Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Waste Minimization
The Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant has undertaken an initiative to reduce or eliminate the generation of waste regulated as hazardous under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This effort involved the definition and evaluation of all RCRA waste streams to determine if reduction or elimination was possible, and the preparation of Action Plans showing how to achieve the desired results. A database containing all evaluation data is used to track progress and document successful efforts.
As RCRA hazardous waste management requirements grew increasingly stringent, Y-12 saw the need to reduce or eliminate hazardous waste streams wherever possible. All of the Y-12 Plant's RCRA waste streams in the uranium operations were evaluated to determine if they could be reduced or eliminated through improved inventory control, procedural changes, waste segregation, product substitution, process design modification, improved housekeeping, or employee awareness and education. Forty-two short term and 36 long term Action Plans were prepared to guide the implementation of each reduction or elimination effort that could be accomplished by utilizing these methods.
Prior to the waste minimization initiative, most wastes were disposed of as hazardous, including all waste oils. This initiative helped Y-12 to define and understand its waste streams, and to take actions to remove a significant amount of waste from the stringent and expensive RCRA regulatory scheme.
The RCRA Waste Minimization Initiative identified 75 RCRA waste streams within the uranium operations at Y-12. Using Action Plans developed from the evaluation of reduction and elimination methods, 37 waste streams have been eliminated. Unquantifiable benefits include a better understanding of plant waste streams and an awareness of the importance of waste segregation and characterization.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.