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Identify Common Wastes in Aerospace/ Aircraft Facilities

The table below may help aerospace facilities and airplane manufacturers and jobbers to identify places in their processes where they may be generating dangerous waste. 

Pollution Prevention for Aerospace/Aircraft Facilities offers tips to reduce waste.

Common Wastes in Aerospace Facilities

Waste

Type of Waste and Why

Possible Waste Code

Aerosol cans Propellant may be ignitable, and the product in the can may also be dangerous waste due to toxicity or ignitability. Empty cans and punctured cans are not regulated as dangerous waste and can be recycled. Characteristic: D001

Use knowledge or test to determine the waste code of contents.

Acid/alkaline solutions, metal-bearing and cyanide bearing solutions Metal cleaning and plating wastes often designate as dangerous waste due to corrosivity and also contain solvents and metals that may designate. Sludges from the treatment of metal cleaning and plating wastewaters also designate as dangerous waste.
Characteristic: D002

Use knowledge or test to determine additional waste codes that apply to the waste.
Degreasing solvents Solvents used for large scale degreasing such as 1,1,1-trichloroethane, methylene chloride, trichloroethylene are listed dangerous waste because of their toxicity. Listed: F001
Waste methylene chloride paint thinner

See Solvents.

Solvent contaminated waste and used solvent designate as listed dangerous waste: Discarded, unused material is a commercial chemical product listed for toxicity. Listed: F002, U080
Waste methylene chloride paint sludge stripped from parts equipment

See Solvents.

Listed dangerous waste if the solvent blend contains, before use, 10% or more of methylene chloride. Listed: F002
Waste gun-cleaning solvent

See Solvents.

Listed and ignitable dangerous waste if the solvent blend contains, before use, 10% or more of a listed solvent such as, toluene or MEK. The mixture may also have a flash point below 140°F. Listed: F005

Characteristic: D001

Waste paint thinner

See Solvents.

Listed and ignitable dangerous waste if the solvent blend contains, before use, 10% or more of a listed solvent such as toluene or MEK. The mixture may also have a flash point below 140°F. Listed: F005

Characteristic: D001

Sludge or “bottoms” from solvent still that recycles gun cleaner or thinner Listed and often ignitable dangerous waste: Still bottoms from a still where the solvent blend contains, before use, 10% or more of solvents such as, toluene, and MEK. The mixture may also have a flash point below 140°F. Listed: F005

Characteristic: D001

Waste or expired oil- (solvent-) based paint. Ignitable dangerous waste if the flash point is below 140°F. Also state-only dangerous waste, often, due to metal content. Characteristic: D001


Use knowledge or test to determine additional waste codes that apply to the waste.

Absorbent materials, such as Speedi-dry, contaminated with dangerous waste Absorbents contaminated with dangerous waste become dangerous waste. Code depends on materials absorbed.
Shop Towels/ Rags/ Debris Contaminated with Dangerous Waste Shop Towels/Rags/Debris contaminated with dangerous waste are dangerous waste.

 However, non-dripping rags/ towels are not considered dangerous waste if they are:

  • Laundered at an appropriate facility
  • Stored in closed containers labeled as “contaminated shop towels” away from a source of ignition AND
  • Not mixed with other waste
Code depends on contamination.
Shop towels are not regulated as hazardous waste if properly accumulated and laundered.
Mercury-containing light Bulbs/lamps

(Fluorescent bulbs)

Bulbs and tubes can designate as toxic dangerous waste, due to mercury, but they can be handled as a universal waste. Characteristic: D009

Not regulated as dangerous waste if handled as Universal Waste.

PCB-Containing Light Ballasts Ballasts are regulated as state-only dangerous waste if the PCB concentration of ≥ 2 ppm State only: WPCB
Paint booth wash water

See Paint.

Paint booth wash water is often a characteristic dangerous waste because of contamination with metals such as barium, cadmium, chromium, lead or selenium.


Paint booth filters may also designate as dangerous waste.

Use knowledge or test to determine waste codes that apply to the waste.
Oils: Metal working oils, coolants, and debris contaminated with these materials

See Used Oil.

Oils from change-out of fluids and wastes from clean up of leaks and spills are often persistent dangerous wastes due to halogenated hydrocarbons and toxic dangerous waste. State only: WP02, WT02