Frequent Questions

Is filtering or dewatering considered reclamation? Specifically, if I had to filter or dewater a listed waste prior to using it again within an industrial process, would that prohibit it from being exempted under 40 CFR Section 261.2(e)?

Materials are not solid wastes when they can be shown to be recycled by being used or reused as ingredients in an industrial process to make a product, provided the materials are not being reclaimed.  Materials are not solid wastes when they are returned to the original process from which they are generated without first being reclaimed.

Processing operations that do recover or regenerate materials so as to make them available for further use are considered to involve reclamation.  Examples are dewatering of wastewater treatment sludges before the dewatered sludges are recycled.

If the process involves some reclamation (such as filtration), it is not eligible for use/reuse exclusion under 40 CFR Section 261.2(e)(1).

Reclamation could range from simple filtration to reinsertion into a manufacturing unit.  Spent materials are solid wastes when reclaimed.  EPA considers dewatering a form of reclamation.

References:  40 CFR Section 261.2(e)(i)(iii)
50 FR; 614, 639, January 4, 1985
Memo, Anders to Naylor, November 13, 1996 (RCRA Online #14099)
Memo, Petruska to Docket, October 18, 1990 (RCRA Online #11565)
Memo, Bussard to Crim, June 30, 1995 (RCRA Online #11910)

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