Industry Overview

If your business is in the vehicle maintenance category, then the products you use on the vehicles and on your equipment, tools, hands, or floor might contain hazardous materials, and the waste generated by using these products might be hazardous waste. If you generate hazardous waste, you might be subject to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requirement covering the generation, transportation, and management of hazardous waste.

Your business is classified under vehicle maintenance if you repair or maintain:

Vehicle maintenance operations that might generate hazardous waste include:

Hazardous Wastes from Vehicle Maintenance

Every day, mechanics and body repair personnel use products containing hazardous materials. Products containing materials that are hazardous to human health and the environment include:

Rust removers that contain strong acid or alkaline solutions
Carburetor cleaners that contain flammable or combustible liquids
Parts cleaners and degreasers that contain toxic chemicals
Paint thinners or reducers that are ignitable or contain toxic constituents
Motor oil and other petroleum products that are ignitable or contain toxic chemicals
Auto and truck batteries.

Waste that is generated as a result of using these products might be RCRA-regulated hazardous waste.

Table 1 lists typical processes/operations that use products that might contain hazardous materials and that probably generate hazardous waste. If you generate 100 kilograms (220 pounds or about half of a 55-gallon drum) or more of hazardous waste per month you must fill out a Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest when you ship hazardous waste off your property. The Manifest requires the proper Department of Transportation (DOT) description for each waste. [2]Table 2 lists proper DOT shipping descriptions for a number of wastes that might be generated during vehicle maintenance operations. Table 1 and Table 2 are not comprehensive lists. If you suspect any waste you generate is hazardous, check with your state hazardous waste management agency or Regional epa office.

There are special provisions in the regulations for spent lead batteries and used oil. You do not have to use a Manifest when you ship used lead batteries that are destined for recycling or used motor oil that is destined for recycling. If, however, you are disposing of used oil yourself or are sending it off-site for disposal, you generally should handle it as hazardous waste because it is likely to be ignitable or toxic. Special requirements apply if you are burning used oil as fuel. Your state might have its own requirements for lead-acid batteries or used oil; check with you state hazardous waste management agency.

Waste Minimization

An effective waste minimization program can reduce the costs, liabilities, and regulatory burdens of hazardous waste management, while potentially enhancing efficiency, product quality, and community relations. Waste minimization techniques that can help you reduce the amount of hazardous waste that you generate include:

For further information, call the RCRA/Superfund Hotline 1-800-424-9346.

Table 1
Typical Vehicle Maintenance Operations:
Materials Used and Hazardous Wastes That Might Be Generated

Process/Operation Materials Used Typical Material Ingredient General Types of Wastes Generated
Degreasing Degreasers (gunk), carburetor cleaners, engine cleaners, solvents, acids/alkalines, cleaning fluids Petroleum distillates, aromatic hydrocarbons, mineral spirits, benzene, toluene, petroleum naptha Acid/alkaline wastes, spent solvents, ignitable wastes, toxic wastes
Rust Removing Naval jelly, strong acids, strong alkalines Phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, sodium hydroxide Acid/alkaline wastes
Paint Preparation Paint thinners, enamel reducers, white spirits Alcohols, petroleum distillates, oxygenated solvents, mineral spirits, ketones Paint wastes, spent solvents, ignitable wastes, toxic wastes
Painting Enamels, lacquers, epoxies, silkyds, acrylics, primers, solvents Acetone, toluene, benzene, petroleum distillates, epoxy ester resins, methylene chloride, xylene, VM&P naptha, aromatic hydrocarbons, methyl isobutyl, mineral spirits Paint wastes, spent solvents, ignitable wastes, toxic wastes
Spray Booth, Spray Guns and Brush Cleaning Paint thinners, enamel reducers, white spirits Ketones, alcohols, toluene, petroleum distillates, mineral spirits Paint wastes, spent solvents, toxic wastes
Paint Removal Solvents, paint thinners, enamel reducers, white spirits Acetone, toluene, benzene, petroleum distillates, methanol, methylene chloride, isopropyl alcohol, mineral spirits, alcohols, ketones, other oxygenated solvents Paint wastes, spent solvents, toxic wastes
Tank Cleanout Solvents or cleaners to wash out tanks, residues Solvents, petroleum products in tanks Tank draws containing toxic residues
Installing Lead-Acid Batteries Used batteries of cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles and other vehicles Lead dross Acid/alkaline wastes, batteries (lead-acid)

