Disposal

Disposal of detergents, as with all chemicals, comes under the purview of federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Food processors should maintain close contact with their waste-disposal facilities to keep abreast of current requirements for disposal in their respective locales. Generally, spent detergents can be flushed down the drain. However, care does need to be taken to ensure that this waste solution does comply with the requirements of the local wastewater treatment plant. Usually their primary concerns are the pH and the phosphate levels in the discharged waste. Avoid using detergents containing phosphates where stringent phosphate disposal levels exist. The pH can be readily neutralized, if necessary, before sending the solution out to the wastewater treatment plant. In the event of a detergent spill, several options exist. One would be to neutralize and dilute the detergent with water and dispose as wastewater. Another would be to contain the spill, absorb onto an appropriate substrate, if a liquid, and dispose in a landfill in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. Certain solvent cleaners present special disposal problems unique to them, and special care must be taken to comply with the disposal regulations for those products.

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