This guideline provides collection, storage and disposal information for contaminated rags and towels (cloth & paper). Contaminated rags and towels can be classified as either hazardous waste or non-hazardous waste, based on the contaminated materials.
Rags and towels that are contaminated with solvents such as paint thinners, acetone, alcohols, etc, must be collected and disposed of as hazardous waste. For situations where the liquid cleaner/solvent component on the rag is unknown, a material safety data sheet (MSDS) should be reviewed to determine if the component is hazardous.
Rags and towels contaminated with non-hazardous materials, such as latex paints, and are not contaminated with hazardous materials may be disposed of in the regular trash.
Rags, towels and absorbent that are contaminated with oil or used for an oil spill cleanup must be collected, and disposed of as used oil debris. The container must be properly labeled as “used oil” while in storage and the contents disposed with licensed waste vendor.