Original Date: 07/23/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Paint Solvent Recycling
Nascote implemented a paint solvent recycling program which eliminated problems associated with recycling spent purge solvent from its painting system. The new method has also produced substantial savings for the company.
On both of Nascote's robotic paint lines, a solvent was used to achieve proper paint consistency and to purge the nozzles between frequent paint color changes. Both the color and prime lines generated spent purge solvent as a waste. The spent solvent, classified as a hazardous waste, was collected and shipped to a fuel blending facility where the waste was combined with other materials and burned. However, this method still released pollutants into the atmosphere during incineration of the blended material. In addition, the EPA required that at least 70% of all spent solvent be captured, and only 30% of the spent solvent could be collected for shipment to the blending facility using the old method.
Under the current recycling or disposal method, initiated in mid-1996, a more efficient capture method collects over 85% of all spent solvent. Nascote pumps the spent material directly into tanker trucks and ships it to Gage Products in Ferndale, Michigan who recycles the material by cleaning out the impurities and returns the clean material to Nascote for reuse. Any spent solvent not captured is mixed with the paint sludge and treated separately. As a result of the current capture method, Nascote shows a 91% average recyclable rate for solvent and consequently, the amount of new solvent purchased is greatly reduced.
The new method has virtually eliminated spent solvent as a hazardous waste to the environment. The company projects annual savings of over $100 thousand per year by recycling spent solvent.
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