Solvent-Contaminated Wipes Conditionally Excluded from Hazardous Regulations

The EPA has issued a new ruling that conditionally excludes solvent-contaminated wipes from hazardous waste regulations. This ruling is effective January 31, 2014.

The container standard to meet the exclusion for solvent-contaminated disposable wipes must be accumulated, stored, and transported in non-leaking, closed containers that are labeled "Excluded Solvent-Contaminated Wipes."

The container standard to meet the exclusion for solvent-contaminated disposable wipes must be accumulated, stored, and transported in non-leaking, closed containers that are labeled “Excluded Solvent-Contaminated Wipes.”

This is good news for industrial manufacturers and commercial businesses that may have been confused by whether or not they should be disposing of solvent-contaminated wipes as hazardous waste. “Under the final rule, reusable and disposable solvent-contaminated wipes are excluded from regulation under RCRA Subtitle C provided certain conditions are met.”

A gloved hand wipes down a component on a military helicopter to keep equipment clean.  An estimated 90,549 facilities in 13 economic sub-sectors generate solvent contaminated wipes.

A gloved hand wipes down a component on a military helicopter to keep equipment clean. An estimated 90,549 facilities in 13 economic sub-sectors generate solvent contaminated wipes.

The certain conditions to properly manage and dispose of solvent-contamined wipes and rags are listed below:

  • The wipes must be contained in non-leaking, closed containers.
  • The wipes must not contain trichloroethylene.
  • The containers must be able to contain free liquids, and be labeled “Excluded Solvent-Contaminated Wipes.”
  • Accumulation is allowed up to 180 days prior to being sent for cleaning or disposal.
  • No free liquids present in the container at the time of transport for cleaning or disposal.
  • Generators must maintain documentation that they are managing excluded solvent-contaminated wipes and keep that documentation at their site.
  • The wipes must be managed by a handling facility that meets required regulations. Examples include an industrial laundry that discharges under the Clean Water Act, a municipal solid waste landfill regulated under 40 CFR part 258 or a municipal waste combustor regulated under the Clean Air Act.

To learn more about disposal of hazardous waste explore our website or ask us a question below. 

References – Federal Register Article – Conditional Exclusions from Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste for Solvent-Contaminated Wipes

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