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ARCHIVED - A Guidance Document for Distinguishing Waste, Recyclable Materials and Products for Regulations Under CEPA 1999

Archived - This document is a draft discussion paper for distinguishing wastes and recyclable materials drafted with respect to the former Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations (EIHWR). The revised Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (EIHWHRMR) revoked and replaced the EIHWR on November 1, 2005.

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1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background

The Export and Import of Hazardous Waste Regulations (EIHWR) were put in place in 1992, under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, to control transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials in accordance with Canada's international obligations. On March 31, 2000, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) came into force, and the EIHWR were maintained in force under CEPA 1999. CEPA 1999 provided expanded authority to control interprovincial/interterritorial movement of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable material.

Any waste or recyclable material that is deemed "hazardous" as per the criteria and lists referred to in the EIHWR and which is intended for export or import is subject to the EIHWR and requires notice before any transboundary movement can legally take place.

Classification of a substance or mixture is therefore an important stage prior to its transfer to a treatment or disposal facility. Because it is not within the authority of the EIHWR or the regulations on interprovincial/interterritorial movements of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials (IMHWHRM) to control products, it is important to determine whether the substance or mixture is truly a waste, recyclable material or product. In addition, for the purposes of EIHWR, it is necessary to distinguish between wastes and recyclable materials as different levels of controls are applied.

However, it can be difficult to use regulatory definitions alone to make a clear distinction

  • between waste and recyclable materials, and
  • between recyclable materials and products.

Accordingly, there is a need for guidance as to how to determine whether a substance or mixture proposed for export or import is a "waste", "recyclable material" or "product". Armed with knowledge of the distinction, it is easier to determine whether or not the substance or mixture is subject to the EIHWR or the IMHWHRM.

1.2 Objectives and Scope

This document provides guidance in distinguishing wastes and recyclable material from products, for the purposes of the EIHWR or the IMHWHRM.

It is anticipated that the Guidance Document will be of use to waste management companies, importers and exporters and others who are in the business of exporting/importing wastes and recyclable materials subject to the EIHWR, as well as enforcement officers, customs officers, and stakeholders with an interest in environmental/health issues relevant to hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable material.

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2.0 A Criteria Based Approach

2.1 Approach and Assumptions

At face value, the distinction between a product and a waste is fairly clear. A product is produced intentionally for a pre-determined end use, e.g., to be sold directly, or to be used in a process which creates products that will be sold. The producing facility has an option to produce it, or not, but, without market demand, it would likely not be produced. In simple terms, a waste is a substance or mixture that is no longer useful for its originally intended purpose or is unintentionally created during a production process and which is destined for disposal or required to be disposed.

The question becomes less straightforward, however, when considering substances or mixtures which may or may not have been produced intentionally and cannot be used or sold directly as products, but which could be recycled into a product capable of being used or sold. These are commonly referred to as recyclable materials.

It would be appropriate and useful, however, to consider such recyclable materials as products once they have been recycled to a point where they do not pose a hazard to the environment and/or human health, as compared with the use of virgin substances or alternative materials which would otherwise be used for the same purpose. This notion is consistent with the intent of the EIHWR and IMHWHRM, which is ultimately to avoid risks from of harm to the environment from the effects of improperly managed hazardous wastes. It is also consistent with the waste management hierarchy, in encouraging the recycling of hazardous wastes and minimizing wastes to be disposed.

This guidance document tries to establish distinctions between wastes, recyclable materials, and products. These entities may be considered as a continuum, as depicted in Fig. 1. For the purposes of this Guidance Document, the categories of material forming the continuum are defined as follows:

  • Product: a material that is produced intentionally for a pre-determined end use, i.e., to be sold directly, or to be used in a process which create products that will be sold. Example: acetone produced from primary chemicals to be used as solvent.
  • Waste: a substance or mixture which is no longer useful for its originally intended purpose or is unintentionally created during a production process , and which is either destined for disposal or required to be disposed of. Example: sludge from the processing of used solvents destined for landfilling.
  • Recyclable material: a substance or mixture which is no longer useful for its originally intended purpose or is unintentionally created during a production process, and which is either destined for recycling or required to be recycled but has not yet been recycled. Example: used solvent destined for a solvent recovery process.
  • Recycled material: a material resulting from a recycling operation that may or may not have been processed to a point where it has a use, and does not pose a hazard to the environment or human health through its residuals, as compared with the use of virgin materials. Example: used solvent that has been recycled through filtration and distillation.

