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Operations

Brake Parts

Brake parts should be recycled and/or sent to the manufacturer for relining when possible. Brake pads and shoes (especially older types) may contain asbestos. It is recommended that High Efficiency Particulate Air (EPA) filter vacuum be used on the braking systems prior to servicing (whether dust is visible or not.). Brake pads, master cylinders and other brake metal wastes should be returned to a parts supplier for rebuilding. Before returning brake cylinders or any other part containing fluid, be sure to drain it well. Brake items such as rotors and hardware are considered scrap metal.

P2 Opportunities:

Fact Sheet
Description
Link
Audit Checklist-Brake Work Environmental Audit Checklist Link me
Brake Repair-Consumers Guide Consumers guide to brake repair-what the consumer should know about their rights. Link me

 

Case Studies:
Description
Link
Asbestos Controlling Asbestos in Auto Repair Shops Link me
Preventing Asbestos Exosure Current Best Practices for Preventing Asbestos Exposure Among Brake and Clutch Repair Workers (EPA) Link me

 

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


Aerosol Cans

At the time of disposal, any aerosol can containing hazardous chemicals that would be a listed or characteristic hazardous waste is a hazardous waste container. If the can is empty, that is, it contains no propellant or product and is at atmospheric pressure; the can will not be regulated as hazardous waste and may be recycled as scrap metal or disposed of as solid waste. Consider phasing out the use of spray cans in your shop. You may realize a large savings by switching to non-aerosol products. Consider using refillable canisters that use compressed air, portable parts washers, or pump sprayers. Use up the entire contents of spray can before starting another. Make sure that the can is completely empty before discarding it. If a spray can malfunctions (for example, the tip breaks off), return it to your supplier or handle it as a hazardous waste. Recycle empty metal cans unless they contain hazardous waste residue.

P2 Opportunities:

Fact Sheet
Description
Link
Aerosol Cans When empty spray cans are not considered hazardous wastes. Link me
Refillable Spray Bottles Using Refillable Spray bottles opposed to Aerosol cans Link me

 

Case Studies:
Description
Link
Aerosols Think about where you use aerosols. Can you buy bulk at substantial cost savings and apply liquids with refillable and reusable aerosols? Link me
Aerosols Using aerosols in auto repair shops Link me

 

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


Spent Cleaning Fluids

Many parts cleaning machines utilize a filter system to prolong the useful life of the cleaning agent. The filters trap heavy metals or toxic organic substances and particulate. They must be treated or disposed as a hazardous material. There are several effective choices of cleaning fluids for parts cleaning. Historically, auto repair shops have used solvent based cleaning fluids in their parts cleaners. The dirty, spent solvent required special handling and most repair shops relied on a hazardous waste management company to supply and maintain the solvent-based cleaning system. An Aqueous washer unit uses biodegradable soap and hot water. Deposited sludge from cleaning is solid waste in a landfill.(? If evaluated as non-haz) Water is reused and discharged to the local sewer system (?if permitted). Consider using less hazardous solvents or switching to a spray cabinet parts washer that does not use solvent. Install a filter on your solvent sink to greatly increase the life of the solvent. Dispose of the filters as hazardous wastes. Make sure solvent is too dirty to use before it is exchanged for new solvent. Use only the number of parts washers that are necessary. For multiple parts washers, consistently use one for all of the initial cleaning to keep the other parts washers fresh. When the first one becomes too dirty, dispose of the cleaner properly and  switch to one of the others and use that one as a primary cleaning station.Consider purchasing your own solvent still and recycling solvent on-site. Keep a log of dates, recycled amounts, and batch make-up amounts. Remember that sludge, filters, and still bottoms generated from on-site solvent recycling are typically hazardous. Keep different types of solvents in separate, clearly labeled, closed containers.
P2 Opportunities

P2 Opportunities:

Fact Sheet
Description
Link
Aqueous Brake Washers-fleet maintenance Brake parts washing for fleet maintenance Link
me
Aqueous Parts Cleaning – Auto The Benefits of using Aqueous Parts Cleaning vs. Solvents for auto repair. Link me
N-Hexane The California Department of Health Services issued a statement on the long term exposure to n-hexane. It is a solvent based chemical used in brake repair operations. Link me
Aqueous Parts Cleaning – Fleet The Benefits of using Aqueous Parts Cleaning vs. Solvents for fleet maintenance. Link me

 

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


Used Tires

Used tires are usually retained by the shop to be sent to a recycler or resold. Some state or local programs that shred tires and then use them for asphalt. In some instances, tires are sent to the landfill. Contract with haulers or processors that have appropriate and verifiable end-uses. Manage waste tires to reduce fire and insect vector dangers. Indoor storage or covered storage will prevent water accumulation. If necessary, waste tire piles should be limited to small piles with fire lanes. Rotate tires every 5,000 miles and maintain proper inflation to insure maximum life from new or re-treaded tires. Participate with tire retailers, haulers or processors to recycle waste tires. Contact planning and zoning agencies, district health departments, or local solid waste agencies for guidance on collection and storage requirements.

