An Enviro-Minute: Waste Minimization : LUSENET : Waste Management : One Thread

Its hard to evaluate your waste management costs if you don't know what questions to ask. We've provided a few below. Try them out in your shop and see if you can't find a way to retain more of your profits:

1) Is paint waste dumped into a large barrel to be hauled away instead of being cooked out in a still? (dry still bottoms can be tested and disposed of in shop dumpsters)

2) Is the still the right size for the shop operation or is operating your spray booth 12 hours a day producing more paint waste than your still can efficiently cook out? (a 50/50 mix of paint waste and thinner waste will enable your still to cook your paint waste more efficiently)

3) Does the shop own its solvent recycler or is it leased/serviced by an outside company?

4) What is the shop spending per month on replacement thinner?

5) Have the shop's filters, still bottoms, and shop dust been subjected to TCLP testing to see if they truly are hazardous waste? (shop dust is tested due to sanding off e-coats that contain lead)

6) Does the shop wait until painting performance is compromised to change out their spray booth filters because it's so costly to have them hauled away by a commercial recycler/transporter? (some commercial recycling companies charge to remove used spray booth filters, then sell them to rotary kiln operators to be used as fuel)

-- Tara L. Munro (, July 01, 1997

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