Figure 1: Continuum in definition of "products" and "wastes".The continuum from waste destined for disposal to recyclable material to recycled material to product.

However, distinguishing between a recyclable material and a product and determining when recycled material has been sufficiently processed to become a product can be difficult . In the most basic sense, a recyclable material ceases to be a a recyclable material when a recovery or comparable process eliminates or sufficiently diminishes the threat posed to the environment by the original material and yields substance or mixture of sufficient beneficial use. Much of the focus of this document is to address this determination.

In determining whether a recyclable material has become a product, there are two important principles . First, the material must have been processed to a point where it has a defined use that is feasible with existing production processes. Secondly, the material must not pose a hazard to the environment or human health as compared with the use of virgin substances or alternative materials which would otherwise be used for the same purpose.

2.2 Outline of the Criteria

To assist in distinguishing wastes from recyclable materials and recyclable materials from products, a number of criteria have been developed by Environment Canada. These criteria are consistent with those of other bodies such as the OECD and CCME. The criteria fall into the following five categories:

  • origin, purpose and destination
  • degree of processing required
  • residuals and potential hazard
  • standards and quality control
  • economic value and market viability

The categories of criteria are outlined below. Each of the criteria is explained in more detail in section 3.

The origin and purpose of the substance or mixture, and its destination, can help to determine its status. The degree and type of processing are key issues in determining whether a substance or mixture has ceased to be a waste or recyclable material (e.g., simply sorting a waste to meet an industrial specification is generally not considered to be sufficient to render a substance or mixture into a product).

In some situations, the use of these first two categories of criteria will largely determine whether the substance or mixture is a waste, recyclable material or product. However, where the first two categories of criteria do not produce a clear-cut determination, the following three categories of criteria will offer further assistance. They are based upon the above principles of feasibility/consistency and environmental safety.

The possible generation of residual substances and the associated environmental hazard, are indicators as to whether the threat posed to the environment by the original waste has been sufficiently diminished. Reference is made to raw/virgin substances or mixtures that would otherwise be used for the same process and purpose.

Compliance with federal provincial, territorial or aboriginal government laws and/or regulations is based on the principle of consistency cited above. Likewise, conformance with a recognized national/international standard or specification is based on that same principle of consistency, particularly if there is a quality control process governing production. The economic value and market viability of the material is also based on the above principle of consistency. A substance or mixture which has an economic value which is consistently positive over time and viable markets is likely to be processed and sold on a consistent, long-term basis.

2.3 Using the Criteria

It is important to note that the criteria are to be applied in total, and there is no hierarchy among the categories of criteria (see Table 1). This is a reflection of the reality that, in many cases, application of all the categories of criteria will be necessary to establish whether a substance or mixture is a waste, recyclable material or product. In some situations, a substance or mixture may satisfy some of the criteria for being a product, but according to other of the criteria it will more resemble a waste.

It is therefore recommended that, after applying all of the criteria, an overall consideration be made as to the status of the material (Fig. 2).

Figure 2: Applying the criteria for distinguishing wastes from recyclable materials and products
The 5 types of criteria: 1. origin, purpose and destination, 2. degree of processing, 3. residuals and potential hazard, 4. standards and quality control, 5. economic and market viability

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3.0 Explanation of the Criteria

Introduction

The criteria are, in effect, the key questions to ask in determining whether a given substance or mixture is a waste, recyclable material or product. The criteria, under each of the five categories, are explained in the rest of this section. To assist in explanation, some indicators are given of what elements should be present to signify conformance with each criterion.

