Waste exchange is a reuse function involving more than one facility. An exchange matches one industry's output to the input requirement of another. Waste exchange organizations act as brokers of hazardous materials by purchasing and transporting them as resources to another client. Waste exchanges commonly deal in solvents, oils, concentrated acids and alkalis, and catalysts. Limitations include transport distance, purity of the exchange product, and reliability of supply and demand.
Waste exchanges were first implemented and are now fairly common in Europe; there are few in the U.S. Although more exchanges have recently been set up in this country, they are not widely accepted because of liability concerns. Even when potential users of waste are found, they must be located fairly close to the generator. Waste transportation requires permits and special handling, increasing the cost.
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