Guidance on Recycling & Disposal of Solvents & Packaging

 

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 disposed. Spent solvents including residues are safely collected & disposed by certified disposal companies. Certain authorized suppliers offer take back of waste in special safety containers or equivalent closed loop systems. Transport and take back of spent solvents require permit under local waste legislation.

 

Drum recycling /disposal:

Drums with remnant solvent should be disposed 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  send to metal recyclers.

 

Spent solvents:

Spent solvents including residues have to be safely collected and then disposed as hazardous waste.

It is important that hazardous waste has to be labelled in accordance with EU CLP Regulation, ADR/RID transport regulations and national waste laws. 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). 

Transport and take back of spent solvents require permit under local waste legislation. Certain authorized suppliers offer take back of waste in special safety containers or equivalent closed loop systems.

 

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

Municipal Waste Europe website

The European Solvent Recyler Group (ESRG) website

Waste Framework Directive website

 

IOELVs for DCM, CTC and PER published

February 2017

Indicative Occupational Exposure Limit Values (IOELVs) for DCM, CTC and PER have been published by the EU Commission (cf. DIRECTIVE (EU) 2017/164 of 31.1.2017), which are in line with the REACH DNEL(inhalation) for workers. These IOELVs have to be considered by member states for setting national exposure limits (OELs), which they have to accomplish by 21. August 2018. Only national OELs are legally binding for occupational safety, whereas the IOELVs have to be considered by users in case no OELs is set, yet.  The relevant OELs are provided with the SDS of the solvents suppliers (cf. chapter 8.1). 

 

IARC monograph on DCM

January 2017

DCM has been re-classified by IARC (IARC website) from Group 2B (Possibly carcinogenic to humans) to the next higher Group 2A (Probably carcinogenic to humans). This reclassification from 2014 has been published recently (Dichloromethane). In the opinion of ECSA the reclassification is not scientifically justified. IARC Monograph classifications are also questioned by other associations such as the American Chemical Council (ACC). However the IARC classification is of no regulatory relevance in EU as European legislation is triggered by classification according to the CLP (GHS) regulation (EC 1272/2008).  

 

New Study on DCM

October 2016

Together with HSIA, ECSA supported a study to clarify the mode of action of cancer formation for methylene chloride (DCM). A publication is expected soon in a peer reviewed scientific journal. The outcome of the study shows that below a threshold there is no risk on cancer formation related to DCM.

 

Use of Perchloroethylene safe in Germany

October 2016

The German federal authorities (LAS) published a comprehensive guidance on the safe use of PER in dry-cleaning based on German regulations (2. BImSchV in force since 1990). ECSA supported the English translation of this guidance, which is now available on the website of the LAVG, the federal authority in charge. 

The  recent exposure study of the LAS (2015) , as referenced in the guideline, proved that the use of PER is safe, if PER is applied according to regulations such as the 2. BImSchV and exposure is very low, well below the current German OEL.