Background: California auto dealers are charging for expenses related to management and disposal of hazardous wastes generated during servicing an automobile since 1989. The dealers are allowed to recover the expenses, both direct and indirect, incurred in managing and disposal of wastes generated during servicing automobiles. The used oil haulers who were once paying dealers for oil in the amount of $0.85 to $1.00 per gallon are no longer paying. This is the direct consequence of the reduction of the price of crude oil.
Background: Present US law requires that most hazardous waste be transported from hazardous waste generators (dealerships) to permitted recycling, treatment, storage, or disposal facilities (TSDF) by registered hazardous waste transporters, and that each shipment be accompanied by a hazardous waste manifest. The manifest is the document that provides information for “cradle-to-grave” tracking of the hazardous waste.
The good new is that the dealers in California and other states do not have to manifest used oil, used coolant, used oil filters or any of the Universal Wastes. The only waste that is regularly manifested to disposal from dealerships’ is their clarifier sludge. As of July 2000, manifests were no longer required in California for parts cleaning solvent (both water based and petroleum based) even though certain haulers continue to manifest the parts washer waste.
Every state had a different manifest and believe me; they were as different as they could be. California had a six-page manifest with blue, white and yellow colors. Texas, Arizona and Alabama each had them in different colors and formats. In summary, keeping track of manifests was a state-to-state mission and confusing at best. Now the Feds have marched in with a new manifest applicable to one and all in every state.
On February 8, 2006, regulations that require recycling of mercury containing fluorescent lamps, batteries, (non-automotive type) and other mercury containing materials will be prohibited from disposal as ordinary trash and required to be recycled. Some of the Universal Wastes that require recycling is as follows:
- Fluorescent Lamps
- Mercury Containing Switches, Novelties & other products
- Batteries (non-automotive kind)
- Non-Empty Aerosols
- Cathode Ray Tube
There are a few acts of omission or commission by the management that can get them to jail, i.e., the act is considered criminal in nature. Consider the case where a hoist in the shop is “jumping” (mal-functioning). The technician walks into the office of the Service Manager and informs that the hoist is not working and needs immediate repair. The Service Manager is busy in his every day chores and burdened with mounting expenses for the month, delays the repair of the hoist to the next month. Two weeks later, a car falls off the mal-functioning hoist and the operator employee is killed.
A number of auto dealers in Orange County, California are involved in a lawsuit over improper disposal of wastewater to storm drains. A company that previously was involved in cleaning the shop floors at some of these dealerships has filed the lawsuit. While the legal theories being used in the lawsuit are complex, the objective of this article is to reinforce proper wastewater disposal procedures for the dealerships.
Hazardous Waste Management — Cost Analysis
The California Attorney General’s Office has sent several automobile dealers notices regarding deceptive advertising practices being used for hazardous waste disposal charges. The Attorney General’s office is specifically concerned with advertisements (i.e. coupons) that list a price for a service with a notation “Plus Hazardous Waste Disposal.”