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Frequently Asked Questions
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bullet What is a materials exchange?

bullet What materials can be exchanged?

bullet Who can use this service?

bullet How do I get started and how does it work?

bullet How much will it cost?

bullet What else can I do to further reduce, reuse and recycle?

bullet Can I exchange items that may be designated as hazardous?

bullet How do I know if a waste is classified as "hazardous"?

bullet Disclaimer



What is a materials exchange?
A material exchange is a service that facilitates the use of one company's unwanted material as another's raw material. It is an information clearinghouse for available surplus, by-products, and used or other forms of unwanted industrial materials. A material exchange identifies both producers (sources) and markets (end-users) for a variety of materials. It operates on the principle that one company's "waste" may be another's feedstock. There is no cost for using the exchange, and it is up to the exchanging parties to negotiate materials costs and shipping among themselves.

What materials can be exchanged?
Virtually anything non-hazardous may be listed on most materials exchanges, and exchanges such as IMEX also allow for listings of hazardous materials. Because listings are free, you are encouraged to list items, even if you doubt anyone would want them. Materials exchanges are internet-based, so it is not unusual for a business in Tennessee or even China to inquire about listings, but be patient, some homes for materials have taken six months or a year to find. Please remember, however, that you are still responsible for complying with all state and federal laws regarding stockpiling/storage of the material while you are listing the materials, as well as all state and federal laws regarding proper transportation, and end use of the material once it has been delivered to the new user. How do I know if a waste is classified as "hazardous"?

Who can use this service?
Any person or business who has surplus materials to list on an exchange or is trying to find materials on an exchange. Please note that many material exchange services are not suited for listing personal household items. Some exchanges may be limited to specific geographic areas, waste types, or business types. So always read the description of the exchange and the terms of use to find the exchange best suited to your needs.

How do I get started and how does it work?
Go to "Find an Exchange" and decide which exchange best suits your needs. In some cases, you may decide to list on more than one exchange. Submit your information about the material(s), your contact information and (if asked) terms of cost, delivery, etc.. Then wait for an interested party to contact you. Also, be sure to review current postings to see if other businesses already have what you need or want what you have. All terms of cost, shipping, etc. must be settled by you and the interested party. The material exchange service does not act as a broker or mediator on behalf of any party.

How much will it cost?
Listing your information on a materials exchange is almost always free. Items available or wanted on exchanges vary in price. Some materials are offered for free but you must pick them up or arrange for transportation. Certain materials are offered for sale at or below market prices. Material exchanges help companies conserve resources and save money by avoiding disposal fees and reducing procurement costs.

What else can I do to further reduce, reuse and recycle?
Besides listing your unwanted materials on a waste exchange, there are some other steps you can take to reduce waste and your impact on the environment.

For tips on starting a recycling program, educating your employees, strategies to prevent waste by business type, waste prevention success stories at Oregon businesses and more, visit the Commercial Waste Reduction Clearinghouse at: http://www.deq.state.or.us/wmc/cwrc.html

For information about recycling in your community, contact the city or county or the regional Oregon Department of Environmental Quality office to find out what services are available in your area. Visit: http://www.deq.state.or.us/wmc/solwaste/regmap.html for a list of regional DEQ contacts or call (800) 452-4011 or (503) 229-5696.

In the Portland-Metro region call the recycling hotline at: (503) 234-3000 or visit Metro Regional Service's site: http://www.metro-region.org

Your regional DEQ office can also provide free assistance with understanding and complying with hazardous waste laws, as well as suggestions on how to reduce the production of hazardous wastes in the first place. Visit: http://www.deq.state.or.us/wmc/tuwrap/tuwrap-contacts.html for a list of regional DEQ contacts or call (800) 452-4011 or (503) 229-5696.

Learn more about preventing waste before you create it. In some cases, this begins at the manufacturing process. Assessing the manufacturing system, materials used, types of packaging and shipping, etc. is a concept called "Design for the Environment". Learn more about this concept at the Environmental Protection Agency's site: http://www.epa.gov/dfe/

Can I Exchange Items That May Be Designated as Hazardous?
Some exchanges, such as IMEX, allow for the exchange of hazardous materials. Others (including the Central Oregon SWAP Site, Portland Soil Trader, BRING Recycling Materials Exchange, and Clackamas Supply Our Schools) do not. Please remember, however, that you are still responsible for complying with all state and federal laws regarding stockpiling/storage of the material while you are listing the materials, as well as all state and federal laws regarding proper transportation, and end use of the product once it has been delivered to the new user.

How Do I Know if a Waste is Classified as "Hazardous"?
Different states have slightly different methods of classifying hazardous wastes. In Oregon, your regional DEQ office can help you understand the rules for determining if a waste is classified as hazardous or not. Visit: http://www.deq.state.or.us/wmc/tuwrap/tuwrap-contacts.html for a list of regional DEQ contacts or call (800) 452-4011 or (503) 229-5696.

In Washington, information about hazardous waste management can be found at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/hwtr/reg_comp_guide/ or by calling the Washington Department of Ecology: (360) 407-6700.

In Idaho, go to http://www2.state.id.us/deq/permits/rcra/w_hazwaste.htm or call (208) 373-0502.

Disclaimer
The links to waste exchange organizations provided through this web site are based solely on information provided by the organizations. Neither the State of Oregon (State) nor the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) makes any evaluation or representation, express or implied, as to any organization listed. The listed organizations are not in any way affiliated with the State or DEQ.


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