Clean Harbors utilizes technicians which are skilled and familiar with all styles, sizes, and designs of carbon systems. They are experienced in removing and loading carbon with a variety of devices and techniques. They are also skilled at vessel repair and troubleshooting. (Picture at right shows our technician loading activated carbon into a slurry truck for a 40,000#  changeout.)

Spent Carbon Acceptance Criteria

We can accept spent carbon from the vast majority of our projects, which are typically petroleum Hydrocarbon related (BTEX) applications. The spent carbon from these sites is usually classified as non-hazardous waste per EPA CFR guidelines. Only non-hazardous waste can be accepted at our facility. However, we do provide reactivation services for hazardous spent carbon through subcontractors when required.

The following is required prior to the initial carbon changeout at the site:

  1. A quart sample composite of the applicable spent carbon should be taken. A TCLP test is performed on the spent carbon which can characterize the carbon as non-hazardous waste if it falls within certain criteria. The TCLP-Benzene test is performed on most petroleum sites, while a total volatile TCLP is required for sites with chlorinated solvents.
  2. The spent carbon profile form should be filled out and sent to Clean Harbors.
  3. Test results are obtained within 2 weeks of submittal. The TCLP results are valid for the entire life of the project.


Results of less than 0.5 ppm of Benzene would indicate a non-hazardous spent carbon. Spent carbon can also be characterized utilizing "mass balance" techniques. Call us for assistance.