P2 Opportunities:

Fact Sheet
Description
Link
Tire Disposal State Scrap Tire Programs Link me
Waste tires Management of used tires 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


Batteries
Lead acid batteries can be readily recycled and have been for years. However, if handled improperly, lead acid batteries pose certain hazards. Battery components are toxic and corrosive. Lead and sulfuric acid can contaminate the air, soil and water. Direct contact with sulfuric acid can burn the skin and eyes. Exposure to lead in the environment can pose a serious health hazard to Employees. Lead is also very toxic and should be handle accordingly-see Auto Parts.

Properly dispose of batteries by delivering them to: a wholesaler or retailer from whom you purchased the batteries, a permitted secondary lead smelter, a facility that recycles the batteries by extracting the lead, or a collection center that sends batteries to a smelter or a recycler. Avoid long-term storage of batteries. Dispose of them at least every 6 months. Store batteries upright in a secure, covered location. Check often for leaks. If a leak occurs, package and handle the spill as a hazardous waste.

P2 Opportunities:

Fact Sheet
Description
Link
Used Batteries The act of draining and rinsing the battery creates a situation whereby the battery handler is exposed to corrosive liquids, and must then manage the corrosive liquid as a separate waste stream. Link me
Lead Acid Spent Lead Acid-Batteries- Regulations Link me

 

Case Studies:
Description
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Used Batteries An automobile (lead acid) battery provides an electrical current to the starter motor and the spark plugs. A battery contains an average of 18 to 22 pounds of recoverable lead, approximately 3 pounds of polypropylene casing, and one gallon of sulfuric acid. Some automobile battery components are considered corrosive, toxic, poisonous, and an eye irritant. Link me

 

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


Gloves

Gloves can be recycled if made from natural rubber (take-back program). Reuse by washing latex gloves; Replace fluids so nitrocellulose gloves aren’t necessary; and use barrier cream instead of gloves. Any PPE that is provided must be made available to employees at no cost. PPE is equipment that is worn by the employee and reduces exposure to risk factors and MSD hazards in the job. Examples are palm pads and knee pads to reduce contact stress, and gloves worn to protect against extreme temperatures.

P2 Opportunities:

Fact Sheet
Description
Link

 

Case Studies:
Description
Link
Reuse Program Gloves and Rags Reuse Program Link me

 

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


Auto Parts
Scrap metal means bits and pieces of metal parts or metal pieces that may be combined together with bolts or solder which when worn or unneeded, can be recycled. Some scrap parts contain lead-a well-known toxic substance and potential pollutant. Managing scrap safely will prevent contamination at your site.

Lead wheel weights and battery cable ends are common sources of lead. Lead is also found in radiators, heater cores, steering columns, soldered parts and electronic components. Before removing parts such as radiators or heater cores, drain fluids carefully to prevent spills and manage them appropriately. Talk to your lead-acid battery recycler to see if they can properly manage lead components as well.

P2 Opportunities:

Fact Sheet
Description
Link
Asbestos Controlling Asbestos in Auto Repair Shops Link me

 

Case Studies:
Description
Link
Scrap auto parts are: Catalytic converters and mercury switches. Link me

 

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


Catalytic Converters

Most cars today are equipped with a three-way catalytic converter. The term Three-way refers to the three emissions it helps to reduce carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons or volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and NOx molecules. The converter uses two different types of catalysts, a reduction and an oxidization catalyst. Both types consist of a base structure coated with a catalyst such as platinum, rhodium and /or palladium. Recycling is the preferred method for managing this waste stream The metals content in used catalytic converters makes recycling a viable option. Scrap catalytic converters contain platinum-a valuable, recyclable metal. Store catalytic converters in a marked container to prevent mixing with other scrap. Recycle catalytic converters to your nearest collection center.

P2 Opportunities:

Fact Sheet
Description
Link
Catalytic Converters Managing scrap catalytic converters and wheel weights 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


Mercury Switches

Mercury is a potent toxic chemical that causes brain, lung and kidney damage in humans. The substance has been used in switches for hood and trunk convenience lighting, and in other devices, becoming a contaminant when vehicles are scrapped. The amount of mercury in the switches of just four cars is enough to contaminate a 17-acre lake, said a spokesman for New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. The mercury is released, potentially into ground water, when cars are crushed or burned in recycling. Mercury containing switches should not be thrown into the solid waste dumpster but should be handled as a hazardous waste.

Mercury has a tremendous impact on our environment and on our health. Mercury can affect a child’s attention span and memory, and even cause serious brain damage. Recent studies by the National Academy of Sciences and the Center for Disease Control clearly show the irreversible impacts mercury has on our health. Mercury is so toxic that one gram — about the amount used in one automotive switch — can contaminate all the fish in a small lake.

P2 Opportunities:

Fact Sheet
Description
Link
Mercury Switches This page contains information regarding a number of mercury containing devices, including switches in automotive applications. Provides general guidance on proper handling of mercury switches. Link me
Mercury Switches This page contains links to information related to automotive mercury, including:information on how to find, remove, and replace mercury switches used in convenience lighting in various types of vehicles; and guidance on regulatory issues related to auto mercury switch removal. Link me

 

Case Studies:
Description
Link
Mercury Switches This page contains numerous articles and links to mercury switch reduction or replacement. Link me
Mercury Switches page had a number of sources for mercury reduction or elimination. A useful resource for someone looking to get up to speed on the issues. Link me

 

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