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August, 2012

We Moved!

Did you hear? Absolute Resource Associates has moved to a larger facility! Still at 124 Heritage Avenue in Portsmouth, we have relocated from Unit 10 (3000 square feet) ...

Unit 10 Moving Day  

... into Unit 16 (7500 square feet)

Unit 16 Reception Unit 16 Moving Day

Our goal was to move the entire facility seamlessly, without any interruption to our services. It took months of planning, hard work and dedication from our team, but we accomplished that goal, as our customers did not even notice that we had moved until they received notification in the mail. Amazing!


ARA has tripled in revenue and staffing since 2000, so we were nearly bursting at the seams in our old facility. Everyone here at ARA is so pleased to have some extra space to work, as well as a few new pieces of lab equipment, including SIX brand new hoods and a new GC Mass Spec. We look forward to showing you our new home- please come by any time and we’d be happy to give you a tour. We are also planning an Open House in the coming months-- stay tuned! As always, thank you for helping us grow- we couldn’t do it without you!


Reactive Cyanide and Reactive Sulfide: 

What you Need to Know

One of the typical tests required by companies that receive waste for disposal is for the determination of the hazardous waste characteristic of Reactivity.  The regulatory definition of Reactivity can be found in 40 CFR 261.23, but here is a succinct excerpt of that definition from SW846 Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods, Update IV.


The regulation in 40 CFR 261.23 defines reactive wastes to include wastes that have any of the following properties: (1) readily undergo violent chemical change; (2) react violently or form potentially explosive mixtures with water; (3) generate toxic fumes when mixed with water or, in the case of cyanide- or sulfide-bearing wastes, when exposed to mild acidic or basic conditions; (4) explode when subjected to a strong initiating force; (5) explode at normal temperatures and pressures; or (6) fit within the Department of Transportation's forbidden explosives, Class A explosives, or Class B explosives classifications.


Test methods for determining the reactivity characteristic appeared in SW846 around July of 1985.  After extensive review and feedback on the methods, the EPA Office of Solid Waste withdrew the methods and the guidance they had provided on the reactivity characteristic.  The memorandum from the Office of Solid Waste states  “…it is our conclusion that there were critical errors made in developing the guidance,…concerns regarding the reliability of the guidance are well founded, and that the guidance should be withdrawn… The Agency relies entirely on a descriptive, prose definition of reactivity because available tests for measuring the variegated class of effects embraced by the reactivity definition suffer from a number of deficiencies.”  As a result, the guidance and methods for the reactivity characteristic have since been withdrawn from SW846 since 2005. 


However, some agencies, disposal firms, and customers continue to request the laboratory to perform analysis for reactive cyanide and reactive sulfide.  Despite the fact that there is no regulatory guidance or method to perform such analysis, the requests continue. 


If the generator of the waste is unable to make this determination, the use of a method that is known to not measure reactive cyanide or sulfide should certainly NOT be used.  A practical approach, if the generator has no knowledge, is to begin by testing the waste for total cyanide and total sulfide.  If your waste does not contain these constituents, it cannot be reactive for cyanide and sulfide as per item (3) in the definition above.   If the waste does contain these cyanide and/or sulfide, then further research needs to be done to understand the waste source and evaluate the waste properties as described in the definition of reactivity.


Meet the Team!

Jane Borkland has been with Absolute Resource Associates since October 2006. In that time she’s proven to be an essential asset to her peers and the ARA management team. When she’s not busy sending out reports and making bottle orders, Jane assists with marketing campaigns, processing bills and invoices, as well as customer service (oh, and the Resource Rambler too!!).


Outside of the office Jane enjoys spending time with family and friends. She and her fiancé Andy bought their first home in Deerfield, NH in April 2010. Built c.1786 they’ve been working on restoration projects and ensuring its life for another 226 years!! Most notably Jane enjoys spending as much of her free time as possible with her 2 year old Great Pyrenees, Duppy. Whether it’s swimming at Great Bay, walking the trails of Bear Brook State Park or just puttering in the yard, Jane and her little family love the outdoors! She is looking forward to her wedding in October of this year, and even more so their honeymoon the following April to the Rockhouse in Jamaica!


Senator Shaheen & SBA’s Karen Mills visit ARA!

US Senator Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, and US Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen Mills  visited Absolute Resource Associates (ARA) in Portsmouth on August 17th to talk about how the SBA federal programs have impacted ARA in terms of opportunities and job growth.

ARA is a small, woman owned business participating in the SBA 8a business development program, and has met the qualifications to be classified as an Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business (EDWOSB). These programs (8a and EDWOSB), and others like it, are designed to help small businesses get on the same playing field as their larger competitors.

During the tour of the ARA facility, Senator Shaheen and Administrator Mills were able to get a better understanding of the role that ARA plays in protecting human health and the environment by providing analytical support to Brownfields projects, air quality services for LEEDS buildings and asbestos remediation, nitrogen treatment research in municipal wastewater treatment facility upgrades, and other infrastructure projects for local, state and federal customers. Shaheen and Mills congratulated the Sylvesters for taking advantage of the federal programs designed specifically to help companies like ARA. “The SBA puts the wind in the sails of small businesses,” said Mills, “so that they have the tools and resources they need to be successful and create jobs.”


The Resource Rambler is brought to you by your friends at

Absolute Resource Associates
124 Heritage Ave. Unit #16 Portsmouth, NH 03801


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