EPA Reforms Rule on Hazardous Waste, Boosts Recycling

epa rule reform photo

Photo Via Montgomery City Division of Solid Waste Services

The EPA is under the gun since the Government Accountability Office uncovered their gross inefficiency at monitoring e-waste. And that makes the lastest news to come through a little bit hair raising.

The EPA, as part of their Regulatory Review and Reform initiative, has taken another look at just what "solid waste" means and tweaked the definition a bit. Apparently this is in the interest of recycling, so that more recyclable items are diverted from hazardous waste disposal sites and head to recycling plants instead.

Apparently this is to benefit small businesses. Seems like a good idea .on the surface. The "reward" from the EPA to small businesses is less paperwork — recycling is an easier way to get rid of stuff than hazardous waste disposal. So the EPA messed with the rules a little:

In reforming the rule, EPA streamlined requirements for certain hazardous secondary materials including:
Materials generated and legitimately reclaimed under the control of the generator;
Materials transferred to another company for legitimate reclamation; and
Materials that the EPA or an authorized state determines to be non-waste through a case-by-case petition process.

This should be good, right? After all, small businesses know what of their materials is reusable or not. Um, maybe.

The whole thing is definitely something to keep a very close eye on (not that they'll share much...) to ensure that overly lax standards don't jeopardize people and the environment.

Via Business Wire
More on the EPA:
EPA Tells Staff to Keep Quiet, Play Dumb with Regulators, Press
EPA Takes a Lax Approach to E-Waste Monitoring, GAO Report Finds
EPA Headquarters Goes Green... Finally
EPA: What, Us Regulate Pollution?

Related Content on Treehugger.com