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Trash compactors, balers, crushers. Waste products and services including cardboard compactors and balers to manufacturing companies. American manufacturers and suppliers of waste equipment.
Recycling is a series of activities that includes collecting
recyclable materials that would otherwise be considered waste, sorting
and processing recyclables into raw materials such as fibers, and
manufacturing raw materials into new products.
Collecting and processing secondary materials, manufacturing
recycled-content products, and then purchasing recycled products
creates a circle or loop that ensures the overall success and value of
Step 1. Collection and Processing
Collecting recyclables varies from community to community, but there
are four primary methods: curbside, drop-off centers, buy-back
centers, and deposit/refund programs.
Regardless of the method used to collect the recyclables, the next
leg of their journey is usually the same. Recyclables are sent to a
materials recovery facility to be sorted and prepared into marketable
commodities for manufacturing. Recyclables are bought and sold just
like any other commodity, and prices for the materials change and
fluctuate with the market.
Step 2. Manufacturing
Once cleaned and separated, the recyclables are ready to undergo the
second part of the recycling loop. More and more of today's products
are being manufactured with total or partial recycled content. Common
household items that contain recycled materials include newspapers and
paper towels; aluminum, plastic, and glass soft drink containers;
steel cans; and plastic laundry detergent bottles. Recycled materials
also are used in innovative applications such as recovered glass in
roadway asphalt (glassphalt) or recovered plastic in carpeting, park
benches, and pedestrian bridges.
Step 3. Purchasing Recycled Products
Purchasing recycled products completes the recycling loop. By
"buying recycled," governments, as well as businesses and
individual consumers, each play an important role in making the
recycling process a success. As consumers demand more environmentally
sound products, manufacturers will continue to meet that demand by
producing high-quality recycled products. Llearn
more about recycling terminology and to find tips on identifying
1999, recycling and composting activities prevented about 64
million tons of material from ending up in landfills and
incinerators. Today, this country recycles 32 percent of its
waste, a rate that has almost doubled during the past 15 years.
recycling has grown in general, recycling of specific materials
has grown even more drastically: 50 percent of all paper, 34
percent of all plastic soft drink bottles, 45 percent of all
aluminum beer and soft drink cans, 63 percent of all steel
packaging, and 67 percent of all major appliances are now
years ago, only one curbside recycling program existed in the
United States, which collected several materials at the curb. By
2005, almost 9,000 curbside programs had sprouted up across the
nation. As of 2005, about 500 materials recovery facilities had
been established to process the collected materials.
For recycling to work, everyone has to participate in each phase of
the loop. From government and industry, to organizations, small
businesses, and people at home, every American can make recycling a
part of their daily routine. Below are some ways in which businesses,
local governments, and citizens can get involved:
·Improve the efficiency of your collection program.
An EPA resource entitled Getting
More for Less: Improving Collection Efficiency [Adobe PDF, 880
PDF] (EPA530-R-99-038) explains several important strategies for
improving efficiency as well as case studies of communities that have
reaped the benefits of improved solid waste collection.
·Practice full cost accounting (FCA). Visit the FCA
Web site for more information on using FCA to assist with
identifying and assessing the costs of solid waste management.
·Identify opportunities to increase recycling rates.
Web sitefor examples of local government projects in Pennsylvania
to help meet or exceed the state's 35 percent recycling goal. Also,
guidance on measuring the success of your state or local recycling
·Recycle at home. Find out if there is a recycling
program in your community. If so, participate in the program by
separating and putting out your recyclables for curbside pickup or
taking them to your local drop-off or buy-back center.
·Shop smarter. Use products in containers that can
be recycled in your community and items that can be repaired or
reused. Also, support recycling markets by buying and using products
made from recycled materials.
on the Go!Look
for recycling places in public spaces. If you can't find a
recycling place, ask the responsible authority to look into
installing one so you can recycle on the go.
Warehouse provides users with direct access to environmental
information contained in various EPA databases including hazardous
waste, Superfund information, toxic releases, facility information,
risk management plans, grants/funding, water permits, and drinking
water contaminant occurrence.
allows users to map various types of environmental information,
including hazardous waste, water discharge permits, toxic and air
releases, watersheds, and Superfund sites. Enviromapper can also be
used to spatially view environmental statistics, profiles, and trends.
allows you to search, view, and comment on Federal regulations. This
government-wide, centralized docket management system provides access
to all publicly available regulatory material, such as Federal
Register notices and rules, supporting analyses, and comments
submitted by the public. Rulemakings materials are also available in
hard copy at the EPA
Docket Center/RCRA Docket. To use Regulations.gov:
Advanced Search, then Docket Search.
