The DHS Waste Reduction Program

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Kim Wilhelm, Paul Hadley, David Hartley, and Robert McCormick Alternative Technology Section, Toxic Substances Control Division, California Department of Health Services


California's Waste Reduction Program is located in the Alternative Technology Section, Toxic Substances Control Division, Department of Health Services. Personnel supporting waste reduction efforts include one supervisor, three lead senior staff, and a multidisciplinary team of 25 engineers and scientists. These personnel are employed in the Waste Reduction Unit, the Resource Recovery Unit, and the Technology Clearinghouse Unit. These three units comprised the Waste Reduction Program. Each unit's activities are discussed below.


The major activities undertaken by the Waste Reduction Unit include managing the Department's Hazardous Waste Reduction Grants Program and contracting for waste audit studies to assist California's smaller businesses in reducing their hazardous wastes. Each of these two activities is discussed below.

Hazardous Waste Reduction Grants

With the passage of Assembly Bill 685 (AB 685, Farr), the Department was endowed with funding to provide grants to promote the research and commercial demonstration of technologies for reduction, recycling and treatment of hazardous wastes. Since its inception in 1985, the grants program has undertaken 68 research projects through three annual grant cycles. A fourth cycle is presently commencing, with requests for grant proposals currently being solicited. Initially provided with $1 million in annual funding, the budget for the grants program has been increased twice to the current level of 1.8 million dollars.

The grant program is comprised of four steps:

Step I Feasibility Study

Step II Design

Step III Construction

Step IV Demonstration

Grants are provided to successful proposers in matching shares, with the match proportions varying by step. Higher matches are available for grants to small businesses and governmental agencies.

Through the first three years of the grants program, a wide variety of projects have been undertaken with individuals, businesses, organizations, associations, universities and governmental agencies. The current (fourth) grant solicitation will again prioritize those proposals involving source reduction of hazardous waste.

Hazardous Waste Reduction Audits

The waste audit program is intended to provide assistance to California's small quantity generators of hazardous waste. This is accomplished by issuing contracts to evaluate waste reduction opportunities in industries typically comprised of small to medium businesses. Waste-generating operations are studied to identify potentials for reducing waste, recycling or recovering resources, or alternative treatment measures. The economic feasibilities of the various alternatives are analyzed, and the study results are compiled in a final waste audit report.

Listed below are industry specific waste reduction audit studies for small quantity hazardous waste generators. Waste reduction audit reports have been completed for nine Industry groups according to Standard Industrial Classification Codes (SIC) as follows:

o Automotive Paint Shops (SIC 7535) o Automotive Repairs (SIC 7538, 7539) o Commercial Printing (SIC 2721, 2751, 2753) o Educational, Scientific & Research Institutions

(SIC 8922, 8221) o General Medical and Surgical Hospitals Excluding Infectious

Wastes (SIC 8062) o Metal Finishing Industry (SIC 347) o Paint Manufacturing Industry (SIC 2851) o Pesticide Formulators (SIC 2879)

o Printed Circuit Board Manufacturers (SIC 3670, 3674, 3679)

In addition, the following waste reduction audit studies and reports will be completed in future months:

o Fiberglass-Reinforced Molded or Rigid Plastic Products

(SIC 3732, 7819, 3079) - March 1989 o Photographic Processing Laboratories (SIC 7359 & 7819) - March 1989 o Fabricated Metal Products Excluding Machinery and Transportation

Equipment (SIC 25, 34) - June 1989 o Drug Manufacture and Processing (SIC 283) - June 1989 o Building Construction and Trades (SIC 15, 17) - June 1989 o Marine Maintenance and Repair (SIC 373) - June 1989 o Mechanical Equipment Repair Excluding Motor Vehicles (SIC 7623, 769) - June 1989

To order copies of these reports write: DHS/TSCD

Alternative Technology Section Technology Clearinghouse 714/744 P Street P.O. Box 94234-7320 Sacramento, CA 94234-7320


The Resource Recovery Unit has as its primary focus the promotion of recycling, reuse and recovery of resources that might otherwise be lost to land disposal. In order to accomplish this objective, since 1983 the Resource Recovery Unit has published on an annual basis the California Waste Exchange: Directory of Industrial Recyclers. This document lists by waste stream the name, address and phone number of facilities which can accept wastes for processing and recycling. Additionally, the unit publishes a biannual Newsletter/Catalog which is intended to keep the recycling community informed of specific developments related to laws, regulations, technologies, etc. Included in the Newsletter/Catalog are current lists of wastes wanted and wastes available in order to assist and encourage industries to exchange, buy or sell recyclable or reusable wastes.

The Resource Recovery Unit staff also provides direct technical assistance to industry, when requested, and can perform plant inspections, process reviews or just meet with plant inspections, process reviews or just meet with plant representatives to discuss regulatory or technological issues.

Since 1976, the California Waste Exchange has successfully recycled numerous waste streams. In one year over 50 waste streams were recycled that had previously been disposed. The Resource Recovery Unit is convinced that by keeping industry well informed the old "throw away ethic" can be changed to a more conservationist mode of thinking.


