Vol. 5, No. 2, Fall 1996

Index this issue . . .

FOCUS Waste Minimization is published by the Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance, the Division of Waste Management, Division of Air Quality, and Division of Water Quality of the North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources. It is intended to provide North Carolina industries and other interested parties with current information concerning proper waste management and waste reduction. The information contained in this publication is believed to be accurate and reliable. However, the application of this information is at the reader's own risk. Mention of products and services in the publication does not constitute an endorsement by the State of North Carolina. The information contained in this publication may be cited freely.

State of North Carolina
James B. Hunt, Jr., Governor
Jonathan B. Howes, Secretary DEHNR
Gary Hunt, Director DPPEA

If you have any comments, waste minimization case summaries, resource information, or questions for the next issue of the FOCUS newsletter, telephone Susan Clarke at (919) 715-6503, fax (919) 715-6794, e-mail, or write the NC Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance, 1639 MAIL SERVICE CENTER, RALEIGH NC 27699-1639.

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DPPEA Opens Asheville Office

The Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance (DPPEA) recently opened a field office in Asheville, N.C., to better meet the waste reduction needs of businesses, industries, and municipalities in western North Carolina. The Asheville office will provide non-regulatory on-site pollution prevention services, technical information, and training for organizations in the western part of the state.

To increase services, the DPPEA Asheville office formed a partnership with the Waste Reduction and Technology Transfer (WRATT) program administered by the Land of Sky Regional Council of Governments. Through the WRATT program, more than 30 retired engineers and scientists provide on-site waste reduction assessments. The teaming of these two programs creates a highly experienced resource group with expertise in many industrial and business sectors. For more information, write Terry Albrecht, P.E., at NC DPPEA - Asheville, 25 Heritage Drive, Asheville, NC 28806; telephone (704) 232-5080; fax (704) 251-6353; or e-mail.

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Wastewater Reuse Encouraged

The Environmental Management Commission has approved regulatory modifications to encourage the reuse of industrial, domestic, and municipal wastewater.

With several areas of the state approaching limits on the reasonable availability of high-quality fresh water as well as limits on the capacity of streams to assimilate the wastewater they receive, these modifications are timely and important. The modified rules, which were effective June 1, 1996, distinguish industrial effluents and domestic or municipal wastewater in the limitations on reuse.

Industrial effluents can be directly reused without a nondischarge permit in the following specific reuse situations:

Other uses of reclaimed industrial effluents are allowed but are contingent upon (1) a demonstration by the facility that the quality of the water is such that employee health and safety are protected and (2) a notification to employees that nonpotable reclaimed water is being used. Examples of such other uses include:

All valves, piping, storage facilities, outlets, and other means of distribution of reclaimed water must be tagged or labeled to inform employees that the water is not intended for drinking. In addition, no cross-connection can occur between the reclaimed water and potable water systems. Where potable water is used to supplement the reclaimed water system, an air gap must separate the potable and reclaimed water. The supplemental system is subject to approval by the potable water supplier.

The rules explicitly prohibit the use of reclaimed water for irrigation of direct food chain crops; make up for swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs; and raw potable water supply.

To provide a greater protection from pathogens, reuse limitations are more stringent for domestic and municipal effluents than for industrial effluents. The most likely reuse situations for domestic wastewater are to irrigate golf courses, parks, and other areas and as industrial process or cooling water. To be eligible for reuse, domestic and municipal effluent must meet the quality specifications in the chart below.

Other reuse scenarios for either industrial or municipal wastewater may include urinal and toilet flushing and sprinkler systems or other fire protection in industrial, commercial or residential applications. The rules explicitly prohibit the use of reclaimed water for irrigation of direct food chain crops; make up for swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs; and raw potable water supply.

The specific rule language can be accessed and downloaded from the Division of Water Quality's web site. The rules are located in Subchapter 2H.0200 - Non-Discharge Rules. For questions about a wastewater reuse application or a copy of the regulation, contact Donald Safrit, P.E., Assistant Chief for Technical Support, /Division of Water Quality, PO Box 29535, Raleigh, NC 27626-0535, (919) 733-5083, ext. 519.

