Fiberglass and metal fabrication waste

Businesses that work with fiberglass fabrication use resins and solvents that can become dangerous waste. We work with businesses to ensure these materials are properly managed when they become waste.

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If you are a household or individual, please go to 1-800-RECYCLE to learn more about recycling household waste.

Common types of dangerous waste in fiberglass and metal fabrication

Common wastes within this industry include:

  • Aerosol cans
  • Adhesives
  • Fluorescent bulbs and PCB-containing light ballasts
  • Foaming agents
  • Initiators and catalysts
  • Overspray solids, trim-ends, and cutouts
  • Paint (waste or expired, oil-based) and paint booth filters
  • Resin (solvated or residual) such as styrene monomer
  • Release agents
  • Sanding dust (test to determine waste codes)
  • Solvents:
    • Methylene chloride
    • Trichloroethylene
    • Waste methylene chloride paint thinner
    • Waste methylene chloride paint sludge stripped from parts equipment
    • Toluene or MEK
    • Sludge or “bottoms” from solvent stills that recycle gun cleaner or thinner
  • Used shop towels and other absorbent materials (kitty litter for oil, for example)

Pollution prevention for metal fabrication

The following ideas have been used in metal fabrication shops around the state to prevent pollution:

  • Extend machine coolant life to reduce waste.
  • Keep contaminants out of coolant sumps.
  • Use biocides such as silver to reduce bacteria.
  • Remove oils and metal chips from coolant periodically.
  • Sanitize sumps and equipment periodically.
  • Drain metal chips completely and recycle chips and coolant.
  • Use countercurrent rinses and multiple rinse stages.
  • Reduce bath drag-out by slowing withdrawal of parts from bath.
  • Optimize orientation of parts on racks.
  • Maximize drip time (at least 20 seconds).
  • Use drain boards between tanks.
  • Use fog spray rinsing.
  • Use air knives or squeegees to wipe bath solutions off parts.
  • Use minimum bath concentrations.
  • Reduce wastes from cleaning operations.
  • Reduce the need to clean.
  • Extend cleaner life.
  • Maximize the efficiency of the cleaning system.
  • Use less toxic cleaners.
  • Reduce painting wastes.
  • Reduce plating wastes.
  • Reclaim solvent for reuse.