further for refilling. • More colored glass is imported than used domestically
Plastic Recycling • Problems • Light weight, bulky, low density • Wide variety of polymers • Concerns over contamination for reuse • Difficult to differentiate among types
Plastic Recycling • PET and HDPE have high prices due to domestic and international demand • Curbside recycling is down, driving prices up • More expensive oil prices makes virgin plastic more expensive
Return to Home Page Return to Home Page Last updated July 2008 by Dr. Reinhart