United States
                         Environmental Protection
                                     Risk Reduction
                                     Engineering Laboratory
                                     Cincinnati OH 45268
                         Research and Development
                                     EPA/600/S-92/003  May 1992
              Waste Reduction Activities and Options at a Printer of
                    Forms and Supplies for the  Legal Profession
                                Patrick Eyraud and Daniel J. Watts*
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded a
project with the New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protection and Energy (NJDEPE) to assist in conducting waste
minimization assessments at thirty small-to medium-sized busi-
nesses in the state of New Jersey. One of the sites selected
was a printer of forms, business cards, and office supplies for
the  legal profession. A site  visit was made in 1990  during
which several opportunities for waste minimization were identi-
fied. Prior to the site visit, the company  had already incorpo-
rated several waste minimization activities into its operations.
These activities included waste  and scrap paper sorting for
recycling and reuse,  laundering cleaning rags for reuse, and
identifying less hazardous process-related materials. The as-
sessment team identified waste  minimization opportunities  in
addition to those the company had already implemented. One
opportunity was the off-site recovery of silver from the  photo-
graphic  process waste stream.  The  team also identified  3
options in the engraving process. The first two involved regen-
eration of the spent bath solution either by off-site electrolytic
process or the use of an electrolytic recirculating cell. The third
option was the use of cupric chloride solution as an etchant
rather than the more hazardous ferric chloride solution in use.
The site team also recommended that the company shift from
chemical plate cleaning to a mechanical technique, similar  to
those adopted in the metal finishing industry. Typically, such
techniques include polishing (including  abrasion), brushing,
and sand blasting. The  waste reduction  option for ink sludge
generated from water-based cleaning of equipment included
consideration of whether the residual solids could be used for
reincorporation into the ink.
  Patrick Eyraud and Daniel J. Watts are with New Jersey Institute of Technol-
  ogy, Newark, NJ 07102
                         This Research Brief was developed by the Principal Investiga-
                         tors and EPA's Risk Reduction Engineering Laboratory in Cin-
                         cinnati, OH, to announce key findings of this completed as-

                         The environmental issues facing industry today have expanded
                         considerably  beyond traditional  concerns. Waste Water, air
                         emissions, potential soil and groundwater contamination, solid
                         waste disposal, and employee health and safety have become
                         increasingly important concerns. The management and dis-
                         posal of hazardous substances, including both process-related
                         wastes and residues from waste treatment, receive significant
                         attention because of regulation and economics.

                         As environmental  issues  have become more complex,  the
                         strategies for waste management and control have become
                         more systematic and integrated. The positive role of waste
                         minimization and pollution prevention within industrial opera-
                         tions at each stage of product life is recognized throughout the
                         world. An ideal goal is to manufacture products while generat-
                         ing the least amount of waste possible.

                         The Hazardous Waste  Advisement Program (HWAP) of  the
                         Division of Hazardous Waste Management, NJDEPE, is pursu-
                         ing the goals of waste  minimization awareness and program
                         implementation in the state. HWAP, with the help of an EPA
                         grant from the Risk Reduction  Engineering Laboratory, con-
                         ducted an Assessment of Reduction and Recycling Opportuni-
                         ties for Hazardous Waste (ARROW) project. ARROW was
                         designed to assess waste minimization potential across a broad
                         range of New Jersey industries. The project targeted thirty
                         sites to perform waste minimization assessments following the
                         approach outlined  in EPA's Waste Minimization Opportunity
                         Assessment Manual (EPA/625/7-88/003). Under  contract to

                                                  Og> Printed on Recycled Paper

NJDEPE, the  Hazardous Substance Management Research
Center at the  New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) as-
sisted In conducting the assessments. This research brief pre-
sents an assessment of a printing company (one of the 30
assessments performed) and provides recommendations for
waste minimization options resulting from the assessment.

