RCRA - Special Wastes and Other Requirements

SKU: C-539Duration: 37 Minutes

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Get immediate access to this interactive eLearning course online. Must be used within 30 days, expires 48 hours after launch.

Language:  English

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Course Details


Training Time: 37 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on:

  • 40 CFR 261 - Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste
  • 40 CFR 266 - Standards for the Management of Specific Hazardous Wastes and Specific types of Hazardous Waste Management Facilities
  • 40 CFR 273 - Standards for Universal Waste Management
  • 40 CFR 279 - Standards for the Management of Used Oil
  • Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

Languages: English

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) was passed by congress in 1976 to manage hazardous wastes. RCRA regulations apply to any company that generates, transports, treats, stores, or disposes of hazardous waste. Some hazardous wastes can be safely recycled. Recycling is an excellent way to manage hazardous waste if it can be done legitimately because recycling can avoid environmental hazards and protect natural resources. Most hazardous waste that is recycled is still subject to the full hazardous waste regulations, but some materials are exempt or subject to special regulations. Recycling facilities are not subject to hazardous waste regulations except when storing in containers or tanks prior to recycling. Recycled materials fall into a special category of waste. The regulations for recycling hazardous waste depend on the material and the recycling process.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify special wastes
  • Explain why some wastes are exempt from regulation
  • Describe special waste recycling standards
  • Identify the four categories of universal waste
  • Describe universal waste requirements
  • Define used oil
  • Describe used oil requirements
  • Describe the properties of asbestos and the requirements for asbestos disposal
  • Describe PCBs and their disposal regulations

Key Questions

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What processes have special recycling standards?
Use constituting disposal, precious metal reclamation, spent lead-acid battery reclamation, burning for energy recovery

What are the four recycling legitimacy factors?

  1. Hazardous secondary material must provide a useful contribution to the recycling process or product
  2. The recycling process must produce a valuable product or intermediate
  3. Hazardous secondary material must be managed as a valuable commodity
  4. The product of the recycling process must be comparable to a legitimate product or an intermediate

What is Universal Waste?
Universal wastes come from a variety of sources, not just industrial processes. Universal wastes include batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment, and bulbs

What is considered used oil?
Used oil is any oil that has been refined from crude oil or any synthetic oil that has been used and is contaminated with impurities

Can used oil be burned for energy recovery?
Yes, but it must be tested to determine the concentration of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and total halogens

Sample Video Transcript

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

Some hazardous wastes contain certain precious metals, including gold, silver, platinum, palladium, iridium, osmium, rhodium, and ruthenium. There are reduced requirements for recovering these wastes as long as there is an economically significant amount of metal and it is efficiently recovered. People that handle special lead acid batteries prior to recycling are not subject to hazardous waste regulations to encourage recycling. However, the recycling facility owners are subject to regulations similar to hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities when storing batteries prior to treatment. Burning hazardous wastes such as used solvents for energy recovery can cause air emission hazards. So there are specific operating standards for these units. Combustion units require a permit and they must maintain performance standards according to the boiler and industrial furnace regulations.

Additional Resources

Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:

  • Environmental Protection Agency - http://www.epa.gov
  • EPA Information Resources - http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/inforesources/online/index.htm
  • EPA Quick Reference Guide - http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/inforesources/pubs/trifold.pdf
  • EPA RCRA Policy Outline - http://www.epa.gov/agriculture/lrca.html

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