Just last month, the EPA ruled that it may not regulate coal ash – the waste material left after coal is burned – as a hazardous waste. And now, despite the byproduct’s recent news attention, coal ash has been evaluated and approved for use in cement and wallboard by the EPA.
Coal ash, or coal combustion residuals, has a bit of a bad reputation. It contains arsenic, mercury, lead, and over a dozen other heavy metals, many of which are toxic. But the EPA says that its evaluation concluded that the beneficial use of coal ash in cement and wallboard is safe and applicable because they are similar to virgin materials and below the agency’s health and environmental benchmarks.
This is good news for companies that use the material. Coal ash recycling could reduce the number and use of coal-ash ponds (and coal-ash spills), as well as encourage and promote sustainability by saving resources, lessening environmental impacts, and reducing costs.
At present, a little more than half of coal ash is disposed of in dry landfills and ponds, with the remainder used beneficially.
Hazardous Waste Experts can help ensure all of your hazardous materials and byproducts are managed and disposed of safely, and provide you with further information on hazardous waste recycling, hazardous waste removal and byproduct applications. Contact Hazardous Waste Experts today at 800-936-2311 to speak with an expert.