“Just throw it out.”

Not so fast, sir. We run a clean operation around here!

While some blasters may simply take their used media on a quick journey from their dust collector to the trash bin and call it a day, that’s not the proper way to do it. This post covers the How To’s of safe and thorough blast media disposal, and how Buffalo Manufacturing can help facilitate the process.

Media Recovery

Blast media is referred to as “spent” if it has used up its life cycle. You may also hear the term “tumbling” media used.

During open blasting on a work piece, the spent media and contaminates simply fall to the ground near the work piece.

If the blast operator needs to move around the work piece during the blast, the surrounding work area becomes filled with both spent media and removed contaminants. This is to be shoveled or swept into a waste storage vessel for final disposal or further processing.

If you opt to manually vacuum the spent media and contaminants, use a pick-up wand with a storage silo for subsequent disposal or further processing. Vacuums designed specifically for cleaning and recovery blasted media and contaminants come in a variety of models based on vacuuming speed and storage capacity.

Media Disposal

If you’re blasting anything and removing material it will be mixed in the spent media you plan to dispose of. This may include toxins and hazardous materials – lead, copper, cadmium, paint. Even baking soda, the only type of abrasive media that can be disposed of within a traditional waste stream.

Determining the level of hazardous contaminants in the spent media sets the stage for everything to follow in terms of its disposal.

Following the media recovery and cleaning after an open blast, empty the media into a dry drum, free of contamination. Empty the material slowly, as to allow time for all dust to settle. Make sure the contents of the drum stay dry and consist solely of the spent media – no extra garbage or refuse that someone accidentally discarded.

In order to confirm the spent material is hazardous or non-hazardous, a sample will need to be obtained and a Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) test conducted. Your local garbage company can help facilitate this test. They will also need to issue a “manifest,” or proper documentation declaring the material can be transported.

If your spent abrasive media is classified as “hazardous,” you will be required to follow proper rules for disposal. Typically for hazardous material, it will be easiest to coordinate disposal with an organization that is certified to address hazardous material remove.

If your abrasive ends up being considered non-hazardous,  it will typically be able to be disposed of in a sanitary landfill using standard procedures for disposal of solid waste.

Buffalo Manufacturing, Can You Get Rid of My Spent Media For Me? For Free?

We will remove the contained spent material for you free of charge, provided the proper manifest has been procured. In turn, we ship it to the United States Electrofused Minerals (USEM). Please be accurate and honest in your labelling of the containers holding the spent media.

Please call Buffalo Manufacturing for pick-up coordination specifics at 716-874-0786.

Information on New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hazardous Waste Removal protocols can be found here.