Minimum Requirements for Domestic/Municipal Reclaimed Water


Average Monthly Limit

Maximum Daily Limit

Total suspended solids

5 mg/L

10 mg/L

Fecal coliform

14/100 mL

25/100 mg/L


10 mg/L

15 mg/L

Ammonia Nitrogen

4 mg/L

6 mg/L



10 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU)

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On September 27, 1996, five North Carolina companies received the Governor's Award for Excellence in Waste Reduction. This awards program continues to recognize North Carolina companies for their outstanding commitment to protecting the environment and public health through waste reduction and sound management strategies. Below are summaries of the Outstanding and Significant Achievement Award winners.

Outstanding Achievement for Large Business

Exide Electronics, Raleigh

Exide Electronics manufactures uninterruptable power systems that protect sensitive electronic equipment and information during power disruptions. The waste reduction activities Exide Electronics implemented include conversion to water-based paints for metal parts; use of an on-site solvent distillation unit; switch to high-volume, low-pressure spray guns; and implementation of Just-In-Time and First-In-First-Out inventory control measures. As a result of these activities, the company saved $146,862 in hazardous waste disposal costs from 1992 to 1995; changed its status from a large to a small quantity generator of hazardous waste; and reduced solvent usage by 75 percent and paint consumption by 20 percent. In 1995, 1,011 tons of waste diverted from the landfill generated over $336,884 in recycling revenues and avoided landfill fees. The information contact is Frank Brantley, Environmental Engineer, at (919) 872-3020.

Grove Park Inn Resort, Asheville

The Grove Park Inn resort complex implemented a comprehensive waste reduction program in August 1992 that includes reuse of office supplies, wooden pallets, and packaging materials; donations of old pillows and mattresses, and buffet leftovers to local organizations; use of old sheets to make rags, pillow cases, and aprons; purchase of recycled materials such as facial and toilet tissue, paper, and envelopes; installation of low-wattage light bulbs and motion sensors; and composting of all yard waste and recycling of tree clippings for mulch. During 3 years, over 612 tons of material recycled saved $18,360 in avoided landfill and disposal fees. The information contact is Laura Bennett, Recycling Manager, at (704) 252-2711.

Outstanding Achievement for Small Business

Amplate, Inc., Charlotte

Amplate, Inc., specializes in cadmium, nickel, zinc, and decorative and hard chrome electroplating and heat chemical processes such as black oxidizing, chromate conversion, passivation, and electroless nickel. To decrease the waste generated, the company installed a countercurrent rinse system and an ion exchange system to remove contaminants from the rinse water before reuse; increased bath life of alkaline cleaning solutions from 3 to over 30 months through techniques such as in-tank filtration; increased acid pickle bath life to at least four years by using a coagulant to remove metal contamination; and utilized an electro-coagulation unit to treat and recycle the rinse water from the alkaline cleaners and the acid pickle rinses of the plating line. As a result of these programs, Amplate, Inc., discharges no wastewater, completely reuses the acid bath, and has reduced hazardous waste disposal costs by 88 percent. The information contact is David Overcash, Vice President, at (704) 597-0688.

Significant Achievement for Large Business

Guilford Mills, Inc., Greensboro

Guilford Mills manufactures knit and woven fabrics for the apparel, industrial, home furnishings, and automotive markets. Waste reduction activities include development of an automated process to separate the yarns from the tubes and a composting operation for approximately 580 tons/year of polyester lint generated in the face finishing process and approximately 464 tons/year of sludge from the wastewater treatment operation. As a result of these programs, the company has reduced yarn and tube waste by 1,034 tons/year for savings of $87,000 annually. The lint and sludge compost operation saves over $26,000 per year in avoided landfill fees. The information contact is Jimmy Summers, Environmental & Energy Manager, at (910) 316-4319.

