EPA Declares Cattle Material Prohibited in Animal Feed is Not Hazardous Waste

April 17, 2009 | The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that “cattle material prohibited in animal feed” (CMPAF) is a non-hazardous solid waste and can be disposed of in landfills.

The decision comes after many sectors, including renderers, raised concerns about alternative disposal of CMPAF and dead stock that will no longer be rendered following the Food and Drug Administration’s final feed rule that was to go into effect April 27, 2009, but has now been delayed for 60 days until June 26, 2009. Some landfills stated that CMPAF would be classified as hazardous waste and thus be very expensive to dispose. It is estimated that alternative disposal will be needed for between 300,000 to 350,000 tons of cattle mortalities annually. In addition, the new rule is expected to divert approximately 15,000 tons of slaughter by-products from being rendered for animal feed use.

According to EPA, in order for a solid waste to be a hazardous waste it must either be specifically listed as a hazardous waste by EPA or exhibit a characteristic (ignitable, corrosive, reactive, or toxic). Animal mortalities and wastes generated from the slaughter of animals, including CMPAF, are neither listed nor would they likely exhibit a characteristic, thus the declaration of the material being a solid waste.

More information on EPA’s announcement is available at www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/landfill/cattle.htm.