Methodology of Assessments
The assessment process was coordinated by a-team of techni-
cal staff from NJIT with experience  in  process  operations.
basic chemistry, and environmental concerns and  needs. Be-
cause the EPA waste minimization manual is designed to be
primarily applied by the in-house staff of the facility, the degree
of Involvement of the NJIT team varied according to the ease
w'rth which the facility staff could  apply the manual. In some
cases, NJITs role  was  to  provide advice. In others,  NJIT
conducted essentially the entire evaluation.

The goal of the project was to encourage participation  in the
assessment process by  management and staff at the facility.
To do this, the participants were encouraged to proceed through
the organizational steps outlined in the manual. These steps
can be summarized as follows:

   Obtaining corporate commitment to a waste minimiza-
    tion Initiative
   Organizing a task force or similar group to carry out
    the assessment
    Developing a policy statement regarding waste mini-
     mization for issuance by corporate management
    Establishing tentative waste  reduction  goals to be
     achieved by the program
  *  Identifying waste-generating sites and processes
   Conducting a detailed site inspection
    Developing a  list of options  which may lead to the
    waste reduction goal
    Formally analyzing  the  feasibility of the various op-
    Measuring the  effectiveness of the options and con-
    tinuing the assessment

Not every facility was  able to follow these steps as presented.
In each case, however, the identification of waste-generating
sites and  processes,  detailed site inspections, and develop-
ment of options was carried out. Frequently, it  was necessary
for a hfeh degree of involvement by NJIT to accomplish these
steps. Two common reasons for needing outside participation
were a shortage of technical staff within the company  and a
need to develop an agenda for technical action before corpo-
rate commitment and policy  statements could be obtained.

ft was not a goal of the ARROW project to participate in the
feasibility  analysis  or implementation steps. However, NJIT
offered to provide advice for feasibility analysis if requested.

In each case, the NJIT team  made several site visits  to the
facility, initially, visits  were made to explain the EPA manual
and to encourage the facility through the organizational stages.
If delays and complications developed, the team offered assis-
tance in the technical  review, inspections, and option develop-
The Legal Supply Printing Company
The legal supply printing company produces, on a quick-turn-
around basis, legal forms, .business cards, and office supplies
for the legal profession. The company is noted for the high
quality of its product and takes care to ensure that the manu-
facturing process is  carried out in  such a way as to yield
acceptable products.

The manufacturing operations of the facility involve two major
procedures.  Impressions are made using either an engraving
process or a  printing process. These activities  and related
procedures,  including photo processes and  etching, present
potential opportunities for waste reduction.

Typical steps in the manufacturing process include the follow-
ing activities:

   After creative design, artistic, and layout work is com-
    pleted by  the design group, a photographic negative
    is produced using a normal photographic process with
    typical development techniques.
   A  subsequent phototransfer step reproduces the im-
    age on a metal plate using photoresist polymers which
    form in  areas exposed  to  light passing  through the
    photographic negative. Thus, light-exposed  areas of
    the plate become coated with the protective polymer
    and unexposed areas remain uncoated (unprotected).
    Copper plates are used  in the engraving process and
    aluminum plates in the printing process.
   For the engraving process, the next step is the etch-
    ing operation, involving further processing of the cop-
    per plate  upon which the desired image was trans-
    ferred by the photographic process. The etching step
    accomplishes  the chemical removal of  unprotected
    copper, creating  depth differences on the plate which
    can be used to transfer the image to paper.
   The final  step in the  engraving  plate preparation is
    plate  cleaning to remove the polymeric  photoresist
    coating. Currently, the final cleaning step is done by
    immersing the plate in a bath of N-methylpyrrolidone,
    which dissolves  the polymer leaving a clean, bare-
    metal plate.
   The final operation in the engraving process is print-
    ing the impression which requires use of ink to trans-
    fer the desired image from the plate onto paper.
   For the preparation of the printing plates, photoresist
    monomer coated on aluminum sheets is polymerized
    by light passing through a photographic negative. Af-
    ter washing away unreacted  monomer,  the  unpro-
    tected aluminum is partially dissolved away using acid.
    The protective polymer is cleaned away.
   The final operation in the printing process is printing
    the impression which  requires use of ink to transfer
    the desired image from the plate onto paper.

