Stratasys PolyJet Materials: Important recycling and disposal changes

Article by Pierre Hart updated October 4, 2016

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PolyJet photopolymers offer an astonishing level of detail and final-product realism that surpasses all other 3D printing technologies.

With chameleon-like ability to simulate clear, flexible and rigid materials and engineering plastics – and even combine multiple material properties into one mode – your prototype could easily be mistaken for final products.

Effective January 25th 2016, PolyJet Photopolymer model materials (not support materials), in their liquid, uncured state, and in quantities of 5kg or more per canister/container are now classified as a ‘dangerous good’ (UN3082 Class 9, Group 3).

Why dispose of PolyJet materials properly?

Certain compounds in volumes of 5 kg or more of PolyJet material resins can be harmful to aquatic life. In order to protect our aquatic friends, these resin volumes now require more stringent disposal and transportation requirements. The chemical formulation of these material resins have not changed, but new information has been discovered about them. All of these material resins will now have the following symbol to indicate this hazard:

recycling polyjet materials

Hazardous to the Aquatic Environment – Chronic Hazard, Category 2 Symbol

How does this affect users of PolyJet material resins?

There is no change on how used PolyJet 1 kg (Desktop) and 2.2 kg (Eden/Connex) material resin containers are disposed. These containers can still be shipped back to Stratasys for recycling. Visit the Stratasys Recycling & Returns Program webpage and fill out the online form to take advantage of the Stratasys used container recycling program free of charge. After submitting your form, Stratasys will send you a postage paid box to ship back your used containers.

As PolyJet waste containers typically contain over 5 kg of liquid uncured model material and are contained only in a bag, they are not accepted as part of the recycling and returns program and must be disposed of by a certified waste disposal company.

recycling polyjet materials
How do I do dispose of my PolyJet waste?

Here are a few options to correctly dispose of PolyJet waste:

  • Contact a certified local waste disposal provider to learn about your areas disposal requirements and to pick up and dispose of your PolyJet waste. Essentially, you store your PolyJet waste until you have enough to fill a 50-gallon drum and then you contact your local waste company to arrange pick up. This is the procedure that Javelin follows. Pricing will vary depending on your area.
  • Give your waste disposal provider a copy of the material’s safety data sheets. Your waste disposal provider will provide the guidance needed to properly dispose of your waste material. PolyJet material MSDS sheets can be found here.
  • Cure it! Once PolyJet waste has been cured it is no longer classified as a dangerous good and can be disposed of as regular waste. Since this waste resin is contained in a clear bag it can be exposed to UV light and cured. Sunlight provides the fastest curing but if left in a room with a florescent light, PolyJet waste material can cure in approximately 2-3 months. Some customers pour their waste resin onto a large flat tray lined with a film, such as a garbage bag, and leave the tray outside exposed to the sun. Using this method, the resin cures much faster. This can also be done indoors using a UV or fluorescent light.

How do I dispose of cleaning materials (rags, cloths, gloves) that have come into contact with PolyJet material resin?

Because these items do not contain more than 5 kg of uncured liquid material resin they can still be disposed of as regular waste.

Final Notes

  • PolyJet material resin part numbers and formulation have not changed.
  • Empty PolyJet material resin containers can still be sent back to Stratasys for recycling.
  • PolyJet waste bags cannot be sent back to Stratasys for recycling and must be disposed of by a certified waste disposal company.
  • For more information about the Stratasys recycling procedure for Canada, visit the Stratasys Recycling & Returns Program webpage.
  • Ontario based hazardous waste disposal company: http://www.hotzenvironmental.com/
  • Canada-wide hazardous waste disposal company: http://www.envirosystemsglobal.com/

3D Printing is changing the world for the better so let’s do our part and responsibly dispose of PolyJet waste!

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Pierre Hart