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Dry Cleaning Machine Disposal

MACHINE DISPOSAL: Facility owners are required to notify the DEC Regional Air Pollution Control Engineer by Certified mail Return Receipt requested, that an existing dry cleaning machine has been taken out of service. This should be done within 30 days of taking the unit out of service on a form available from DEC.

Before installing a new dry-cleaning machine the Facility owner must file a new set of NYS Registration/Permit and NESHAPS notification forms to the local DEC Regional Office. Forms are available from the DEC Regional offices, DEC in Albany at 518-402-8403 or from the NYS SBEO at 1-800-782-8369. Most facilities should file 3 forms: NYS Registration Application, Dry Cleaner Information Form, and a new NESHAPS Initial Notification/Compliance Report. Follow instructions on the forms.

Proper Disposal of Used Perc Dry-cleaning Equipment

As many New York dry-cleaners are already aware, there are many regulations and requirements which Perc dry-cleaners must abide by. In the past most of the regulatory requirements have been associated with New York State's Part 232. You should however be aware that the disposal of dry cleaning machines comes under the Hazardous Waste Regulation - Part 236. Part 236 requires dry cleaners to carefully consider how they will dispose of their used Perc machines.

Basically there are three different options for dealing with used Perc Dry-cleaning machines which are being taken out of service. Each option has its own requirements.

OPTION 1: The Machine is Taken out of Service in New York State, is Sold and Subsequently Used for Perchloroethlene Dry Cleaning in Another State.

If the Perc dry cleaning machine is to be sold out of state, the machines themselves would never actually become solid waste and would not require any special permitting before being relocated to the out-of-state facility location. However, all the drainings and spent wash solution from the machine must be managed and disposed as a hazardous waste. It is essential to note that since June 26, 2003 Part 232 expressly forbids the installation of any used perc dry cleaning machine in New York State unless a variance has been granted. In the absence of a variance, the used machine MUST be sold to an out-of-state dry-cleaner if it is to remain operational.

OPTION 2: The Used Machine is to be Disposed of as a "Non-Hazardous Waste"

If the Perc dry cleaning machines are to be disposed of as non-hazardous waste, New York State's Part 376 requires that the machine be cleaned using a cleaning or destruction method such as water washing as described in the regulation [Part 376.4(g)]. The cleaning can be done at the dry cleaners site without needing a Part 373 Hazardous Waste Treatment Permit provided that the cleaning operation and removal of the machine from the dry cleaner's site takes place within 90 days from when the machine was taken out of service. It is very important that all cleaning and machine removal take place within this 90 day period. Failure to do so forfeits the cleaners ability to have onsite cleaning performed and would require the cleaner to be responsible for the added expense of having the cleaning done at a facility with a valid Part 373 hazardous waste treatment facility.

OPTION 3: The Machine is Disposed of as "Scrap Metal"

If the Perc machine is to be sent for scrap metal reclamation instead of disposal there are two possibilities:

  1. The dry-cleaner can clean the machine as proscribed in option two and then turn the machine over to a scrap metal reclaimer. This means that the machine would not be considered as hazardous waste and that the scrap metal dealer does not have any responsibility for the hazardous waste.
  2. The machine can be sent to a scrap metal reclaimer without cleaning however, the dry-cleaner must be aware that the scrap metal reclaimer must possess the proper permit and facilities to handle the hazardous waste. The dry-cleaner must be aware that even though the scrap metal reclaimer takes possession of the machine and is resposible for the claeaning, the ultimate legal responsibility for the proper handling of the hazardous waste (i.e.. the Perc contaminated machine) always remains with the cleaner. For this reason it is very important that the dry-cleaner deal with a reputable hazardous waste handler/recycler. Additionally, if the cleaner decides to let the scrap metal reclaimer handle the removal of the uncleaned machine as hazardous waste, the cleaner must file a "C7" Notification for Hazardous Waste Generators". This notification which documents the name, date and waste hauler and waste generator should be sent to the appropriate Department of Environmental Conservation regional office.

Remember that no matter which option you choose, all Perc and Perc-contaminated washing solutions and drainings from the machine must be handled as hazardous waste. In most cases your regular hazardous waste hauler can handle the extra volume. If you have any questions about disposal of your drycleaning machine you can call the SBEO at 1-800-STATE-NY.


  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC
    Division of Air Resources
    Dry Cleaner Program
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-3254
    518-402-8403
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