Frequent Questions

Do the spent solvent listings in §261.31 apply to solvent constituents used as ingredients in the formulation of a commercial chemical product (CCP)?

Process wastes containing solvents where the solvent is used as an ingredient in the formulation of a CCP do not fall within the scope of the spent solvent listings.  Additionally, the products themselves do not meet the listings (50 FR 53315, 53316; December 31, 1985).  Thus, when unused solvent is added to a product (e.g., paint or ink) as an ingredient, any unused product being disposed of would not carry an F listing. However, if the solvent served as the sole active ingredient for the function of the product (e.g., solvent), then the disposed unused product may be a P- or U-listed hazardous waste. (Call Center Monthly Report Question; June 1997 (RO 14109)).

The solvent constituents listed in §261.31 apply to hazardous wastes when they are used as solvents and have become contaminated with physical or chemical impurities and are no longer fit for use without being regenerated, reclaimed, or otherwise re-processed.  Solvent constituents are considered used as a solvent when they are used for their solvent properties (i.e., to solubilize (dissolve) or mobilize other constituents) (50 FR 53315, 53316; December 31, 1985).  For example, solvents used as cleaning or degreasing agents, mediums for chemical reactions, extraction agents, and diluents are covered under the F001 though F005 listings in §261.31 (Memo, Straus to Harvey; May 2, 1986 (RCRA Online 11151)).


Additional guidance regarding the spent solvent hazardous waste listings is available in the following documents:

Memo, ShapiRCRA Online to Dolce; March 1, 1994 (RCRA Online 11815) [PDF 8K]
Memo, Bussard to Wilson; June 14, 1990 (RCRA Online 11523) [PDF 12K]
Memo, Lowrance to Diehn; May 3, 1990 (RCRA Online 11513)
Memo, Barnes to Stockli; April 12, 1989 (RCRA Online 13273) [PDF 5K]
Memo, Barnes to Moretta; December 6, 1988 (RCRA Online 11384)
Memo, Barnes to Lindberg; May 5, 1988 (RCRA Online 11349)
Memo, Sales to Czigler; May 20, 1987 (RCRA Online 11249)
Memo, Straus to Skoufis; March 6, 1987 (RCRA Online 11224)
Memo, Straus to Hemker; February 19, 1987 (RCRA Online 11220)
Memo, Straus to McAdams; August 4, 1986 (RCRA Online11169)

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