"Environmental Protection Agency" from the Agency
the Docket ID box, type in the docket number (e.g.,
EPA-HQ-RCRA-1988-0068) and press the "Submit" button to
receive search results. Be patient; loading the documents takes
911 - provides the public with community-specific
environmental information: recycling, buying recycled products,
household hazardous waste, kid's section, energy conservation,
composting and dozens of other resources
FAQs Database enables users to search frequently asked
questions or submit their own question or comment on a variety of RCRA
issues and topics. Before searching, view the search
Online is a database that is designed to enable users to
locate documents, including publications and other outreach materials,
that cover a wide range of RCRA issues and topics.
Monthly ReportsArchive of monthly Call Center reports that
include frequently asked regulatory questions and answers that have
been approved by EPA, and summaries of the month's Federal Registers
Training ModulesArchive of Call Center training modules that
provide an overview of a specific regulatory topic. These modules are
useful resources for people wishing to gain a general understanding of
RCRA, but they are not comprehensive sources of regulatory
Inventory is a searchable, Agency-wide catalog of current,
recently completed, and archived science activities and products. It
contains thousands of records providing information such as project
descriptions, contacts for additional information and electronic links
to related work and final reports. Users can perform keyword searches
or can search within specific science topics such as, genomics, tribal
science, and children’s health.
Business Are you a small business? Do you want to know if your
waste is regulated or how to reduce the amount of waste you generate?
To learn more about these topics and find environmental information
and resources for small businesses, visit the links on this website.
Recycling Coalition - a not-for-profit organization dedicated
to the advancement and improvement of recycling, source reduction,
composting, and reuse by providing technical information,
education, training, outreach, and advocacy services to its
members in order to conserve resources and benefit the environment
You Can Do This website provides tips for consumers on solid
and hazardous waste issues, such as recycling, dealing with used oil,
reducing solid waste, composting and medical waste.
to My Environment allows users to easily access comprehensive
information about air, land, and water by entering a zip code. The
"window" integrates environmental data with local
geographical features by pulling together information from several EPA
will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view some of the files on
this page. See EPA's
PDF page to learn more about PDF and for a link to the
free Acrobat Reader.
RCRA gave EPA the authority to control hazardous waste
from the "cradle-to-grave" including generation,
transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal. RCRA also
set forth a framework for the management of nonhazardous
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is the public law
that creates the framework for the proper management of hazardous and
nonhazardous solid waste. This page contains:
You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available as a free download, to
view some of the files on this page. See EPA's
PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free
History of RCRA
Conservation and Recovery Act —commonly referred to as RCRA—
is our nation's primary law governing the disposal of solid and
hazardous waste. Congress passed RCRA on October 21, 1976 to address
the increasing problems the nation faced from our growing volume of
municipal and industrial waste. RCRA, which amended the Solid Waste
Disposal Act of 1965, set national goals for:
human health and the environment from the potential hazards of
energy and natural resources.
the amount of waste generated.
that wastes are managed in an environmentally-sound manner.
To achieve these goals, RCRA established three distinct, yet
waste program, under RCRA Subtitle D, encourages states to
develop comprehensive plans to manage nonhazardous industrial
solid waste and municipal solid waste, sets criteria for municipal
solid waste landfills and other solid waste disposal facilities,
and prohibits the open dumping of solid waste.
waste program, under RCRA Subtitle C, establishes a system for
controlling hazardous waste from the time it is generated units
its ultimate disposal – in effect, from "cradle to
underground storage tank (UST) program, under RCRA Subtitle I,
storage tanks containing hazardous substances and petroleum
RCRA was amended and strengthened by Congress in November 1984 with
the passing of the Federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HSWA).
These amendments to RCRA required the phasing out land
disposal of hazardous waste. Some of the other mandates of this
strict law include increased enforcement
authority for EPA, more stringent hazardous waste management
standards, and a comprehensive underground
storage tank program.
RCRA has been amended on two occasions since HSWA:
RCRA focuses only on active and future facilities and does not
address abandoned or historical sites which are managed under the
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
known as Superfund.
RCRA provides, in broad terms, the general guidelines for the waste
management program envisioned by Congress. It includes a Congressional
mandate directing EPA to develop a comprehensive set of regulations to
implement the law. These regulations, or rulemakings, issued by EPA,
translate the general mandate of the law into a set of requirements
for the Agency and the regulated community.
