Solid waste rule could catch many off-guard

EPA’s solid waste rule should deter facilities from “sham-recycling” hazardous wastes.

Unless the courts throw out the Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) rule– and they probably won’t – inspectors can ask how a solid waste determination was made.

Businesses that can’t produce documents showing why a recycled material doesn’t meet hazwaste criteria are asking for trouble.

EPA and state agencies can now assess higher fines after Congress awarded cost-of-living penalty increases to government agencies.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) per-day fines can go as high as $70,117!

Now for the good news …

EPA’s intention was to reduce high levels of RCRA noncompliance by businesses in general.

The flip side is manufacturers are, by and large, ahead of the curve. We’ve heard state regulators praise manufacturers for making hazwaste reductions a priority and working with agencies to improve regs.

Here a few key areas where DSW won’t change RCRA precedents:

  • Let’s say you’ve been recycling one or more secondary materials for years which the state has approved. Your treatment and reporting duties remain the same under DSW.
  • If recycled products meet commodity standards or are produced through “closed loop recycling” (where there’s an end product), there’s no need to reevaluate the waste stream.
  • DSW also doesn’t require you analyze secondary feedstocks for hazardous constituents – unless there are excess constituents. So long as a secondary feedstock acts like a raw feedstock, there are no additional burdens under DSW.


AET Environmental is a leading provider of three core  environmental services: hazardous waste management,
in-plant remediation and support services, compliance and training.

AET Environmental
14 Lakeside Lane
Denver, CO 80212

(303) 333-8521