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EHS
Waste Management

Guidelines for Using and Recycling Reusable Rags and Absorbents

  1. Application (rags):  Any operation/task that involves wiping off or cleaning of machinery, components, pumps, or any equipment containing non-PCB oil and/or coolants.
  2. Application (pigs/pads):  For surrounding or cleaning machinery that leak oils and/or coolants.         
  3. Small amounts of non-halogenated solvents (e.g., mineral spirits, ethanol, kerosene) can be applied directly on the rag, which then can be used to dissolve oil and dirt on machinery/components.
  4. Shop areas where rags are heavily used should have a plastic bag lined container labeled soiled or dirty rags. Absorbent pads and pigs should be collected in a separate plastic bag lined container.
  5. Full bags of soiled rags must be taken to the rag pick up/drop off areas, where the supply of clean rags is also available. 
    • In Facilities, the rag pick up/drop off area is in B-76’s Motor Pool Area.
    • In Engineering, the rag and absorbent pick up/drop off location is at B-77’s Tool Crib.
  6. Rags and absorbent pads/pigs can be used to clean up small oil spills, but we strongly discourage using them to clean up spills of solvents or other chemicals.  If they are used to clean up spills of solvents or other chemicals, then they MUST be managed and disposed of as a Hazardous Waste.

If there are any questions, please call Mark Lasartemay x6825 or MTLasartemay@lbl.gov.