A. Origin, Purpose and Destination

Specific criteria:

This category has one criterion:

  • A1 The substance or mixture is produced intentionally, for a specific and pre-determined end use, and ultimately to be sold.

Indicators:

A positive response to the following indicators would provide an indication that the substance or material is not a waste or a recyclable material but a product.

  • The substance or mixture is produced intentionally, rather than as an inevitable byproduct or a residual of producing another substance or product . The producing facility has an option to produce it, or not, but without market demand, it would not be produced.
  • It is produced for a pre-determined end use, e.g., to be sold directly, or to be used in a process which produces materials/products that will be sold.

Comments:

A substance or mixture that is produced intentionally, for a predetermined end use, is product product In contrast, something that no longer serves its original purpose and is intended for disposal is a waste.

Also, where the mixture or substance is unavoidably produced as a process by-product and requires processing for it or its components to be used again in the same or another process, then it is a waste or a recyclable material.

These distinctions, however, may be subject to certain other factors. For example, substance or mixture which was intentionally produced but is now at the end of its useful life (e.g., used lead-acid battery), or an off-spec product (e.g., off-spec chemical pesticide) is no longer considered a product. And substance or mixture that originally resulted as a by-product in a production process but which has been subsequently processed to a point where it can be used in the same way as a raw/virgin substance in a process, may be no longer be a recyclable material but a product. If this same by-product is destined for a disposal operation such as landfilling, incineration or processing prior to landfilling or incineration, then it would be a waste.

The history of substance or mixture's use has a bearing on its status as waste, recyclable material or product. A practical and beneficial use may be found for any substance or mixture that may have occurred as a waste. While simply finding a use for a substance or mixture that had been traditionally managed as a waste does not automatically make it a product, the substance or mixture may eventually become established as a product, whose main purpose for production is ultimately financial benefit. Some substances or mixture which originated as a waste, have developed markets which have increased in value and they have become as valuable as the originally intended product.

The other four categories of criteria are intended to address these and other distinctions.

B. Degree Of Processing Required

Specific criteria:

This factor has one criterion:

  • B1 The substance or mixture requires no further processing (or very little processing) before it can be used as a product or in a process that yields a product.

Indicators:

A positive response to the following indicator would suggest the substance or mixture is a product.

  • The substance or mixture can be used as it exists to be sold as a product, or used in a process that creates a saleable product. .

Comments:

While a substance or mixture's origin, purpose and destination might suggest that it was derived from a waste or recyclable material, certain conditions may cause it to be considered as a product. For example, if the substance or mixture could be sold directly as a product, or if it could be fed into a process which creates saleable products, without needing to be processed first, then it more closely fits the notion of a product.

Determining whether a substance or mixture is a product, l or a recyclable material that requires further processing before it can be used , is often difficult. Recovered solvents that were used or recharged batteries, for example, can be sold and used directly. Once they have been processed, these recycled material are considered products. Similarly, a recyclable material that has been processed to a point where it may be fed into another process and is more or less comparable to a raw/virgin substance, or an alternative to that substance, in the same process, could be considered to be no longer a waste or recyclable material.

The degree of further processing that is required may be a determining factor in some cases. For example, if a product simply needed repackaging in order to prepare it for shipment for use as originally intended, it could be considered a product.

On the other hand, one that needed to be chemically processed before being fed into a production process, would be considered recyclable material. Simply sorting, bulking or mixing that substance or mixture which needed chemical processing would be insufficient to trigger status as a product.

Additionally, the substance or mixture may be so contaminated or the cost of processing so high that even if it could be recycled it is destined to a disposal operation. In this case, even if the substance or mixture is theoretically recyclable, it would be considered a waste.

Case Study Illustrations:

Some cases are used, below, to illustrate how where a substance or mixture would be considered as a waste, recyclable material or a product.