Significant Achievement for Small Business

Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc., Arden

Crown Cork and Seal Company is a three-piece can manufacturing plant with seven lines that produce a variety of cans in different sizes for several food processing customers. To reduce waste generation, the company replaced 1,1,1-trichloroethane vapor degreasers with aqueous-based cleaners and existing generators with reduced capacitors; installed more efficient motors and lighting; and rebuilds and reuses wooden pallets. By eliminating 110 gallons of hazardous waste, the aqueous-based cleaners save $400 in hazardous waste shipping and disposal fees per year. In 1995, Crown Cork & Seal recycled 6,206 tons of scrap metal and 541 tons of copper wire and eliminated 7,394 tons of solid waste from the landfill. The company saves $70,181 annually by reusing wooden pallets and realizes savings in electrical consumption of 8 percent per year. The information contact is James Griffee, Environmental Coordinator, at (704) 684-2311.

Case Studies: Achievements in Waste Reduction

Other entries in the 1995 awards program also demonstrated significant contributions to North Carolina's waste reduction efforts. The following entrants were selected for special recognition as facility case studies.

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DEHNR Reorganization

The Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources (DENR) has completed a reorganization of its environmental divisions in response to internal recommendations for increasing efficiency, effectiveness, and customer service.

OWR Becomes New Division

A new Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance (DPPEA) incorporates the Office of Waste Reduction (OWR) and the Office of Small Business Ombudsman (OSBO). This change will result in closer coordination between OWR and OSBO, broader technical assistance, and enhanced customer service, particularly for small companies.

Environmental Permits Information Center Established

To enhance customer service, has established the Environmental Permits Information Center (EPIC) within DPPEA. The EPIC hotline at 1-888-368-2640 will begin operations on October 22, 1996. The local number is (919) 733-1398.

Thus far, the EPIC has been assigned the following objectives:

Other Organizational Changes

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Multimedia News Update

Air Quality News

Coatings Alternative Guide Now Available

For metal finishers seeking less polluting coating technologies, the Coatings Alternative Guide (CAGE) is now available for downloading from the Internet. CAGE is personal computer software designed to provide recommendations for metal surface painting and coating operations. The system leads the user through a question-and-answer session during which the current coating system is evaluated. Based on the user's responses to each question, a list of recommended alternative low-emitting coating technologies is provided. The user may then review brief descriptions of the alternatives on the computer screen and request a detailed report on those of interest. The report includes general information, substrate and surface preparation, application techniques, curing methods, performance properties, safety/environmental concerns, economics, and industrial case studies for the selected alternative. The system also provides state technical assistance program contacts in the user's geographical location.

CAGE is available as a Microsoft disk operating system (MS-DOS) version and as an Internet web version. Through the Internet version, the DOS version of CAGE can be downloaded to a personal computer. About 3 Mb of disk space is needed, and detailed downloading instructions are provided on the Internet. For additional information about CAGE, contact Dean Cornstubble of the Research Triangle Institute at 919-541-6813 or e-mail.

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Solid Waste News

Local Governments Look for Industry Support

This fall, in accordance with North Carolina state law, local governments will begin to develop solid waste management plans that address all aspects of solid waste management and establish waste reduction goals. In order for the waste reduction goals to be achieved, business and industry support will be necessary since these sectors typically comprise two-thirds of the solid waste generated. Industries are required to obey all local government ordinances and to develop their own solid waste management plan if they operate their own solid waste landfill.

Two materials that companies can target for cost-effective waste reduction are corrugated cardboard and pallets. These materials are excellent candidates for waste reduction because (1) immediate savings accrue through avoided disposal costs, (2) recycling markets and reuse options are available, and (3) significant reductions in waste can be achieved since these materials typically comprise a large portion of a facility's solid waste stream.

Good waste management options

Disposal of corrugated cardboard and pallets is a costly way for industries to manage valuable materials. Companies interested in more information on reducing corrugated cardboard and pallet waste may call their local government or the NC Department of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance at (919) 715-6500 or (800) 715-6794. Companies wishing to participate in the local waste management planning process should contact their local solid waste office.