The company  is conducting a waste reduction program involv-

  (1)  sorting, recycling, and  reusing  waste and  scrap

  (2)  laundering and reusing cleaning rags that are widely
       used during printing operations;

   (3)  using inks,  cleaners, and related  materials that
       reduce hazardous levels compared with products
       previously used. This step also promotes employee
       health and safety.

 For example, the facility shifted to the use of water-based inks
 and equipment cleaners where possible.

 the main objective of the company  for beginning a waste
 minimization opportunities assessment was to identify (1) other
 areas of possible waste reduction and (2) options for reducing
 waste in  these  areas. While the technical  and management
 staffs  of  the company are committed to  the  goal of waste
 reduction, the time available for them to focus on the question
 is limited. One  objective of this  study, therefore,  is to make
 more efficient the investment of technical time by developing a
 concise listing of opportunity areas and technological options.

 The Processes, Waste Streams, and Options
 Within manufacturing operations there are two major processes,
 engraving and printing, which are used for different purposes
 and products.  While these two processes  involve different
 steps, the first step (a photographic operation) is  common to

 After the creative design, artistic, and layout work is completed
 by the design group, a photographic negative is produced
 using a normal photographic process with typical development
 techniques.  A subsequent phototransfer step is used to repro-
 duce the image on a metal plate. Copper plates are used in the
 engraving process and aluminum plates in the printing pro-

 Historically, the wastestreams from photo developing processes,
 as in many photographic operations, entered the sewage treat-
 ment system with the knowledge of the local sewage authority.
 Currently, the developer and related solutions are managed as
 hazardous waste.  Because of the silver content of the photo-
 graphic process, it is possible that the liquid waste streams,
 particularly the spent developer solution, contain enough silver
 to support a silver recovery operation. The volume  may be too
 tow to justify the recovery step onstte, but it is  recommended
 that contact be made with silver reclamation facilities to explore
 this possibility.

 The Engraving Process
 The primary step within the engraving process where waste
 reduction  opportunities occur is in the  etching operation.  The
 etching step further processes the copper plate upon which the
 desired image was transferred by the photographic process.
 Etching involves the chemical removal  of unprotected copper,
 creating depth differences on the plate which can  be used to
 transfer the image to paper.

 The chemical system used is a solution with a starting compo-
 sition of 55% ferric chloride and  45%  hydrochloric acid.  The
 copper plates move through this bath, allowing the unprotected
 metal surfaces to dissolve. As the copper content in the bath
 rises, the system loses it effectiveness.  At a copper concentra-
tion of about 17 mg/L, the bath is replaced. The spent acidic
 iron and copper chloride solution is  currently disposed of as
 hazardous waste at an annual cost  exceeding  $10,000.  The
 metal mixture complicates reuse and recycling possibilities for
the spent  bath. Three options can be  used to  reduce waste
generated from the process:
   (1)  Use an off-site vendor to regenerate the spent bath
       solution (probably  by an electrolytic process) and
       return the  renewed  solution  to  the company for
       reuse. The renewal process may also require pH
       adjustment before reuse.
   (2)  Establish the bath regeneration step at the site. An
       example of applicable equipment is a metal recovery
       system, "Napzap,"" which is available from Napco

       Napzap is an  electrolytic  recirculating  cell.  This
       circular  plating  cell can  be used  to remove the
       dissolved copper from the  spent etching solution.
       The recovered metal  is removed mechanically from
       the electrode and sold as scrap copper. The copper-
       free etching solution can be reused, perhaps needing
       some readjustment of pH and ferric chloride content.
       The recovery system is easy to operate and does
       not require staff expansion dedicated only to its

   (3)  Use a cupric chloride solution as the etchant rather
       than a ferric chloride  solution. The basic chemistry
       involved is described  by the following reaction:
                Cu + CuCI2	>2CuCI

 Regenerate the etching solution by oxidation using hydrogen
 peroxide, for example, as  an oxidizing agent.
       2 CuCI + H202 + 2 HCI
+ 2 H20
 This  process builds  up the copper content  in  the  etching
 solution  necessitating periodic bleed-off. The bleed stream
 should be relatively pure copper chloride which could be used
 for other beneficial purposes or serve as a source for metallic
 copper, ft should not require disposal.

