Recycling & Environmental Policies
Hirsch Metals Corporation (HMC) subcontracts certain jobs so that we can make the best use of secondary alloys in our manufacturing process. We have a broad program in place that ensures the companies we subcontract with process material in compliance with all applicable environmental, health, and safety programs. Our concerns include, but are not limited to: proper pollution control equipment installed on all processing control and maintenance of pollution liability insurance.
With regard to health and safety programs, our subcontractors must have in place a full suite of written programs and training courses that cover such topics as hearing conservation, lead awareness and safety, respirator training, forklift training, and other topics as required. In addition, they must have a full medical monitoring and lead safety program in place.
Inspection Upon Arrival
Incoming materials are examined to be certain that they match the material profile established and that the manifest is in order (if applicable). The generator is contracted to regarding the questionable materials to determine whether the material needs to be accepted or rejected. HMC subcontractors work with the generator regarding the final destination of the material for rejected items.
Description of the Recycling Processes
Tin/lead drosses, sludges and residues are converted to tin/lead metal in a gasfired rotary furnace. This furnace has a capacity of 90 tons per day. Materials are charged into the furnace using an automated charging system. Fluxes and other reagents are added and the resulting molten metal is cast into ingots. These ingots are then refined to finished metal that is sold to refiners and end-product manufacturers.
HMC subcontractors have three 60-ton refining kettles and several assorted smaller refining kettles. Standard pyrometallurgical refining methods are used to remove impurities from the metal that is produces in the rotary furnace. Clean electronics grade solder drosses may also be processed directly in these kettles.
HMC contractors also operate a hydrometallurgical recovery operation that primarily processes tin/lead etchant solutions generated in printed circuit board manufacture. The tin/lead is precipitated out of the solution, dried, and smelted in the rotary furnace. The treated wastewater from this process is discharged under permit to the local POTW.
Description and Disposition of By-Products
The following by-products are produced: slag, scrubber water, baghouse dust and refining drosses. The slag is tested to ensure that it passes TCLP for all metals and is then recycled into road base. The scrubber water is treated on-site in the hydrometallurgical process and discharged to the POTW. The baghouse dust is washed in the hydrometallurgical plant and recycled through the rotary furnace. Refining drosses are smelted into usable metal or sold to other recyclers for metal recovery.