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Pollution Prevention and Control Technologies for Plating Operations

Section 7 - Off-Site Metals Recycling


A broad range of waste types and characteristics are accepted by the recycling companies. However, each company has certain constraints and a set of preferred waste characteristics that are based on: (1) RCRA permit conditions; (2) material handling capabilities; (3) material processing capabilities; and (4) end product requirements.

Exhibit 7-4 presents data provided by several recycling firms that show the preferred waste characteristics and the actual analyses of certain waste streams that are accepted. These values represent guidelines only. The actual acceptance of a waste depends on the recycling firmÕs total analysis, waste quantities available and other information that the plater must provide in order to receive a quotation for the recycling service.

The characteristics of a waste will have a profound impact on the cost of using a recycling service and the costs for a given waste will vary from recycler to recycler, depending mostly on the recycling processes employed and the nature of the end products generated. The cost implications of waste characteristics are discussed further in Section 7.5. Before a waste is accepted for recycling, the recycling company will perform an analysis that is paid for by the plater. The analysis (at a cost of approximately $500) is usually repeated once per year.

Exhibit 7-5 presents analytical data provided by plating shops showing the analyses of their sludges (F006) that are sent to off-site metals recycling firms. Exhibit 7-6 presents the results of over 500 selected analyses found in the literature. These sludges were considered acceptable for recovery at Encycle and provide further guidance on the characteristics of wastes that are amenable to off-site recycling.

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