The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations, passed in 1976, spells out what is a hazardous waste and what must be done with hazardous waste. For those in the paving industry, the bottom line is that any unused chemicals are waste. This includes products for cleaning, lab use, or in general, anything brought to the plant in drums, pails, cans or bottles. Unused chemicals and any material that is used and collected to be disposed of later, is waste. All of these may be subject to the RCRA regulations.
How Does This Affect the Paving Industry?
The most likely way a chemical used by the paving industry could be defined as a RCRA hazardous waste is if it is ignitable. For this reason, the flash point of chemicals bought for various applications such as lubrication, cleaning, etc. becomes important. It is not enough that the material be of natural origin, contain no petroleum distillates or chlorinated hydrocarbons and be biodegradable. The product must also have a flash point above 140°F., or it is considered a hazardous waste. Since the flash point of citrus oils is 119°F., most orange products are hazardous wastes, and cannot be spilt on the ground.