Auto dealers find the disposal of undeployed airbags to be a significant challenge, because they can be considered “reactive hazardous waste” if they are not recycled. For many years, dealers have opted to deploy the airbags and then send them to disposal sites like traditional landfills or incinerators. However, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently cited a dealer for doing so.
So what’s the best approach for disposing of undeployed airbags? Till now, dealers’ options have included:
- Recycling the undeployed airbag.
- Disposing the undeployed airbags as hazardous waste.
- Deploying the airbags and then sending them to disposal.
Since the EPA recently cited a dealer for “treatment of hazardous waste without a permit” for deploying airbags, disposal of such items has become more problematic. Every dealer needs to weigh a variety of pros and cons, such as long-term liabilities and shipping costs.
Bottom line: If you’re not sure about the best approach for disposing undeployed airbags in your state, or if you’re using option 3 above, it’s time to reconsider your approach.
KPA Environment & Safety clients can contact their engineer for more information. Or, you can review the airbag page on our website.