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RENEW Success Stories

How businesses used RENEW to help reduce waste and improve their bottom line.


Since 1989, the more than 500 RENEW exchanges have:

  • diverted more than one billion pounds of materials for reuse or recycling by industries;
  • saved facilities more than $27 million in disposal costs; and
  • helped facilities earn close to $15 million (since 1996) from the sale of recyclable materials.

RENEW Success Stories 2016

A biodiesel production company transferred 275 pounds of waste acetone to a company that recycled it for lacquer paint production. The material is typically sent to a hazardous waste disposal site that would have cost the facility $750. Through the RENEW program the company hopes to continue to find sources for their waste acetone to help keep them within the threshold of a Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator of hazardous waste.
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A company that refines and markets oil and natural gas transferred 7,800,000 pounds of crude oil tank bottoms to a company who was able to reuse it saving them $236,800. The crude bottoms were not good enough to ship with the condensate or the light crude the company typically manages. As such, this material would have been sent off as a hazardous waste causing the site to become a Large Quantity Generator. Additionally, the site would have had to pay thousands of dollars more to dispose of the normal Class I waste they generate.

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For the past eight years, a wire-cleaning company and a chemical company have conducted an ongoing exchange of sulfuric acid. The wire-cleaning company uses the acid to remove rust from wires. The sulfuric acid (less than 51 percent) is then sold to the chemical company, which uses it to produce ferrous sulfate (a chemical commonly used to control wastewater odors). The wire-cleaning company saves disposal costs and even generates revenue from selling the acid, while the chemical company saves money by using non-virgin material to make a product. This eight-year exchange has resulted in the reclamation of 99,232,000 pounds (49,616 tons) of sulfuric acid, saving the generator approximately $2,515,000 in disposal costs and earning more than $315,000 in revenue over the past three years.

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A chemical manufacturing plant avoided disposal costs of $15,000 for incineration of 110,000 pounds of plastic waste. They sold the plastic to another company who used the material as a fuel source and earned $2,000 for the sale.