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The US EPA Adds Aerosol Cans to Universal Waste Regulations

In the December 9, 2019 issue of the Federal Register, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted a final rule adding hazardous waste aerosol cans to the universal waste program under the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations. The purpose of this rule change is as follows:
  1. to ease regulatory burdens on retail stores and others that discard hazardous waste aerosol cans;
  2. to promote the collection and recycling of aerosol cans; and
  3. to encourage the development of municipal and commercial programs to reduce the quantity of these wastes going to municipal solid waste landfills or combustors.
This rule is effective February 7, 2020 This new rule will exclude aerosol cans that are not yet waste, are not hazardous waste, and those that have been emptied of their contents. Emptied aerosol cans will not be subject to either the hazardous waste requirements or universal waste requirements. Additionally, hazardous waste aerosol cans that show evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage that could cause leakage will remain subject to hazardous waste requirements. Source: Final Rule, Increasing Recycling: Adding Aerosol Cans to the Universal Waste Regulations (Dec. 9, 2019).   

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