Standard for manufacturing waste in the works

Monday, 27 October, 2014

ASTM International has proposed a standard to help manufacturers address waste classification issues, providing definitions and methods to eliminate the confusion that currently exists.

The organisation has noted that all manufacturing waste is not the same and there is no widely recognised standard for classifying such waste. In particular, ASTM member Amy Costello cites the following questions that arise when classifying manufacturing waste:

  • Is waste that is generated at a facility, and then sold, actually waste, or is it a by-product?
  • If this same material is given to another to use, is it still waste or a by-product?
  • What if the material is waste from one process but is used somewhere else on the manufacturing site, such as wood dust that is burned in a boiler for energy?
  • Is waste material generated during capital projects considered manufacturing waste?

ASTM WK38312, Classification for Waste From Manufacturing Facilities and Associated Support Facilities, will cover all waste created in manufacturing facilities, including office and production waste and both hazardous and non-hazardous wastes. The standard is being developed by Subcommittee E60.13 on Sustainable Manufacturing, part of ASTM Committee E60 on Sustainability.

All interested parties are invited to participate in the standards-developing activities of E60. For more information on the committee, visit http://www.astm.org/COMMITTEE/E60.htm.

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