US EPA has revised federal regulations on managing solvent-contaminated wipes under 40 CFR 261.4(a)(26). The rule conditionally excludes from the definition of solid waste solvent-contaminated wipes that are cleaned and reused (“reusable wipes”), and under 40 CFR 261.4(b)(18), which conditionally excludes from the definition of hazardous waste solvent-contaminated wipes that are disposed (“disposable wipes”).Solvent-contaminated wipes that are sent for cleaning and reuse are not solid wastes, provided the conditions of the exclusion are met. Solvent-contaminated wipes that are sent for disposal are not hazardous wastes, provided the conditions of the exclusion are met.
To be exempted, reusable solvent wipes must go to a laundry or dry cleaner whose wastewater discharge, if any, is regulated under sections 301 and 402 or section 307 of the Clean Water Act. In most cases this requires that facility to either have an NPDES permit, or a pretreatment permit issued by a permitted POTW.
Disposal wipes must go to a combustor regulated under section 129 of the Clean Air Act or to a hazardous waste combustor, boiler, or industrial furnace regulated under 40 CFR parts 264, 265, or 266 subpart H, or to a municipal solid waste landfill regulated under 40 CFR part 258 (including § 258.40) or to a hazardous waste landfill regulated under 40 CFR parts 264 or 265.
Generators must maintain documentation of the name and address of the laundry, dry cleaner, landfill, or combustor.