By Glenn House — Director of Product Safety and Regulatory Compliance
Over the course of the last couple of years, Gougeon Brothers Inc. has partnered with Waste Management Inc. to implement a comprehensive recycling program that has been both simple and effective. We are now recycling emptied plastic and metal epoxy containers, shrink wrap from bulk packaged items, dispensed adhesive cartridges, cardboard boxes, miscellaneous soft and rigid plastic items, office paper, magazines, etc.
Our customers may also recycle many of the epoxy containers and related epoxy packaging items associated with WEST SYSTEM® products, in accordance with federal and state regulations and local recycling guidelines.
There are container disposal regulations you need to follow which ensure the epoxy containers you are recycling are reasonably empty. This makes it less likely that chemical residue will enter the environment or otherwise cause harm to people. The guidelines are pretty straightforward and easy to follow. For business operators who are part of the regulated community, I have summarized a portion of federal disposal guidelines here. Those of you who are do-it-yourselfers can also follow these guidelines or check with your local recycling authority or governing body for solid trash pickup to see if they have more specific instructions.
These guidelines apply to containers less than 110 gallons in size that held chemical products not defined as “acutely hazardous.” This would include such WEST SYSTEM products as 105 Epoxy Resin®, Six10®, G/5®, G/flex®, fillers, etc.
The epoxy container is considered empty if…
A. All epoxy resin or hardener residue has been removed that can be removed using the practices commonly employed to remove materials from that type of container, e.g. pouring, draining, pumping, and aspirating, and
B. No more than one inch of residue remains on the bottom of the container or no more than three percent by weight of the total capacity of the container remains in the container. If your container is larger than 110 gallons or held an acutely hazardous waste, then you may be required to take additional steps to ensure emptiness, such as repeat rinsing.
If you are operating a business and are unsure about the rules for container disposal, consult your state environmental authority. If you are a do-it-yourselfer or you just want to know more about recycling and waste reduction, consult your local waste recycling authority or a recycling company like Waste Management Inc. They can help determine what your recycling opportunities are and help you develop an effective recycling plan.
If you have any questions about our recycling program or if you need information about the types of materials our epoxy products, product containers, or packaging is made of we invite you to call us at 866-937-8797.
Recycling epoxy containers sends less waste to landfills and recycling, in general, can reduce the frequency and cost of your solid trash pickup. And if your recyclable volumes are large enough, you might find out that recycling is not only good for the planet but also good for your pocketbook.