 The final step in engraving plate preparation is plate cleaning,
 which removes the polymeric photoresist coating that protected
 the portions  of the copper plate  during the etching process.
 Currently, the final cleaning step is done by immersing the
 plate  in a bath of N-methylpyrrolidone. The polymer dissolves,
 leaving a clean, bare-metal plate.

 Eventually, the solute level increases and  the bath  solvent
 becomes ineffective. Currently this spent solvent is drummed
 and shipped as hazardous waste for disposal.

 Waste reduction options are: 1) Recover and  reuse the organic
 solvent. This option would require distillation to purify the sol-
 vent.  Still bottoms would continue to require disposal,  but the
 total volume  and intrinsic value of the  materials sent  for dis-
 posal should be substantially reduced compared to the existing
 practice.  2)  Shift from a chemical cleaning  to a  mechanical
 plate  cleaning technique. Analogous approaches  have been
 adopted in the metal finishing industry. These techniques typi-
cally avoid the use of chemicals and include:

   polishing (including abrasion)
   sand blasting
 Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorse-
 ment or recommendation for use.

Spedal care would  have to be  taken in  selecting  such a
mechanical cleaning process in order to protect the integrity of
the fine detail on the plate surface. Proper selection of the
gritty material used in the sand blasting option could provide
the needed balance between coating removal and  surface
protection. Usually, even the mechanical surface cleaning tech-
nologies will produce wastes. The waste  stream  will be a
mixture of the abrasive material and the residue cleaned from
the surface. In  individual situations, a determination must be
made regarding the regulatory status of the waste.

The final operation in  the engraving  process is printing the
Impression itself. The waste generated from this step is ink
sludge which results from water-based cleaning of equipment.
The waste  ink is transferred to a sink where the  soluble
components are washed away. The insoluble components are
collected in a trap from which the sludge is removed weekly.
Approximately  110 gal of this material is generated annually.
The waste reduction option for this operation included consid-
eration of  whether these residual  solids could  be used for
reincorporation into the ink. This option would require coordina-
tion with the ink manufacturer.

The Printing Process
Two fundamental differences between the engraving process
and the printing process are the type of plate used and the
composition of the ink. The printing plate is aluminum and the
ink used is solvent-based rather than water-based.  Two pollu-
tion prevention opportunities in the printing process  are the
Impression step and the equipment-cleaning step.

The inks used  in making the impressions contain the following
major components:

    middle distillates
    mineral spirits
    solvent naphtha
    carbon black

 The formulation is carefully devised to provide fluidity, which
 changes with the evaporation of the low boiling solvents. The
 higher boiling solvents evaporate later, yielding the final "cured"
 Impression. In this process, the solvent is transferred into the
 air. Switching  to a water-based  ink system which  has the
 necessary performance properties to maintain production rates
 and product quality is a pollution prevention option. Water-
 based inks are commercially available for this application. One
 type of water-based inks which has been successfully applied
 In Canada uses materials derived from soy beans.

 Equipment Cleaning
 Because solvent-based inks are currently used, the equipment
 Is cleaned with a solvent-based product. The current cleaner is
 a formulation containing:

    aromatic hydrocarbons
    aliphatic hydrocarbons
    glycol ether

 Two  pollution prevention options  in the equipment-cleaning
 step  are  (1) laundering and reusing cleaning  rags (already
 done at this facility) and (2) using a non-solvent-based cleaner.
Cleaners based on the use of surfactants in water solutions are
available commercially. Changing to a water-based ink elimi-
nates the need for a solvent-based cleaner.

