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Pollution Prevention and Control Technologies for Plating Operations


Section 7 - Off-Site Metals Recycling

7.2 AVAILABILITY OF METALS RECYCLING SERVICES

7.2.1 General

Off-site recycling options for metal finishers were previously limited to spent solvents, precious metal wastes, and high purity common metal wastes. Since 1985, there has been a steady increase in the use of off-site recycling, primarily due to the availability of recycling services for wastewater treatment sludges (e.g., RCRA F006 and F019 sludge), rising costs for land disposal, and increased generator concern over the liability associated with land disposal.

Land disposal costs are increasing due to the loss of capacity (i.e., closure of existing sites), the impact of "land ban" restrictions (RCRA amendments that require treatment of certain wastes prior to disposal) and increased disposal taxes. As of 1990, 87% of the RCRA-permitted landfill facilities that were in operation in 1980 were closed or in the process of closing (ref. 23). Over a similar time period disposal fees increased by 160% and between 1986 and 1990 the Superfund Waste Tax (levied on hazardous waste disposed of in landfills) has increased by 27% (ref. 23). The liability of land disposal has become a costly element for many waste generators. From 1984 to 1989, the estimated contingent liability (based on clean-up of Superfund sites) grew from $11 to $38 per ton (ref. 23).


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