In the first case, a process is used to remove 6Li isotope from lithium hydroxide monohydrate.
After re-crystallization, the remaining LiOH.H2O is enriched with 7Li and of higher purity. The intent is to produce a saleable product, which needs no further processing or upgrading to be used/sold. On this basis it would be considered as a product.

In the second case, ash containing a hazardous amount and form of vanadium undergoes reprocessing. This makes it more suitable for vanadium recovery. However, since the reprocessed material is still an ash, and still needs further processing to become a marketable substance or mixture (i.e., vanadium), it is still a waste or recyclable material.

C. Residuals and Potential Hazard

Specific criteria:

This factor has two criteria:

  • C1 Use or re-use of the substance or mixture does not generate wastes and emissions/effluents requiring further treatment, in excess of those resulting from the use of raw/virgin substances.

  • C2 The substance or mixture does not have significant potential for contamination that would make it more hazardous.

Indicators:

If the following indicators are true, it would suggest the substance or mixture is a product.

C1 Use or re-use of the substance or mixture does not generate wastes requiring further treatment, relative to the use of raw/virgin substances.

  • the degree of hazard, cumulatively, is equal or less than the use of equivalent raw/virgin substances (information is required on what wastes are produced by the use or re-use of the substance or mixture , and the degree of environmental hazard).

C2 The substance or mixture does not have significant potential for contamination that would make it more hazardous.

  • the degree of hazard, cumulatively, is equal or less than the use of equivalent raw/virgin substances.

Comments:

The fundamental purpose of the EIHWR is to protect the environment and human health from the release of hazardous wastes. For this reason, there must be an assurance that there will be no harm to the environment and/or human health as a result of classifying a substance or mixture as a product rather than as a waste or recyclable material. Accordingly, Environment Canada wants to be sure that recyclable materials that have been processed and are being sold or fed into a process are not resulting in greater harm to the environment and/or human health, than would have resulted with the use of raw/virgin substances that would otherwise have been utilized in the process.

Case Study Illustrations:

An example is where caustic solutions are used as a scrubber during a hydrocracking process. During the process, the solution becomes loaded with organic acid and phenols (hazardous substances). Once the organics build to a concentration of 10%, the caustic solution is no longer useful. The used solution is being sent to a processing facility in another jurisdiction to recover the organic material (organic acid and phenols). The used solution is a recyclable material, because it needs further processing before it can be used again, and because it contains contaminants that have significant potential for causing harm to the environment.

D. Standards and Quality Control

Specific criteria:

This factor has four criteria:

  • D1 Production is subject to quality control and the adherence to national or international standards including environmental considerations.

  • D2 The substance or mixture is managed in a manner that minimizes loss.

  • D3 The production facility tracks purchases, production and sales.

  • D4 The substance or mixture meets industrial requirements for use as an ingredient.for a variety of circumstances

Indicators:

A positive response to the following indicators would suggest the substance or mixture is a product.

D1 Production is subject to quality control and the adherence to national or international standards including environmental considerations.

  • A quality control process is in place, including provisions like criteria for rejection of substandard products.
  • The facility's operations involving the material adhere to existing national or international standards; or there are agreements, orders or similar instruments in place giving consent or regulatory variance for the facility's operations, from a recognized responsible regulatory authority (e.g., Environment Canada, USEPA, provincial government departments, state regulatory agencies). There should be specific requirements in such instruments.
  • There are contractual specifications in place between the producer and the receiver of the substance or mixture.
  • The above includes considerations of environmental protection, e.g., prevention or control of emissions, effluents, contamination, residual wastes, security, etc.

D2 The substance or mixture is managed in a manner that minimizes loss.

  • A loss control plan is in place, which includes measures for assessing l loss on an ongoing basis, and indicates corrective action will be taken to minimize loss.
  • The existence of a loss control system is usually related to the reason for creating a product, i.e., that it has economic value and market demand. Therefore, there is incentive to produce it.

