VIEWS: 9 PAGES: 2 CATEGORY: Engineering & Energy POSTED ON: 8/2/2010
Brake cleaner, lubricants and degreasers are all examples of commonly used maintenance products supplied in aerosol cans. Because the cans remain pressurized even after they are "empty," many facilities need to handle and dispose of them as hazardous waste, with prices commonly ranging from $200 to $400 per drum for disposal.
| Guest Editorial | By Karen D. Hamel, Technical Education Manager, New Pig Corp Small Changes Matter Especially when greening shops Change rarely comes easily - especially when tried-and-true routines have One absorbent mat, for example, is often capable of absorbing up to a worked for decades. But sometimes, small changes can improve efﬁciency, quart of spilled liquids. It takes over 10 pounds of clay-based loose absor- reduce waste volumes and minimize environmental impact. bent to do the same job. Clean up time is also minimized with contained Because ﬂeet vehicles are ﬁlled with various ﬂuids, leaks, drips and absorbents because there is no shoveling or sweeping, as is the amount spills are all fairly common occurrences that can lead to slippery ﬂoors of space needed to store the spent absorbent materials prior to disposal. and downtime associated with clean-up efforts. Loose absorbents, such Shop towels are another similar item that is commonly used in many as cat litter and other clay-based compounds are a typical solution to deal shops. Because they are often part of a laundering service, some people with these situations. tend to view them to be a better solution than disposable wipers. An EPA Some of the problems with these loose absorbents are that they are heavy, commissioned study found, however, that spent absorbent wipers account dusty and not very efﬁcient. Contained absorbents, like mats, socks and for less than 1 percent of landﬁlled wastes, and that they do not present a pillows often cost a little more to purchase, but have a much greater afﬁnity signiﬁcant environment hazard when landﬁlled. for absorbing ﬂuids quickly and with less manpower. By contrast, the process of laundering shop towels often releases contam- inants from the towels into water treatment systems that are incapable of completely removing the contaminants. As a result, they can pass through the treatment system and can cause pollution in water bodies. Disposable wipers are available in many different varieties and are designed to be task-speciﬁc. That means that wipers are available for nearly every task from hand-wiping to auto detailing preparation. Brake cleaner, lubricants and degreasers are all examples of commonly used maintenance products supplied in aerosol cans. Because the cans remain pressurized even after they are “empty,” many facilities need to handle and dispose of them as hazardous waste, with prices commonly ranging from $200 to $400 per drum for disposal. For shops that use a lot of aerosols, specially designed can puncturing or can crushing units may help minimize disposal costs. The units are capable of capturing fugitive air emissions from the punctured or crushed cans, a
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