EPA Revises Definition of Solid Waste



On December 10, 2014 EPA finalized revisions to the 2008 Definition of the Solid Waste (DSW) rule related to recycling of hazardous secondary materials. The original 2008 provided options for both generator- and transfer-based legitimate recycling of hazardous secondary materials that met two mandatory and two non-mandatory legitimate recycling criteria. As a result of a 2009 Sierra Club challenge to the rule, and EPA’s indications that they would revise the rule, most states have not yet adopted the 2008 version of the rule. The updated 2014 rule retains the generator-based recycling, but replaces transfer-based recycling with a verified recycler exclusion; and makes mandatory all four of the legitimate recycling criteria.

The four mandatory factors include: (1) the 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) the hazardous secondary material must be managed as a valuable commodity; and (4) the recycled product must be comparable to a legitimate product or intermediate.

More information about this rulemaking can be found on EPA’s website at: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/dsw/rulemaking.htm