Operations

Air Conditioning

Refrigerant, such as CFC-12 (Freon) or the newer HCFC’s, are used as refrigerants in motor vehicle air conditioners (MVACs). The US EPA has the authority to establish requirements to prevent the release of refrigerants during the servicing of MVACs and to require recycling of refrigerants. When servicing MVAC’s the refrigerant should be captured and processed through a suitable refrigerant recycling machine.

One of the single largest uses of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the United States is as a refrigerant in automobile air conditioners. These CFCs are more commonly known as freon. If improperly handled during the servicing of car or truck air conditioners, freon will be released into the atmosphere. Effective July 1, 1992, new federal laws made it illegal to knowingly release refrigerants such as freon into the atmosphere during the repair, servicing, maintenance, or disposal of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. The refrigerant must be recovered by a qualified technician. Recycle waste freon on the premises using EPA-certified recycling or recovery equipment. Keep records of the dates and quantities of freon recovered and recycled. Manage filters from freon recovery equipment as hazardous waste.

P2 Opportunities:

Fact Sheet
Description
Link
Refrigerant and coolant recycling equipment vendors, recyclers, and associations. Link me
Air Conditioning and Recycling EPA Regulatory Requirements for Servicing of Motor Vehicle Air Conditioners Link me

 

Case Studies:
Description
Link
Air Conditioning Motor vehicle air conditioner servicing Link me
Air Conditioning Motor vehicle air conditioner disposal Link me

 

Regulations Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA), Waste Regulations, State Hazardous Waste Regulations, Local hazardous materials storage regulations. Link me


Refrigerant Oil

To dispose of refrigerant oils, collect the oil from the recovery unit and appliance by draining it until it is no longer free-flowing. Be aware that oil from air-conditioning equipment may contain halogens. However, when refrigerant oils are separated from other waste oils, they are not classified as hazardous waste. Be sure to measure and record the quantities of oil recovered, then deposit the oil in a properly labeled 55-gal drum or other appropriate container. Do not fill containers more than 90% full; leave the remaining 10% for expansion.

Do not mix refrigerant oil with other waste oils. If you must store the oil prior to removal off-site, hold these containers in a diked area or a containment vessel. When you have recovered enough refrigerant waste oil to validate disposal, contact a properly licensed waste oil company to remove the used oil from your facility. The company can test the oil to determine its condition. If testing reveals that the used oil exceeds regulatory limits for toxicity, it then must be classified as hazardous waste. It is your responsibility to safely and legally dispose of the hazardous oil. If you produce no more than 100 kg (about 220 lbs or 25 gal) of hazardous waste oil, or no more than 1 kg (about 2.2 lbs) of acutely hazardous waste oil, in any calendar month, you are a "conditionally exempt small quantity generator." The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requires you to: Identify all hazardous waste you generate. Send this waste to an approved facility. Never accumulate more than 1,000 kg (2,205 lbs) Of hazardous waste on your property at any one time.

P2 Opportunities:

Fact Sheet
Description
Link
Refrigerant and coolant recycling equipment vendors, recyclers, and associations. Link me
Refrigerant Oil Reclamation Guide The IWRC has published a Refrigerant Oil Reclamation Guide for shops dealing with used refrigerant oils. This 9-page booklet gives step-by-step instruction on how to successfully remove and capture halogens from the refrigerant oil. This used oil will then be acceptable for normal used oil recycling. The Refrigerant Oil Reclamation Project was undertaken to develop a simple method to reduce halogen concentration in used refrigerant oil to a level where conventional used oil recycling options can be used.
You can receive this free booklet and other IWRC manuals by contacting the IWRC through either the Contact IWRC button or calling us at 800-422-3109
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Case Studies
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Help us make this Website as useful as possible by providing your valued input. We can use your Bright Ideas! Suggest-a-Link

 

Regulations Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA), Waste Regulations, State Hazardous Waste Regulations, Local hazardous materials storage regulations. Link me


Shop Towels/Wipes

Spill Prevention is one of the simpler and most cost -effective methods to reduce waste generation. A clean shop conveys a positive image to both the customers and workers. The use of drip pans, and mops, etc. can contribute to a clean shop and reduce your waste management costs. Businesses use shop towels, sorbent clothes, cleaning rags, pads, socks, mats, or wipes for spill prevention and cleanup. Wipes are similar to rags except they are less durable, have a shorter life, can be made of non-textile materials such as launderable paper or other products, and are sometimes disposable. After use, these items are considered "solvent contaminated rags or wipes."