D3 The production facility tracks purchases, production and sales.

  • Purchases, production and sales are recorded by the facility, on an ongoing basis.
  • Auditable records of purchases, production and sales exist, and are current and comprehensive.

D4 The substance or mixture meets industrial requirements for use as an ingredient for a variety of circumstances.

  • The substance or meets industrial requirement for use as an ingredient under a wide range of circumstances, homogeneity of product, etc.
  • Its use is not limited to one facility or under limited circumstances.

Comments:

If the substance or mixture meets recognized national or international standards as well as any federal, provincial, territorial or aboriginal government laws or regulations applicable to products, and these standards include environmental considerations, then two purposes are accomplished. First, it is an indicator that the material is a product. Second, it suggests that there is an acceptable level of environmental or other risk in treating it as a product rather than controlling it as a waste or recyclable material.

In a similar sense, the way in which the substance or mixture is managed and controlled becomes an important indicator in making a determination as a waste, recyclable material or product. If there are requirements set out in laws and/or regulations or stringent criteria used by the producer or the industry that the producer is a part of on quality, loss control, etc., then it suggests that the intent is that the substance or mixture is a product rather than a waste or recyclable material.

Another factor is the consistency and homogeneity of the substance or mixture being produced. Usually, a substance or mixture can only meet a regulatory requirement and/or standard if it conforms to a sufficiently narrow range in specifications. Similarly, confidence can be placed in its meeting environmental safety requirements only if it falls within a certain range of physical and chemical properties. Therefore, the quality control of the substance or mixture is relevant to its being considered as a waste, recyclable material or product.

If the substance or mixture is not consistently homogeneous (in nature) over time, it may meet industrial requirements for use as an ingredient only under certain circumstances. For example, if the plant accepting the substance or mixture can accept it only within a narrow range of physical or chemical parameters, and the producer produces it within a much wider range, then the receiving plant may not accept it as a feed for use in the plant's processes. In such a case, the substance or mixture does not meet the criteria for determination as a product.

In short, compliance with federal, provincial territorial, or aboriginal government laws and/or regulations, adherence to a standard and implementation of quality controls address the principle of consistency.

Case Study Illustrations:

Some cases are used, below, to illustrate how where a substance or mixture would be considered a waste, recyclable material or a product. .Let us examine a case where ash containing a hazardous form and concentration of vanadium undergoes some reprocessing to make it more suitable for vanadium recovery but the re-processing is not done is not done in accordance with a recognized national, international or industrial product standard. This would indicate that the ash containing vanadium is recyclable material rather than a product.

In a second situation, the desulphurization of flue gas has resulted in the availability of an ingredient (calcium sulphate) to produce gypsum. The process has improved enough to produce a substance or mixture of the same quality as raw/virgin substances that would otherwise have been used for the production of wallboard. The recovered substance or mixture and the raw/virgin substance are judged as having the same quality. . Hence, the calcium sulphate recovered from flue gas desulphurization in this case is considered a product.

E. Economic Value and Market Viability

Specific criteria:

  • E1 The material has a measurable positive economic value.

  • E2 The market for the material is identifiable, measurable and generally viable

Indicators:

If the following indicators are true, it would suggest the substance or mixture is a product

E1 The substance or mixture has a measurable positive economic value.

  • The value of the substance or mixture i, including its intrinsic value and the rate of return from processing it for use, is known and is consistently positive.
  • The value, as determined, compares favorably with other raw/virgin substances.

E2 The market for the substance or mixture is identifiable, measurable and generally viable.

  • There is an identifiable market, i.e., industry, processor and ultimate product for sale.
  • There are a number of receiving facilities (and/or processes) available for acceptance of the substance or mixture.
  • There is a "track record" of using the substance or mixture for the proposed process, i.e., state how long the substance or mixture has been in use.

