Recycling of Solvents

Chlorinated solvents are perfectly suited for recycling. Recycling takes place inside modern dry-cleaning and metal cleaning machines where this is an essential part of the cleaning cycle and significantly increases the eco-efficiency of the chlorinated solvents. Used solvent can be externally recycled and re-used, while the residues (dirt, grease etc.) need to be safely collected and disposed of by authorised disposal companies. Certain authorized suppliers offer to take back waste in special safety containers or equivalent closed loop systems. Transport and take back, and recycling of spent solvents require a permit under local waste legislation. It is important that spent solvents and residues are labelled in accordance with EU CLP Regulation, ADR/RID transport regulations, national waste laws and the correct EU waste codes assigned. Classification & labelling of spent solvents depend on the composition and has to be determined on a case by case basis (ask your waste disposer/recycler for support). 

 

Drum recycling/disposal

Drums with remnant solvent should be disposed of as hazardous waste according to waste regulations or should be sent for reconditioning. It is not recommended to use reconditioned drums for fresh & spent chlorinated solvents.

Empty special safety containers or equivalent containers with closed loop systems will be taken back by the supplier or distributor or approved waste manager. Non-returnable drums have to be empty and free of solvent residues and un-labelled, before they can be sent back to metal recyclers.

 

Further information  on recycling and disposal of solvents can be found here:

Municipal Waste Europe website

The European Solvent Recyler Group (ESRG) website

 

Revision: 02/2018

DCM & the Ozone Layer

November 2017 

Dichloromethane (DCM) is a highly Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) with a short atmospheric lifetime of only 0.4 years, hence defined as a Very Short Lived Substance (VSLS), but a negligible Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP). Recent publications (e.g. Hossaini et al.) discussed the effect of DCM on the stratospheric ozone, which postulated a high future growth rate of global DCM production and emissions, which led to discussions to include DCM into the Montreal Protocol on the protection of the ozone layer. ECSA and HSIA have provided factual information on global production and emissions by industry, global natural production, behaviour and effect on the stratospheric ozone, and other regulatory developments at a UNEP meeting on the Montreal Protocol in Nov 2017 (available here), based on a scientific assessment of Archie McCulloch (full paper available here; a one-pager summary is also available here).


 

TRI Authorisations granted

September 2018

Trichloroethylene (TRI) can be used safely under controlled conditions. Five authorisations have been granted to BlueCube Germany (a subsidiary of Olin) to continue to produce TRI for specific uses, for example Industrial Parts Cleaning. Customers of this producer can use TRI for these applications under the conditions set by the EU Commission and the defined risk management measures.


 

UBA PMT criteria published

February 2018

The German Environment Agency (UBA, Umweltbundesamt) has published the assessment of "Persistence, Mobility and Toxicity (PMT)" with the desire to protect drinking water sources. Applying conservative criteria for PMT as defined by UBA, perchloroethylene (PER) and trichloroethylene (TRI) appear as number 2 and 3 on the report. UBA also aims to establish PMT as an equivalent concern to identify SVHC substance for authorisation under REACH. ECSA does not consider SVHC identification using PMT criteria as the appropriate tool to improve drinking water quality due to this being a pure hazard based approach and thus does not consider risk. TRI is already listed in Annex XIV (authorisation) and today PER is handled almost exclusively in closed systems with no intentional emission to water or soil. For further information see the ECSA position paper on PER here.


 

New Study on Dichloromethane

February 2018

Together with HSIA, ECSA supported a study to clarify the mode of action of cancer formation for Dichloromethane (DCM). The study results have been published end of 2018. The outcome of the study shows that below the threshold there is no risk of cancer formation related to DCM.

The full paper is available here.