Disposal costs for waste have been an ongoing area of concern for both retailers and product manufacturers. Providing additional testing and safety documentation to your WERCSmart product registration can help ensure accurate classification and aid in minimizing disposal costs for you and your retail partners.

 

This article discusses:

  1. How WERCSmart determines waste classifications based on your product registration

  2. State-regulated waste codes and what to look for

  3. What optimization options are available to help minimize disposal costs

  4. How Retailers receive and use waste classification codes




How WERCSmart determines waste classifications based on your product registration

 

If product disposal costs are a concern, understanding how WERCSmart determines waste classifications during a product registration assessment is an important step towards identifying optimization solutions. 


During the product registration process, brand owners, manufacturers, distributors, and third-party formulators (all commonly referred to as “suppliers”) are asked to provide product data such as recommended use, chemical composition, physical properties, transportation-related information, as well as various safety documents like Safety Data Sheets (SDS), certifications and product testing documentation.

 

Data quality is the cornerstone of the WERCSmart program. Its purpose is to facilitate and protect the safe exchange of product data for you and your retail partners. Once WERCSmart receives your registration data, the program derives additional compliance and sustainability data point results. You can view these data point results as reports, while your retail partners receive them in a variety of ways so they can confidently know how to sell, handle, store, transport, and dispose of your chemical-based products.

 

When your product registration is ready for assessment, it goes through two interdependent Quality Control (QC) stages before WERCSmart can deliver consistent and accurate classification results to your retail partners. These are:

 

 

Quality Control Stage 1 – Automation assessment for consistency

WERCSmart’s automation engine first compares the consistency of the data provided in your registration to your product’s uploaded safety documents, as well as any applicable certification and/or testing documentation. The data is then screened against the most up-to-date federal, state, provincial, and local regulations for output of initial results.

 

If consistent – If the registration and document data are consistent with each other, the results are considered accurate, and results are passed onto your retail partners.


If inconsistent – Registrations that are found to have inconsistent data get assigned to QC Stage 2 to be reviewed by a UL assessment specialist for further investigation.

 

 

Quality Control Stage 2 – Human review assessment for accuracy


Inconsistent product registration data can be a result of multiple things. Some of the most likely challenges are simple data entry errors, missing data fields, differing formulation percentages when document data is compared to component data.

Regardless of the reason for the inconsistency in data, this important quality control step provides your account specialist notification to review the data so they can advocate for the best and most accurate outcome defined within the regulation.

When an inconsistency is discovered, you are alerted and the product’s status is listed as “Needs Attention” so you are able to remedy any issues by resubmitting the registration after the necessary adjustments are made. Results are not reported to retail partners until consistent data is assessed.



State-regulated waste codes and items to watch


If your product is sold in the U.S., there are a number of state regulations that may impact your waste classification and deem it as regulated waste in certain states.

 

Retailers, in turn, take on the additional costs for disposing of products that are regulated as state waste items. To see if your product is currently classified as a state-regulated waste, the WERCSmart Waste Classification Summary report is an excellent resource to view your RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) federal and state waste code results countrywide. 

 

 


What optimization options are available to help minimize disposal costs


If you already participate in a retail waste program, the following options and considerations are available within WERCSmart to help optimize your product registration that can potentially minimize disposal costs:

 

Product testing considerations – Deciding whether the cost and effort required for state-specific product testing can be challenging. A general guideline to help determine whether your product is a good candidate for testing is as follows:

  • Is your product regulated for federal transport? If your product is already federally regulated for transport, it is unlikely that it will yield an optimal result with any state-specific testing. If you are unsure whether your product is federally regulated for transport, begin by checking with your logistics or shipping department.

  • Do you sell in California or Washington? If your product is not federally regulated for transport, testing in the states of California and Washington should be considered. California and Washington are currently among the most stringent of states with regulated waste penalties and will yield the greatest impact on your goal of minimizing incurred waste fees.

 

Provide testing documents – A complete and accurate product registration helps ensure the correct product classification as defined within the regulation. For an optimal code result, WERCSmart encourages the inclusion of testing or state-provided documentation showing that regulated waste classifications do not apply.


Disputes – If you do not agree or question your waste classification result shown in the WERCSmart Waste Classification Summary report, please make a request to speak with a product assessment specialist to review your registration. Our product assessment team acts as your advocate for the best and most accurate outcome defined within the regulation. Requests can be made by either submitting an inquiry ticket located in Customer Support or by live chat.


UL can help

If your product is a good candidate for state-specific testing and you would like further assistance on how to best execute the process, please let us know. Our team can help you identify products suitable for testing and provide you a list of state recommendations and the types of testing for each state. Doing so can help provide a solid foundation for determining whether state-specific testing will deliver a quality return on your investment.

 


How Retailers receive and use your product's waste classification

 

Retailers are required to take on the responsibility of complying with state, provincial, and federal chemical regulations. Improper disposal, storage, transportation, and handling of chemical-containing products can lead to sizable fines and bad press; activities that erode brand reputation, profits, and consumer trust.

 

The WERCSmart program is designed to help retailers manage risk and regulatory liability of products they use and sell. From front line associates to managers and administrators, retail recipients obtain data results in a variety of ways that range from mobile applications to analytical dashboards. The information you provide in your product registration helps solve common retailer waste management challenges by:

  • Minimizing state/provincial and federal waste costs

  • Tie into claims process/reverse logistics

  • Scanning shelf label to indicate proper storage container

  • Monitoring waste trends for packaging or reformulation considerations

 

 


Questions and assistance


If you would like to learn more about how to optimize your product registration, assistance is available by using the WERCSmart Live Chat feature located in the lower right corner of your screen.

 

 

 

 

Note: It’s important to note that the product composition information provided by suppliers is never accessible or visible to retail partners. All confidential information disclosed as part of the product registration process remains protected within WERCSmart. Retailers only receive the calculated results which are, in turn, used as a necessary part of their compliance and chemical policy programs.

 

The WERCSmart program provides a secure, permission-based platform that facilitates the safe exchange of product information between manufacturers and retailers with the highest standards of confidentiality and service.