• Customer Questions: How to Dispose of Used Absorbents
  • Karen

    Karen D. Hamel, CSP, WACH, is a regulatory compliance professional, trainer and technical writer for New Pig. She has more than 22 years of experience helping EHS professionals find solutions to meet EPA, OSHA and DOT regulations and has had more than 100 articles published on a variety of EHS topics. Karen is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Walkway Auditor Certificate Holder (WACH), Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainer and hazmat technician. She also serves on the Blair County, Pa., LEPC and has completed a variety of environmental, safety, emergency response, DOT and NIMS courses, including Planning Section Chief. She has conducted seminars at national conferences and webinars for ASSE and other national organizations. She can be reached at 1-800-HOT-HOGS (468-4647) or by email karenea@newpig.com.

  • James Bergmansays:
    02/01/2016 at 8:35 pm Reply

    I imagine that I can’t take my oil absorbents down to the local car shop so that they can dispose of them. Mostly because by the time I get around to it I don’t know what has come in contact with the sawdust on my garage floor. So, if I don’t know if there is any hazardous waste on my absorbents, what do I do? Should I just contact a hazardous waste disposal center near me to find out what the regulations are? http://www.ohanaenviron.com/material_equipment.html

    • Brittanysays:
      02/01/2016 at 8:38 pm Reply

      Hi James,

      Unfortunately, you will probably be hard pressed to find a local car shop that will take your used absorbents. This is due to the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) standards for waste generators. Facilities that generate wastes must determine if their wastes are hazardous. If they accept your used absorbents, they would have to make that determination on your wastes as well.

      In addition to making this waste determination, all hazardous waste that a facility generates needs to be tallied to determine the facility’s generator status. The more hazardous waste a facility generates, the higher their waste generator status and the more regulations they need to follow. So, it’s not that your local car shop is being unfriendly – they are simply trying to be a good corporate citizen and manage both their regulatory and financial burdens.

      In most communities, there is what is known as a “solid waste authority.” Typically, this authority is operated at the county level and supported/funded through county government. This group should be able to provide you with guidance on how to manage your used absorbents. If your community has a “household hazardous waste day,” it is often sponsored by the solid waste authority, and this would be a good time to get rid of your used absorbents. If they don’t, your local government should be able to offer advice on how and where to properly dispose of your used absorbents.

      Did this info help? If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to leave another comment!


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