Depending on the way in which shop towels are handled, they may or may not become a hazardous waste. If towels are handled as recommended below, they are not likely to be a hazardous waste. If towels are being discarded, however, they will be considered a hazardous waste by characteristic if they fail any hazardous waste tests (e.g., ignitable, toxic). Minimize use of shop towels by preventing spills and leaks. Use cloth towels that can be cleaned and reused. When possible, use less hazardous cleaning solvents (i.e., ones without chlorinated compounds). Ask the laundry and/or recycler that services your shop if they discharge their waste water to the sanitary sewer system. Avoid using laundries and recyclers that discharge wastewater to a drain field. Keep soiled shop towels in a closed container that is clearly marked "Contaminated Shop Towels Only."

P2 Opportunities:

Fact Sheet
Description
Link
Absorbents and Rags Common Pollution Prevention Opportunities in Industrial Cleaning Link me
Shop Towels and Wipes Disposal This fact sheet is for businesses that use shop towels, sorbent clothes, cleaning rags, pads, socks, mats, or wipes. Wipes are similar to rags except they are less durable, have a shorter life, can be made of non-textile materials such as launderable paper. Link me

 

Case Studies:
Description
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Shop Towels Management How do I manage my used towels and And Other Absorbents? Link me

 

Regulations Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA), Waste Regulations, State Hazardous Waste Regulations, Local hazardous materials storage regulations. Link me


Mops

A three mop system is recommended for shop floor care and spill management. Having three dedicated mops enables waste segregation and avoids mixing wastes. One mop should be dedicated for antifreeze spills, one for soapy water to mop shop floor, and a hydrophobic mop that absorbs only oil, not water or antifreeze. Wring out absorbed fluid into suitable containers for recycling or disposal. By using this system of mops, a shop can reduce the volume of waste liquids collected and the cost of disposal.

If oil is present, mop it up first; Use a hydrophobic mop for oil spills and restrict back-and-forth movement of mop to avoid spreading the spill. If antifreeze is present, mop it up using a dedicated cloth mop; Also use a wet mop only if necessary for final cleaning–use a mild non-caustic detergent and check with your local sewage agency before you dump waste water.

P2 Opportunities:

Fact Sheet
Description
Link
Absorbents and Rags Managing Towels, Wipes and Sorbents Link me
Mops Common Pollution Prevention Opportunities in Industrial Cleaning Link me
Floor Cleanup Ways to improve housekeeping for auto repair Link me

 

Case Studies:
Description
Link
Floor cleanup – mops, etc. Keeping your shop tip top Link me

 

Regulations Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA), Waste Regulations, State Hazardous Waste Regulations, Local hazardous materials storage regulations. Link me


Absorbents

Use of absorbents such as ground up corncob, sawdust, rice hulks or kitty litter is a fairly common practice. In some states, the waste is considered hazardous. A more effective method of spill management and containment is to use the system of mops described above. For larger spills, use a squeegee and a dustpan to "sweep" up the spill. Then, add the liquid to the appropriate waste container. For example, oil spilled during an oil change would be added to the waste oil container.

Follow your hazardous materials response plan, as filed with your local fire department or other hazardous materials authority. Be sure that all employees are aware of the plan and are capable of implementing each phase of the plan. Use dry methods for spill cleanup (sweeping, absorbent materials, etc.)

P2 Opportunities:

Fact Sheet
Description
Link
Absorbents and Rags Managing Towels, Wipes and Sorbents Link me
Absorbents and Rags Common Pollution Prevention Opportunities in Industrial Cleaning Link me

 

Case Studies
Description
Link
Help us make this Website as useful as possible by providing your valued input. We can use your Bright Ideas! Suggest-a-Link

 

Regulations Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA), Waste Regulations, State Hazardous Waste Regulations, Local hazardous materials storage regulations. Link me