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Beneficial Use

The Beneficial Use Program

  • Develops technical guidance, general permits, forms and publications to encourage the environmentally sound beneficial use of municipal and residual wastes;
  • Performs outreach and education to market the environmentally sound beneficial use of municipal and residual wastes;
  • Issues general permits for the beneficial use of municipal and residual wastes; and
  • Provides guidance on permitting and compliance monitoring of municipal and residual waste beneficial use facilities.

Overview of Regulatory Requirements

  1. Most materials are not regulated as waste when recycled. This includes materials recycled by being:
    (A) Used or reused as ingredients in an industrial process to make a product or employed in a particular function or application as an effective substitute for a commercial product, provided the materials are not being reclaimed. Sizing, shaping or sorting of the material is not considered processing.
    (B) Coproducts.
    (C) Returned to the original process from which they are generated, without first being reclaimed or land disposed. The material must be returned as a substitute for feedstock materials. Materials must be managed so that there is no placement on the land and the secondary process takes place onsite.
  2. Materials that are reclaimed prior to being recycled are wastes until the reclamation occurs. On-site reclamation of municipal and residual waste is regulated under Permit-by-rule ( 271.103or 287.102). Off-site reclamation is regulated under either a General Permit ( 271.821 or 287.621) or Processing Permit ( 283.1 or 297.1). See General Permits for more details.
  3. Materials are regulated as wastes, if the materials are:
    (A) beneficially used in a manner constituting disposal, or used to produce products that are applied to the land.
    (B) burned for energy recovery, used to produce fuel or contained in fuel.
    (C) accumulated speculatively.

The beneficial use of municipal and residual wastes is regulated under a General Permit ( 271.821 or 287.621). See General Permits for more details.

Composting of municipal and residual wastes is regulated under a Composting Permit ( 281.1 or 295.1). Yard waste composting facilities less than 5 acres are regulated under Permit-by-rule ( 271.103).