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Water Quality News

Identification of Metal Contributors in Industrial Effluent

Effluent metal limitations for industries that directly discharge to surface waters or to publicly owned treatment works are often in the range of part-per-million or part-per-billion. If these limits are exceeded, many facilities will first conduct an exhaustive search through MSDS sheets and vendor contacts to identify metal contributors. Although this method is a good start, MSDS sheets may not list smaller metal constituents, for example, those of less than 1 percent; and vendors may not be aware of metal contamination in raw materials. Thus, facilities may need to do actual metal analysis to further identify contributors. Two facilities found this to be the case for arsenic and chromium violations.

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Hazardous Waste News

Hazardous Waste Identification Rules

EPA and the states are addressing the current "derived from" and "mixture" rules to meet a February 1997 federal court deadline. Proposed rules commonly referred to as the Hazardous Waste Identification Rules (HWIR) were issued in the Federal Register: HWIR- Contaminated Media (April 29, 1996, 61 FR 18780); and HWIR-Process Waste (December 21, 1995, 60 FR 66344). Both rules use risk assessments to develop concentration values for hazardous waste constituents that will then determine the available management options for the waste. There has been concern from the Science Advisory Board and others over the risk protocols used in the proposed rules. The comment period for the Contaminated Media rule ended on August 28, 1996.

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Proposes Streamlined Approach for Determining Cleanup Levels

The NC Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources (DENR) has developed a draft procedure for developing risk-based cleanup levels and conducting risk analyses consistently across all sites contaminated with petroleum or other industrial chemicals. The procedure, outlined in a draft document titled "North Carolina Risk Analysis Framework: Methods for Determining Target Concentrations in Soil and Groundwater," provides a streamlined, tiered approach for evaluating risk and establishing acceptable cleanup levels. This approach has the potential to be more cost-effective and flexible for both responsible parties and than traditional methods. It is also expected to reduce confusion on the part of consultants and responsible parties who work with different divisions in .

Following peer review of the working draft, expects to hold public meetings and a technical symposium early next year to explain the revised approach and solicit public comments. For more information, contact Debbie Crane, Public Affairs Director, at (919) 715-4112.

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WEA Industrial Waste Committee Seeks Members

The Water Environment Association (WEA) Industrial Waste Committee includes industry and regulatory professionals whose focus is wastewater issues. The committee discusses regulatory issues, develops industrial wastewater training, and addresses specific industries. The committee is seeking new industrial members in order to balance representation among regulators, industry, and consultants. WEA membership is not required to participate. The next quarterly meeting is scheduled for January in Winston-Salem.
Contact Bob Miller at (919) 677-2000 for information.

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Date (1966)


International Conference on Ozone Protection Technologies

Washington, D.C.

October 21-23

The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy
Jan McCusker, 301-695-3762

Design of Plastic Parts Course - (includes designing for recyclability)

Charlotte, NC

October 24-25

Polymers Extension Program 704-547-3972

NC Business & Environment Partnership Workshop on Pollution Prevention and Profitability

Winston-Salem, NC

November 6

Business for Social Responsibility
Kate Gavaghan, 919-510-9492

Recycling Coordinators Training Course (includes "How To Do a Waste Audit")

Durham, NC,
Charlotte, NC,

Nov. 19-21
Dec. 3-5

Barb Satler, 919-715-6519

Water Environment Association Annual Conference

Pinehurst, NC

Nov. 17-20

Cindy Finan, 919-387-0646

Water Environment Association Industrial Waste Committee Meeting

Winston-Salem, NC

January 1997

Bob Miller, 919-677-2000

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The North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance provides free, non-regulatory technical assistance and training on methods to eliminate, reduce, or recycle wastes before they become pollutants or require disposal. Telephone DPPEA at (919) 715-6500 or 800-763-0136 or e-mail for assistance with issues in this Fact Sheet or any of your waste reduction concerns.

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