Reuse involves finding a beneficial purpose for a recovered waste. Three factors to consider when determining the potential for reuse are:
• The chemical composition of the waste and its effect on the reuse process
• The economic value of the reuse waste and whether this justifies modifying a process to accommodate it
• The availability and consistency of the waste to be reused
• Energy recovery
For example, a newspaper advertising printer purchased a recycling unit to produce black ink from various waste inks. Blending different colors of ink with fresh black ink and black toner, the unit creates black ink. This mixture is filtered to remove flakes of dried ink, and is used in lieu of fresh black ink. The need to ship waste ink for offsite disposal is eliminated. The price of the recycling unit was recovered in nine months, based on savings in fresh ink purchases and costs of waste ink disposal (U.S. EPA 1989).
In another example, an oil skimmer in a holding tank enables annual capture and recycling of 3000 gallons of waste oil from 30,000 gallons of oily waste water disposed to waste landfills. (Metcalf 1989).
Was this article helpful?