Comments:

The economic value of the substance or mixture and its market viability are collateral to the fundamental reasons for the substance or mixture's production and its eventual destination. If the substance or mixture has consistently positive an economic value, and the markets for it are well established, this provides support for the contention that the substance or mixture is a product. Conversely, if its value is significantly lower the use of raw/virgin materials that would otherwise be used, it may suggest the substance or mixture lacks consistency or is of inferior quality.

Sometimes the substance or mixture might be utilized as a feedstock (e.g. a product), for example, while at other times it might be sent to disposal as a waste. This could translate into inconsistency in the level of quality control and homogeneity of the produced substance or mixture , and the risk of harm to the environment and/or human health. In such cases, it is more likely that the substance or mixture would be considered a waste or recyclable material.

Case Study Illustrations:

A lead smelter yields 96% silver alloy, as a by-product, from its lead smelting operations, using a standard industry method of production consistent with that of silver alloy from a primary production process. The smelter wants to sell the silver alloy to be used as a raw/virgin substance in an industrial process. The silver alloy has an economic value, and there is market demand for the alloy's use. It meets the recognized specifications of the metal industry and past experience in the use of silver alloy demonstrates no increased risk of harm to the environment or human health. On all of these bases, the determination is that the material is a product.

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4.0 Using the Criteria

To illustrate how the criteria can be applied, Table 1 summarizes the criteria and associated indicators.

Three worked examples are given below, for illustrative purposes.

Example 1:

Situation:

Origin, Purpose and Destination

In this example, post-process steel pickling liquor is being proposed for use as a flocculant in wastewater treatment plants. The liquid is produced as a result of the steel making process, rather than being produced intentionally for sale or use in another process.

Degree of Processing Required

The used pickling liquor is processed sufficiently to facilitate its use in the wastewater treatment plants.

Residuals and Potential Hazard

The used pickling liquor is believed to contain a variety of substances that inevitably result from the pickling process, and which may be environmentally hazardous. The pre-processing is not done in order to remove any hazardous contaminants that would not normally be found in flocculant in the final product, and they are quite possibly higher in concentration than would be present in the equivalent products that the pickling liquor would replace. The contaminants would then be capable of escaping into the environment, or would have to be dealt with though the management of residual wastes from the treatment process.

Standards and Quality Control

There are no national, international or industry-wide standards or government regulations specific to the use of steel pickling liquor is being proposed for use as a flocculant in wastewater treatment plants There is sufficient quality control to ensure the strength of the constituents that make the used pickling liquor useful as flocculant. However, there is little control over the hazardous contaminants in the liquor. No information is available as to the efforts to minimize loss, or the maintenance of records of purchases, production and sales.

Economic Value and Market Viability

There is market demand for the used pickling liquor, but demand may fluctuate depending on the availability and quality of the used pickling liquor. That quality in turn depends on the steel manufacturing activity.

The economic value of the material varies depending on the quality of the used liquor , as well as the need for it in wastewater treatment. Use of the is limited to the particular facilities that can use this specific liquor as a flocculant and, at the same time, can tolerate the impurities present in it.

Determination:

A significant question is whether the processing of the used pickling liquor is sufficient to consider the waste fluid to have been recycled. However, the situation does not satisfy the criteria concerning residuals and those respecting the presence of contaminants of environmental concern, the standards and quality controls criteria, and the economic value and market viability criteria. The used pickling liquor would be characterised as a recyclable material.

The overall determination is shown graphically below:

Figure 3
The determination for each type of criterion: 1. origin, purpose and destination (by-product), 2. degree of processing (some processing done), 3. residuals and potential hazard (possible hazard), 4. standards and quality control (uncertain or absent), 5. economic and market viability (unstable)

Conclusion:

This particular liquor is a recyclable material.

Example 2:

Situation:

Origin, Purpose and Destination

In this example, a company tests and blends metal-bearing ash to produce a feed suitable for smelters. The resulting or mixture is produced by the company to be sold, for a pre-determined use. Without demand from smelters, the company would not produce this blended ash. The facility markets the material to a number of smelters who produce various metals contained in the ash. Without this blending activity the ash would not be acceptable to the smelter as feed.

