We all know that recycling is helpful for the environment. Many people try to do their part by recycling plastics, papers, and metals. One form of recycling that is not as common is recycled chemicals. One way this can be done is with a solvent recycler.
Why Is This Important?
This can be important for a few reasons. Of course, helping the environment is important. Anytime we can use clean, renewable energy the environment benefits. The green companies that place importance on doing these things can benefit as well. Take Wilding Wallbeds for example. This is one of the leading companies in the manufacturing industry — they produce Murphy Beds, Wallbeds, and custom furniture. During the Wilding furniture manufacturing process, solvents (such as paint thinners, stains, and lacquers) become contaminated and are then considered hazardous waste. Investing in a solvent recycler has allowed the company to reclaim up to 95 percent of its solvents!
For one thing, the green company will not have to spend its time and resources to manage the solvent recycler because they’ll be alerted when the solvent reaches its threshold in the tank. In addition, the need to purchase new solvents would be greatly reduced. This can make a big difference in a green company’s compliance, record keeping, and reporting. Here are some benefits of solvent recycling:
- Operations personnel enjoy clean, eco-friendly solvent all the time and more efficient cleaning operations.
- Purchasing managers see drastic cost reductions
- Environmental, Health and Safety managers eliminate waste streams and EPA paperwork
- Sustainable solution for reducing hazardous waste disposal and resource consumption
How Do They Work?
Solvent recyclers work by heating a spent solvent (any material that has been used and as a result of contamination can no longer serve the purpose for which it was produced without processing) until it boils. This process causes the solvent to both vaporize and separate from the contaminants. The vapor will then go through a water condenser and return to liquid form — clean and ready for reuse. This saves companies that follow this example quite a bit.
How To Dispose Of Paint Thinner
If you have some paint thinner at home that you need to dispose of, there are some steps you should follow to make sure that it is done properly. Paint thinner and other similar chemicals can contaminate groundwater or even cause a fire if they are not properly disposed of. This is why they are classified as hazardous substances and you are required to dispose of them in a certain way. Wikihow provides a nice explanation, along with images that should help with this process.
- Along with the paint thinner, you probably have rags to dispose of too. A good way to dispose of them is to place them in a sealed metal container, fill it with water, and take it to a hazardous waste disposal site. Or you can place the rags on a non-flammable surface in a location that has decent ventilation and keep an eye on them until they are dry.
- For leftover paint thinner, you can leave it to sit in a sealed container. Make sure you label it! As time passes, the paint and contaminants will settle to the bottom. Keep in mind that this will depend on how dirty the paint thinner is and could take months.
- After it has settled, you can pour the top layer (that’s the clean stuff) into a clean jar while using a coffee filter. Seal the jar and label it.
- Let what remains in the container dry. You can accelerate the process by putting in some sand, sawdust, or kitty litter. Be sure you keep this is a safe place away from kids or pets.
- As the material dries, it will become solid. When this happens you can wrap it in newspaper and seal it inside of a plastic bag. It is now safe to throw it away in your trash.
- Dispose of your containers in the regular trash if you have less than an inch of residue inside the container and it is dry. Otherwise, take this to a hazardous waste collection location.