Table 2
Vehicle Maintenance Waste Descriptions1


Waste Type Designations/Trade Names DOT Shipping Name Hazard Class UN/NA ID Number
Strong Acid/Alkaline Wastes
Ammonium Hydroxide Ammonium Hydroxide, NH4, OH, Spirit of Hartshorn, Aqua Ammonia Waste Ammonium Hydroxide (containing not less than 12% ammonia but not more than 44% ammonia)
(containing less than 12%)
Corrosive MaterialORM-A NA2672NA2672
Hydrobromic Acid Hydrobromic Acid, HBr Waste Hydrobromic Acid (no more than 49% strength) Corrosive Material UN1788
Hydrochloric Acid Hydrochloric Acid, HCl, Muriatic Acid Waste Hydrochloric Acid Corrosive Material NA1789
Hydrofluoric Acid Hydrofluoric Acid, HF, Fluorohydric Acid Waste Hydrofluoric Acid Corrosive Material UN1790
Nitric Acid Nitric Acid, HNO2 Waste Nitric Acid (over 40%)(40% or less) OxydizerCorrosive Material UN2031NA1760
Phosphoric Acid Phosphoric Acid, H3PO4, Orthophosphoric Acid Waste Phosphoric Acid Corrosive Material UN1805
Potassium Hydroxide Potassium Hydroxide, KOH, Potassium Hydrate, Caustic Potash, Potassa Waste Potassium Hydroxide Solution, Dry Solid, Flake, Bead, or Granular Corrosive Material
Corrosive Material
Sodium Hydroxide Sodium Hydroxide, NaOH, Caustic Soda, Soda Lye, Sodium Hydrate Waste Sodium Hydroxide Solution, Dry Solid, Flake, Bead, or Granular Corrosive Material
Corrosive Material
Sulfuric Acid Sulfuric Acid, H2OSO, Oil or Vitriol Waste Sulfuric Acid Corrosive Material UN1830
Chromic Acid Chromic Acid Waste Chromic Acid Solution Corrosive Material UN1755
Spent Solvents and Ignitable or Toxic Wastes Containing:
Ethylene Dichloride Ethylene Dichloride, 1, 2-, Dichloreoethane Waste Ethylene Dichloride Flammable Liquid UN1184
Benzene* Benzene Waste Benzene (benzol) Flammable Liquid UN1114
Toluene Toluene Waste Toluene (tuluol) Flammable Liquid UN1294
Ethyl Benzene Ethyl Benzene Waste Ethyl Benzene Flammable Liquid UN1175
Chlorobenzene* Chlorobenzene, Monochlorobenzene, Phenylchloride Waste Chlorobenzene Flammable Liquid UN1134
Cresols* o-Cresol, m-Cresol, p-Cresol, (m,p)-Cresol, (m,m,p)-Cresol Waste Cresol Corrosive Material UN2076
Trichloroethylene* TCE, Gemalgene, Lanadin, Lethurin, Nialk, Perm-a-Chlor Waste Trichloroethylene ORM-A UN1710
Methyl Ethyl Ketone* Methyl Ethyl Ketone, MEK, Methyl Acetone, Meetco, Butanone, Ethyl Methyl Ketone Waste Methyl Ethyl Ketone Flammable Liquid UN1193
Chloroform* Chloroform Waste Chloroform ORM-A UN1888
Carbon Tetrachloride* Perchloromethane Tetraform Carbona Halon 104 Waste Carbon Tetrachloride ORM-A UN1846
Hexachloroethane* Hexachloroethane Waste Hexachloroethane ORM-A NA9037
White Spirits, Varsol White Spirits, Mineral Spirits, Naphtha Waste Naptha Flammable Liquid UN2553
1,1,10Trichloroethane Aerothene TT, Chlorten, Chloroethane, Methyl Chloroform, Alpha T, Chlorotene Waste 1,1,10Trichloroethane ORM-A UN2831
Petroleum Distillates Petroleum Distillates Waste Petroleum Distillates Flammable Liquid
Combustible Liquid
Paint Wastes with Heavy Metals
Heavy Metal Paints or paint sludges with: Lead*, Nickel*, Chromium* Heavy Metal Paints Hazardous Waste, Liquid, or Solid, NOS4 ORM-E NA9189
Other Wastes
Lead-Acid Batteries Lead-Acid Batteries Lead Dross (containing 3% or more free acid) ORM-C NA1794
Used Oil Various petroleum products Waste Petroleum Oil, NOSWaste Petroleum Oil, NOS Combustible Liquid
Combustible Liquid
Ignitable Wastes, NOS Hazardous Waste, Liquid or Solid, NOS ORM-E UN9189
Hazardous Wastes, NOS Hazardous Waste, Liquid or Solid, NOS ORM-E UN9189

Source: US EPA

Web Page produced by CCAR®