EPA supports and encourages the beneficial reuse of hazardous secondary materials. The rules can be confusing, but here is the best test: if the beneficial use of the Hazardous Secondary Material (HSM’s) is “as-is” as ingredients for industrial processes are generally NOT considered waste. In this case, the material is considered a raw material, just like any other raw material, so long as is is used WITHOUT processing or handling in a way that is any different from virgin products they would use. Its best when the the material is a direct replacement for a prime material AND the material has CLEARLY RECOGNIZABLE VALUE. On the contrary, if the HSM is recycled, it is a waste unless specifically exempted or excluded. Many of the exclusions are covered by section 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”), part 261.4. However, it should be noted that even if the HSM is processed in a small way that is different for virgin materials, then it very well may be a violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”).
For more information on the beneficial use of hazardous secondary material or other issues associated with the beneficial use or recycling of chemicals or fuels, please email us or call us at 713-568-3651.