When a regulation is formally proposed, it is published in the Federal
Register to notify the public of EPA’s intent to create new
regulations or modify existing ones. EPA provides the public,
including the potentially regulated community, with an opportunity to
submit comments. Following an established comment period, EPA may
revise the proposed rule based on both internal review and public
comments. All final rules are compiled annually and incorporated into
the Code of Federal Regulations.
The RCRA regulations are contained in Title 40 of the Code of
Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 239 through 299. The CFR is a
collection of all federal regulations codified and enforced by all
federal agencies. Title
40 – Protection of the Environment contains all of the
regulations governing EPA's programs.
40 CFR Parts 239 through 259 contain the regulations for solid
waste, while Parts 260 through 279 contain the hazardous waste
regulations. The requirements for underground storage tanks, which are
also regulated under RCRA, are located in 40 CFR Part 280. A list of
all regulations with links to the regulatory text is provided below:
The RCRA docket provides users with all the materials
critical to each stage in the development of a rule, such as
Federal Register notices and technical documents. Regulations.gov
—the government-wide centralized docket management system—
allows users to search the Agency's rulemaking dockets online,
view the indices, and access those materials that are
available online. Users may also submit comments online when a
docket is open for public comment.
Hazardous waste is a waste with properties that make it
dangerous or potentially harmful to human health or the
environment. In regulatory terms, a RCRA hazardous waste is a
waste that appears on one of the four hazardous wastes lists
(F-list, K-list, P-list, or U-list), or exhibits at least one
of four characteristics—ignitability, corrosivity,
reactivity, or toxicity. For more information, see What
is a Hazardous Waste?
EPA develops and issues guidance documents to provide instructions
for implementing and complying with regulations. Guidance documents
also elaborate on the Agency’s interpretation of the requirements of
Policy statements outline a position on a topic or specify
procedures that should generally be followed. In many cases, policy
statements are addressed to EPA staff, but some are addressed to the
Online is an electronic database that indexes thousands of
letters, memoranda, publications, and questions and answers issued by
EPA's Office of Solid Waste (OSW). These documents include EPA
interpretations of the RCRA regulations governing the management of
solid, hazardous, and medical waste. RCRA Online allows users to
locate documents through topical, full text, and advanced search
functions. RCRA Online also allows users to view the actual text of
the documents identified in a search.
Database for Waste Management and Emergency Programs provides the
public with online access to EPA policy documents from the Office of
Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) and the EPA Regional waste
and emergency response programs. This database contains the policy,
guidance, and interpretive documents that the Agency intends to use or
rely on for the implementation and enforcement of its statutes and
Orientation Manual provides introductory information on the solid
and hazardous waste management programs under the Resource
Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Designed for EPA and state
staff, members of the regulated community, and the general public who
wish to better understand RCRA, this document constitutes a review of
the RCRA program and is not a substitute for RCRA or its implementing
in Focus (RIF) is a series of publications providing overviews of
the RCRA regulations affecting specific industry sectors. Intended as
a guide for small businesses, RIF presents the life cycle of a typical
waste for each industry and focuses on recycling and pollution
prevention options. Each issue contains a hazardous waste table of
RCRA requirements for small businesses and answers frequently asked
Reducing Risk from Waste provides an overview of the RCRA solid
and hazardous waste regulations. The document describes the history of
RCRA, the role of EPA and the states, and hazardous waste definitions
and management requirements (including the roles of generators,
transporters, and treatment, storage, and disposal facilities).
Information on hazardous waste minimization is also provided.
RCRA: Prospects for Waste & Materials Management in the Year 2020
is a discussion paper developed jointly by EPA and state environmental
agencies to open and inspire discussion on the future for the RCRA
program during the next 20 years. It identifies a number of trends
that could affect the future of waste and materials management,
resource conservation, and human and environmental health, and
suggests general strategies and tools that might be used to build a
new vision for the future of the RCRA program.
rubbish, trash, or garbage is unwanted or
There are a number of
of waste. It can exist as a solid,
or as waste
heat. When released in the latter two states the wastes can be
referred to as emissions.
It is usually strongly linked with pollution.
Waste may also be intangible in the case of wasted time or wasted
opportunities. The term waste implies things which have been
used inefficiently or inappropriately.
are two main definitions of waste. One view comes from the individual
or organisation producing the material, the second is the view of Government,
and is set out in different acts of waste
legislation. The two have to combine to ensure the safe and legal
disposal of the waste .
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