United States              Solid Waste and
                      Environmental Protection      Emergency Resonse      EPA530-F-95-015
                      Agency                  (5305W)

                      Office of Solid Waste
&EPA         Environmental
                      Fact  Sheet

                      REGULATIONS ON  RECYCLING

                        The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the states are working
                       together to revise the regulatory definition of solid waste under the
                       Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Specifically, the
                       revisions will improve EPA's regulation of hazardous waste recycling by:
                       (1) removing disincentives that may cause industries to choose disposal
                       over safe recycling; (2) concentrating on higher-risk materials that pose
                       greater hazards to human health and the environment; and (3) developing
                       simpler definitions and regulations.
                         These revisions will support many of President Clinton's 10 principles for
                       reinventing environmental protection. EPA's goal is to minimize costs and
                       establish performance-based, understandable regulations that work in
                       partnership with state and local requirements.

      In September 1994, EPA issued a report entitled, Re-engineering RCRA for Recycling.
     Developed in cooperation with the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste
     Management Officials (ASTSWMO), the report proposes tailored management con-
     trols for different categories of hazardous waste recyclers. Following the recommenda-
     tions of EPA's Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response, the
     Agency plans to revise and streamline RCRA requirements for on-site recycling, and to
     further clarify which materials need full management as RCRA hazardous waste.

      EPA and the states (through ASTSWMO) have developed a detailed strategy for ad-
     dressing jurisdiction, and for streamlining and implementing requirements for regulated
     recycling activities. Key points of the program plan include:
       Clarifying jurisdiction by determining which recyclable materials are excluded from
        RCRA management These materials are those destined for more processing rather
        than disposal, and whose recycling resembles manufacturing more than waste
        management  Some of these "in-process" exclusions will be generic and applicable
        to many industries. Others will be tailored to specific industries, such as petroleum
        refining and mineral processing.
       Refining management requirements for activities within RCRA jurisdiction so that
        they encourage recycling while maintaining environmental protection. The manage-

   ment requirements will be tailored to different kinds of recycling in order to better
   address die varying practices and materials associated with different industries.
   Examining appropriate training needs, information management, and state authori-
   zation issues in order to more easily implement new regulations. Designing rules
   with these issues in mind will help to ensure their successful implementation.
  Some revisions affecting petroleum refining and mining will occur in separate
rulemakings within a year. EPA also expects to issue a draft revision to the definition of
solid waste in 1996.

More Information

  This fact sheet is available in electronic format on the Internet through the EPA
Public Access Server at gopher.epa.gov. It is available under: EPA Offices and Regions/
Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER)/Office of Solid Waste/Hazardous
Waste/Hazardous Waste Recycling.
  For additional information or to order paper copies of this fact sheet, call the RCRA
Hotline. Callers within the Washington Metropolitan Area must dial 703-412-9810 or
TDD 703-412-3323 (hearing impaired). Long-distance callers may call toll-free, 1-800-
424-9346 or TDD 1-800- 553-7672. The RCRA Hotline is open Monday-Friday, 8:30
a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.
  Copies of Re-engineering RCRA for Recycling, and other documents may be obtained by
writing: RCRA Information Center (RIC), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Office of Solid Waste (5305W), 401 M Street SW, Washington, DC 20460.