Frequent Questions

Are brass turnings and borings generated during metal working a hazardous waste?

If the turnings and borings are being recycled, they are neither a hazardous waste nor a solid waste. Processed scrap metal, unprocessed home scrap metal, and unprocessed prompt scrap metal being recycled (collectively referred to as excluded scrap metal) are all excluded from the definition of solid waste and therefore not subject to RCRA Subtitle C regulations (40 CFR 261.4(a)(13)). Home scrap metal is scrap metal as generated by steel mills, foundries, and refineries such as turnings, cuttings, punchings, and borings (§261.1(c)(11)). Prompt scrap metal is scrap metal as generated by the metal working and fabrication industries such as turnings, cuttings, punchings, and borings (§261.1(c)(12). 

Thus, as long as the turnings and borings are recycled and meet the definition of home scrap metal, they would be excluded from the definition of solid waste. If the metal is not being recycled, then the exclusion would not apply, and the generator must make a hazardous waste determination for the waste. 

EPA promulgated the scrap metal exclusion on May 12, 1997 (62 FR 25998, 26011). This Federal Register is available at the following URL: 

http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-WASTE/1997/May/Day-12/f11636.htm 

Additional guidance regarding the exclusion for recycled scrap metal is available in the following documents: 
Memo, Flynn to Hohmann; June 11, 1998 (RCRA Online # 14202) Memo, Cotsworth to Harris; June 2, 1998 (RCRA Online #14183) Monthly Call Center Report Question; June 1998 (RCRA Online # 14277
Memo, Bussard to Reilly; February 13, 1998 (RCRA Online # 14195)
 
These documents are available in the RCRA Online Database at the following URL: 
http://www.epa.gov/rcraonline

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