Training and Incentives
An ultimate goal of a corporate waste reduction/pollution pre-
vention program is to make the idea of waste reduction a part
of the everyday thinking and actions of each employee. A key
aspect of this is a training  program for every employee. The
training could include discussions and illustrations of the corpo-
rate  commitment to waste reduction, the types of waste cur-
rently generated at the facility, and the areas within the facility
where they are generated. Training could also include discus-
sion of the methods of storage, treatment, and disposal  re-
quired for these wastes; the costs  of treatment  and  disposal;
and  some examples of waste reduction success stories at the
facility or at other corporate sites.  Such training could  be
incorporated into general employee training programs.

Some discussion of the importance of each employee to the
continuing waste reduction  effort is also valuable. Companies
such as DuPont,  Monsanto,  Dow  Chemical,  and 3M have
found that the  development  of an  incentive and recognition
program for waste reduction ideas developed and submitted by
employees has been very successful. Obviously, the employ-
ees who carry out the activities are the ones most directly
responsible for the generation of waste. They have the best
ideas for reducing the amount of waste created. These compa-
nies, among others, reward such ideas monetarily or provide
other recognition in newsletters or  posters.  A similar program
at this facility might have value.

Because a waste reduction program is not a one-time activity,
continuous employee training and awareness is important. Regu-
lar  monitoring  and reporting  of waste reduction  results can
facilitate the ongoing effectiveness of the program with employ-

The waste minimization opportunities assessment at the facility
 has identified  several  options which  potentially reduce  the
quantity of waste generated during the company's operations.
The etching  process, in particular,  presents opportunities with
 regard to the  etchant bath  and  the  etched plate cleaning
 procedure for significant waste reduction with attendant cost

 Other options, such  as the  move toward  non-solvent-based
 inks and cleaners, may have to wait until suppliers can provide
 the appropriate materials to allow maintenance or improvement
 of production rates and product quality. It is suggested, how-
 ever, that the  facility  make  the  suppliers aware that such
 products are desired.

 Summary of Waste Minimization Opportunities
Table 1 presents the type of waste currently generated by the
 plant, the sources of waste, the  quantity  of waste, and the
 annual treatment and disposal costs (where known  and avail-

 Table 2 presents the opportunities  for waste minimization iden-
 tified during the assessment. The types of waste, the minimiza-
 tion opportunities, and possible waste reductions are presented
 in the table. When available or estimable, the associated sav-

 ings, implementation costs,  and payback times are  usually
 determined. However, because the feasibility analysis was to
 be carried out by the staff of the facility, that information was
 not readily available for this assessment.

 This Research Brief summarizes a part of the work done under
 cooperative Agreement No.  CR-815165 by  the  New Jersey
 Institute  of Technology  under the sponsorship  of  the New
                                    Jersey Department  of Environmental  Protection and  Energy
                                    and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA Project
                                    Officer was Mary Ann Curran. She can be reached at:

                                            Pollution Prevention Research Branch
                                            Risk Reduction Engineering Laboratory
                                            U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                                            Cincinnati, OH 45268
 Table 1  Summary of Generated Wastes
 Waste Generated
Source of Waste
Annual Quantity    Annual
Generated (gal)   Costs ($)
Darkroom Wastes
Solvent Containing
Photoresist Polymer
Spent Etching
Ink Sludge
Cleaning of Printing
and Engraving Plates
Removal of Unprotected
Metal from Water Soluble Inks
Insoluble Residues
from Water Soluble Inks
Used for Press Cleanup from
Solvent Based Inks
Table 2 Summary of Waste Minimization Options Identified
Consider Silver
Recovery by ion
exchange or
Distill and
reuse the
Annual Waste
Quantity Percent
The volume of water
would be essentially
unchanged, but the
silver content would
be lowered.
130 gal 60%
Net Annual
tion Cost
                                                (This is a high boiling
                                                solvent which will need
                                                vacuum distillation
                                                equipment to prevent
                                                decomposition. A waste
                                                stream of still bottoms
                                                will also be generated.)
                                                                    &V.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1992 - 648-080/40243



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Environmental Protection
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Research Information
Cincinnati, OH 45268
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