As an extended service of _____________________________________________, you will receive fact sheets to help you learn how to investigate, select and use waste minimization opportunities for your industry. Reducing or eliminating hazardous substances is an important business decision. When you use hazardous chemicals in your processes, you are not just making a one-time purchase of the material, you are also paying for:
These costs add up, and finding alternatives to these substances should be a priority. Alternatives are available and often out-perform old process equipment and chemicals.
Proper storage and disposal Permits Protecting worker health submitting required reports training employees
How can printers' pollution prevention efforts help industrial laundries?
Often small amounts of hazardous materials are left in industrial shop towels and wipes after use. The wipes are usually not treated as hazardous waste and are often cleaned by industrial laundries for re-use.
Wipes and towels from printers often contain inks and solvents composed of hazardous materials. These chemicals are transferred to the industrial laundry's wastewater during washing.
Efforts by printers to reduce the amount of hazardous substances they use and discard in wipes will reduce the pollutant load in the laundries' wastewater. Pollution prevention efforts to substitute less hazardous inks and solvents or to minimize the amounts used will benefit both printers and laundries.
The pollution prevention ideas in this fact sheet may help you lessen the overall impact of your facility on the environment as well as potentially reduce operating costs.
Review Opportunities to Use Less Hazardous InksWHO TO CALL FOR HELP
Less hazardous inks mean less hazardous materials left on shop towels and wipes.
- Consider using inks with less hazardous ingredients.
Review Opportunities to Use Less Hazardous Cleaners
Less hazardous cleaners mean less hazardous materials left on shop towels and wipes.
- Consider using cleaners and solvents with a lower volatile organic compound (VOC) content.
Reduce the Amount of Solvents and Cleaners Used
Employees often have ideas on how to use less solvents. Check with them.
- Use a spray bottle or plunger can to deliver solvents where they're needed.
- Don't dip shop towels or wipes into open solvent containers.
- Reduce the size of the shop towel or wipe. You'll reduce the amount of solvent used at the same time.
- Consider reusing shop towels or wipes for multiple blanket washes.
- Keep used wipes and towels in closed containers between uses.
- Limit the amount of solvent available for use each day.
- Consider developing a multiple stage cleaning process.
Spray Gun Cleaning Tips
- Consider developing a multiple stage cleaning process with a soak stage using partially spent solvent.
- Keep spray guns in proper working condition. This minimizes cleaning effort and solvent use.
- Immerse only the spray gun tip when cleaning.
Recover Solvents and Cleaners from Towels and Wipes Before They Are Sent to the Laundry. Recovery methods include:
- Gravity Drain
- Hand Wringing
- Automatic wringing
- Centrifuging--explosion proof
- VOC stripping using steam
- Use a liner (mesh type bag) in the used towel/wipe collection container to keep the wipes above any free liquid in the bottom of the container
- Don't put towels or wipes with free liquid into the collection container--wring them out first
- Recovered solvents may be reused
- Share Material Safety Data Sheets for materials used in your shop with your launderer
- Collect, store and transport used shop towels and wipes to the laundry facility in closed containers
- Don't use shop towels or wipes to clean up spills of hazardous materials or to dispose of excess materials
- Sort shop towels or wipes according to the types of materials they may contain
For Free, Non-Regulatory Assistance and Referrals, contact PPRC.
© 1999, Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
phone: 206-352-2050, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, web: www.pprc.org