On-Site Recycling of Hazardous Waste Solvents

Seymour I. Schwartz
Wendy B. Pratt
Donald R. McCubbin

DOI: 10.2190/VU69-KGCM-R31Y-CL38


This article examines the economic desirability of on-site recycling in two situations widely experienced by small and medium-sized firms that generate hazardous waste. We define baseline conditions with and without the recycling device, and calculate the net present value and rate-of-return for the device; we then apply sensitivity analysis and break-even analysis to examine how good the device is under conditions that depart from the baseline. Results show that the device is very profitable for firms generating 100 gallons of solvent per month but for firms using only 20 or 30 gallons per month of solvent (auto repair shops) the device is not economically desirable under some conditions. We examine policy measures for enhancing the desirability of the device-free collection of distillation residuals, grants to reduce the capital cost of the equipment, and an investment tax credit-and find that these measures can make the device an attractive investment in situations where it would not be attractive without incentives.

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