Recovery and Conservation
Pour off solvents into smaller marked
containers for dispensing. They are easier to control and less
likely to spill. Squeeze bottles with a spout work well for
flushing out quart cups.
Re-use spent thinner for heavy clean up
chores, like washing out a pressure pot. After initial wash use
new thinner for final cleaning.
Invest in an automatic gun washer. The
washers can be used to clean conventional and HVLP spray guns
Some have attachments for cleaning material hoses. The solvents
used in the cleaning process are recycled and re-used. The
better washers have filters that remove the contaminants from
the solvents so they don’t get diluted and lose their cleaning
Washing guns by hand is labor intensive and can generate
significant quantities of solvent wastes. Automatic gun washers
reduce the amount of labor and the amount of solvent used for
cleaning. When compared to manual gun cleaning, the solvent
waste generated can be reduced by up to 80% because of the
solvent recycling. Since automatic gun washers are sealed units,
worker exposure to hazardous materials during solvent handling
is also greatly reduced.
Food for Thought
Lets say you spent 5 minutes and 10 ounces
of thinner cleaning a spraygun and you cleaned a gun 9 times a
week. Based on a shop labor rate of $60 per man hour, $8 per
gallon of thinner and $350 per drum disposal fee; you will spend
almost $2400 per year on cleaning.
finishing operation generates waste. How you dispose of it can
be a major issue, especially if you get an EPA audit. You will
have to provide information as to how many gallons of finish you
purchased, so they know that there is going to be a certain
percentage of waste. The question is, “what did you do with it?”
If you are
a very small user there is always the temptation to just dump
your liquid waste in the trash. Don’t do it. It is this type of
action that brought on the environmental regulations in the
first place. Not only are you polluting, but the consequences if
you are caught can be severe.
of a proper disposal can often exceed the original purchase cost
of the solvents involved, so it suits you well to tighten-up
your clean-up and other waste generating factors in your finish
responsible for the chemicals that you purchase from “invoice to
grave.” So the method by which you dispose of them could have an
impact on your business years down the road. My understanding is
that a special waste hauler that incinerates your waste is one
of the safest options. You get a manifest that states that your
material was destroyed, so you are no longer responsible for it.
This is opposed to a company that will store your hazardous
material. 20 years from now if they come across a drum at a
toxic waste site and your name is on it, and then you are
responsible for its disposal. It doesn’t matter that you had
already paid someone to dispose of it and that they did not do
your waste in a sealable 55 gallon drum
a label on your drum that states that this hazardous waste.
the date that that you started pouring off your waste into the
the date that you filled the drum
keep too much waste sitting around. There is a maximum that is
allowable to have on your site.