Best Management Practices for Commercial Laundries of Shop Towels
Commercial laundries are often called upon to recycle used shop towels.
Follow these Best Management Practices for your safety and that of your
- Make sure your customers remove all free liquids from shop rags and
separating hazardous from non-hazardous towels. During storage maintain
separation of incompatible wastes
- Make sure that used shop towels with
hazardous solvents are collected, transported and stored in closed
containers. Store in containers that are in good condition and labeled with
the words “contaminated shop towels.” Make sure that there is adequate
separation between containers to allow access for emergency equipment in
case of fire. Ensure that containers are compatible with the materials
stored in them.
- Containers holding flammable materials must be managed according to all
local fire department standards. They must be sufficiently separated from
all external sources of ignition. “No smoking signs shall be legible and
placed at all accumulation areas. Such areas must meet the minimum property
line setback requirements. Container type, color, and labels must also meet
local fire department codes.
- Make sure you meet all applicable federal,
state, and local environmental standards such as pretreatment requirements
for the discharge of wastewater to a publicly owned treatment works (POTW),
requirements for maintaining closed loop systems (for dry cleaners) or other
recycling systems, and requirements for the proper disposal of pre-treatment
and/or recycling residuals.
- The owner/operator must ensure that all employees are thoroughly
familiar with proper waste handling, and emergency procedures, relevant to
their responsibilities during normal facility operations and emergencies.
Employees must know the location of all fire extinguishers and fire alarm(s)
and the telephone number of the fire department must be clearly visible next
to all emergency communication devices such as telephones.
addresses handling and best practices for solvent safety
Focus on: Used Shop
Towels is an Ecology publication that discusses the Best Management
Practices for generators and recyclers.
Copyright © Washington State Department of Ecology. See http://www.ecy.wa.gov/copyright.htm