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Ohio EPA recently introduced a new conditional exemption for hazardous waste contaminated wipes and apparel that are laundered and returned for reuse. The exemption includes - but is not limited to - rags, mops, drop cloths, and apparel (for example, gloves, uniforms, smocks and coveralls), which can be made of woven or unwoven and natural or synthetic materials (fabric, leather or rubberlike material). Because many of these contaminated textiles are intended to be cleaned on-site or sent to a laundry or similar facility for cleaning, they may be excluded from the hazardous waste regulations provided the facility that generated the material meets all conditions of the exclusion.

All of the following conditions must be met to meet the exemption.

  • Contaminated wipes and apparel are accumulated, stored and transported in non-leaking, closed containers capable of containing free liquids.
  • Contaminated wipes and apparel are not burned for energy recovery.
  • Contaminated wipes and apparel are NOT REGULATED by the solvent-contaminates wipes rule;
  • No hazardous waste is mixed with the contaminated wipes and apparel.
  • Container accumulation textiles contain no free liquids.
  • A written procedure to ensure that the wipes and apparel contain no free liquids is developed and implemented.
  • Contaminated wipes and apparel are cleaned on-site or sent to an off-site laundry or cleaning facility that is subject to regulation under Section 402 or Section 307(b) of the Clean Water Act.

Ohio EPA hosted a webinar on Feb. 20, 2019 explaining this new rule. The recorded webinar can be viewed on Ohio EPA’s YouTube Channel. The final rules can be accessed at You may also find the guidance document The Management of Solvent-Contaminated Wipes and Other Textiles Laundered for Reuse helpful.

Questions? Contact the Hazardous Waste Compliance and Inspection Support Unit in the Division of Environmental Response and Revitalization at (614) 644-2924.