SBDC
Pennsylvania Material Trader
What is beneficial use and how are permits obtained?

If the material is a waste, it can be reused as an ingredient in a manufacturing or production process or as a substitute for a commercial product if PA DEP determines, through their permitting process, that the waste will have a beneficial use and therefore will no longer be considered a waste. The three basic types of beneficial use permits are permit-by-rule, general permit, and individual permit.

Generally, permit-by-rule, defined in PA Code Title 25 Section 287.102, is granted to processing facilities that pose little or no threat to the environment and meet specific requirements. Some eligible activities include mechanical processing, container processing, and empty drum reconditioning. Permit-by-rule requires notification of PA DEP and meeting all permit-by-rule requirements.

A residual waste general permit is required for a specific reuse of a specific type of waste. There is no limit to the number of facilities that can be covered under a general permit. Beneficial use general permit applications can be lengthy, complicated, and expensive, so it is best to check first to see if the specific reuse you propose for a specific type of waste has already been approved. DEP maintains a list of all of the general permits they have approved. To be covered by a general permit, you must either register or request a determination of applicability, depending on the terms of the permit.

An individual permit is required for a specific facility to cover waste handling operations at the site, and no other facility can be covered under it.

Beneficial Use Permit Forms and Approved Permits Lists