Surface coating of chillers was primarily done with oil-based paints supplied in non reusable metal cans. The paint required a petroleum-based thinner for mixing and cleaning spray painting equipment. Xylene, a chemical listed on the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) was used as the thinner. This resulted in thousands of pounds of hazardous waste and TRI emissions. The metal cans were crushed and shipped as hazardous waste.
Oil-based paints were replaced with water-based paints, reducing the need for large amounts of toxic thinners and cleaners. Consequently, xylene was used only in small amounts for cleaning spray gun tips. The water-based paint was supplied in plastic containers, which the vendor reclaimed for reuse.
Switching to water-based paint and reducing the use of xylene resulted in an 85% reduction in hazardous waste and reduced the TRI chemical usage.
Details of Reductions
Additional Information :
- Xylene reduction and paint substitution: over $15,000 per year
- Paint Can disposal and recouped labor: over $2,000 per year
These savings are rising as the process is continually being refined.