Degree of Processing Required

The ash, once blended, is sent to a smelting operation to recover the desired metals. This blending is required to allow economically viable recovery of metals in the ash. The blended ash can be used directly in the smelting operation.

Residuals and Potential Hazard

The company has demonstrated satisfactorily that fewer wastes are generated from smelters' processing the concentrate than from use by the smelters of raw/virgin substances. The company has also provided information that there are no constituents in the ash which would not normally be found in the primary ore which the smelters would use and in fact contains significantly less sulfur.

Standards and Quality Control

Stringent quality specifications are established in the contract between the producer of the ash and the smelters. These specifications take into account the environmental standards applicable to the facility by law as well as voluntary industry standards to reduce emissions from metal smelting activities which are more stringent than the legal requirement. Auditable data records are maintained.

Economic Value and Market Viability

The ash has a known value, which is comparable to other primary feedstocks that could be used for similar purposes. While there is just one use (metal recovery) for the ash, more than one smelting facility is known utilize them. There is a history of use of this ash as a feedstock of more a decade.

Determination:

While this mixture requires further processing in the form of smelting, to provide the pure elemental metals, other criteria identify it as having characteristics of a product. The process to produce the blended ash is subject to quality control measures and it is produced in accordance with legal requirements and specific standards including environmental considerations. There is no more risk of harm to the environment and/or human health than that which is posed by the use of raw/virgin substances , and the concentrate material has economic value and market viability. It is therefore regarded as a product, using the criteria and indicators in this document.

The overall determination is shown graphically below:

Figure 4
The determination for each type of criterion: 1. origin, purpose and destination (by-product) , 2. degree of processing (required processing is smelting operation), 3. residuals and potential hazard (no), 4. standards and quality control (yes), 5. economic and market viability (positive)

Conclusion:

The blended ash is a product.

Example 3:

Situation:

Origin, Purpose and Destination

In this example, a person proposes to solidify liquid waste caustic saturated with zinc, and to send it to a production facility in another jurisdiction. The purpose of the solidification, which involves the use of an absorbent, is primarily to remove any environmental and safety hazard (corrosivity) before shipping, for the purposes of safe transport.

Degree of Processing Required

The solidified material would be fed directly into the production process, without further processing.

Residuals and Potential Hazard

It has been satisfactorily established that there is an insignificant risk of substances being released into the environment from the liquid waste caustic during solidification of the liquid waste caustic, during transportation, during processing by the production facility or in the final product produced.

Standards and Quality Control

It is not known whether the material:

  • complies with applicable federal, provincial, territorial, or aboriginal government laws and/or regulations,
  • is produced to any standard, or
  • whether quality controls, etc., are in place.
Economic Value and Market Viability

No information is provided on market demand or the market viability for the substance or mixture nor any information such as the number of facilities that purchase the solidified liquid waste caustic. In fact, there are disposal facilities which currently receive similar material.

Determination:

This material could be a waste or product. To make the determination, further information is required as to whether it is produced to any national or international standard, or whether quality controls, etc., are in place. It is also necessary to have information on the economic value of the substance or mixture, market demand and market viability.

The overall determination is shown graphically below:

Figure 5
The determination for each type of criterion: 1. origin, purpose and destination (by-product), 2. degree of processing (required processing is smelting operation), 3. residuals and potential hazard (no), 4. standards and quality control (unknown), 5. economic and market viability (unknown)

Conclusion:

More information is required to determine whether the substance or mixture is a waste, recyclable material or a product.

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5.0 For Further Information

CCME Management of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclables Workshop - Background Paper and Workshop Report (RIS Ltd. & Kinlow Holdings, January 1999).

Final Guidance Document for Distinguishing Waste from Non-Waste (OECD/Environmental Policy Committee, Report ENV/EPOC/WMP(98)1/REV1, April 1998).

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