The newest unit in the Waste Reduction Program is the Technology Clearinghouse Unit. Established in January 1988, the objective of the Technology Clearinghouse Unit is to provide a focal point for the generation and dissemination of technical information on hazardous waste reduction, recycling and treatment technologies and strategies. The goal is to assure that all industry and regulatory staff interested in waste reduction have access to comprehensive technical information on waste reduction. The unit performs a number of different functions including researching and publishing a Biennial Report on current technologies available for achieving significant waste reduction, which this year includes the economic implications of waste reduction, recycling, treatment and disposal of hazardous waste.

The Technology Clearinghouse Unit is currently in the process of developing a series of industry-specific waste reduction guidance documents and fact sheets. These fact sheets are aimed at informing industry of the waste reduction options available, and encouraging industry to request and implement the more technically complex industry-specific waste reduction audit reports that have been developed and published by the Alternative Technology Section over the last two years.

Additionally, the unit sponsors industry-specific waste reduction symposia, which are held throughout the State. In the past two years symposia on solvent waste management and oily waste management have been well attended by industry and regulators. To continue this important effort, the unit will sponsor two waste reduction symposia on aqueous heavy metal wastes in September of 1989.

In an attempt to reach a broader base of individuals concerned with waste reduction, the unit has recently completed the specifications for the development of two one-half hour television documentaries to provide a broad overview of the concept of waste reduction as well as the issues impeding the successful implementation of waste reduction measures. The aim is to have the documentaries shown on public broadcasting stations and thereby reach the concerned public as well as industry.

Additional activities include working with universities to develop waste reduction training courses, making presentations at conferences and seminars, providing direct assistance to local governments for purposes of implementing local waste reduction programs, and operating the Division's technical reference library, just to name a few.

The staff of the Technology Clearinghouse Unit believes that a well-informed industrial sector, which is aware of the regulatory requirements, the waste reduction opportunities, and the economic benefits of waste reduction will actively seek alternatives to land disposal of hazardous wastes.


The impact of California's waste reduction efforts have not yet been measured quantitatively. Measuring the true efforts is complicated because it is difficult to attribute statewide waste reduction results specifically to the Waste Reduction Program. Even then, that impact may not be distinguishable from that of more stringent regulatory requirements, escalating off-site waste management costs, and broad-based industry trends.

Increasingly more stringent regulations, escalating treatment and disposal costs, and industry trends may be the major impetus for industries to minimize waste. California's Waste Reduction Program may, therefore, have its most significant effect by developing and disseminating information on effective, economical waste reduction techniques.


Resource Recovery Unit - Robert McCormick o Directory of Recyclers o California Waste Exchange Newsletter/Catalog o Regulatory Interpretations o Facts Sheets (under development) i) used oil ii) use constituting disposal iii) Ag. application iv) batteries o Wastestream specific recycling expertise i) used oil ii) batteries iii) spent sulfuric acid iv) Ag. application o RCRA Authorization o Technical assistance o Conferences/UC Extension Presentations

Waste Reduction Unit - Paul Hadley o Hazardous Waste Reduction, Recycling and Treatment Grant Program (AB 685 of 1985) i) $1.8 million in 1988/89 11) Over 60 projects underway or complete ill) Report to Legislature o Waste Audit Studies - completed i) Paint Manufacturers ii) Automotive Paint Shops lit) Automotive Repair Shops iv) Printed Circuit Board Manufacturers v) Pesticide Formulators vi) Metal Finishing vii) Commercial Printing viii) Education, Scientific & Research Institutes ix) Hospitals o Waste Audit Studies - in progress i) Photographic Labs ii) Fiberglass & Plastic Products ill) Fabricated Metal lv) Drug Manufacture v) Building & Construction vi) Marine Maintenance & Repair vii) Mechanical Equipment Repair o Governor's State Award for Waste Reduction (Proposed) o Technical Assistance - Industry o State Agency Waste Reduction Assistant

- Department of Forestry

- Department of General Services - Motor Pool o State/County Hazardous Waste Management Plan Projections for Waste Reduction o Waste Reduction Loan Program; Department of Commerce lead ATS

- technical eligibility review o Conferences/UC Extension Course

Technology Clearinghouse - Dave Hartley Technical Reference Center - Sharon Akey o Biennial Report on Alternative Technologies o Wastestream Specific Symposium/Reports i) Solvents ii) Waste Oils ill) Metal bearing (April 89) o Waste Reduction T.V. Documentary o Local Agency Assistance i) Hazardous Waste Reduction Guidelines for Environmental Health Programs ii) Low Cost Ways to Promote Hazardous Waste Minimization iii) Guidebook on POTW Strategies for Hazardous Waste Minimization iv) Local Government Regulatory Options for Reducing

Hazardous Waste v) Technical Clearinghouse for Directors of Environmental Health o WR Reduction Training Course for Regional Staff (RFP due in

December) o Fact Sheets o Checklists of Waste Audits o EPA Cooperative Agreement i) Source Reduction Research Partnership (E.D.F. and Met Water Dist.) ii) City of L.A. Waste Minimization Project iil) Pilot Project for "WRITE" Program iv) Project Summaries of Small Demonstrations v) Co-sponsored Conferences

- Engineering Foundation - Santa Barbara

- States Roundtable - San Diego o Los Angeles Airport/Co. Health/UCLA

- Pilot Waste Minimization Project o Conferences/UC Extension Courses o Directory of Research and Technical Expertise (AB 2489) o ATS Report Production & Distribution o Applications for Federal Grants

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