Garnet Disposal

garnet recycling | Sustainability in Abrasive blasting and waterjet cutting USA

The Cost-Effective Option for Used Waterjet and Abrasive Blast Media Disposal

Disposing of used abrasive can be expensive through traditional waste management methods. GMA is committed to offering a cost-effective alternative, providing additional value to our abrasive customers. Through advances in GMA's processing capabilities, we can now reprocess used garnet into a high-quality abrasive.

By participating in the GMA Garnet Return Program, customers streamline their operations, dealing with fewer providers, stay compliant with regulations, sidestep hidden fees, and reduce their waste footprint. The GMA Garnet Disposal Program embodies environmental responsibility and practical efficiency, allowing customers to focus on their core activities while embracing sustainable practices.

GMA stands ready with environmentally friendly and responsible solutions.

Is your company a good match for GMA's abrasive blast media disposal program? Talk to an expert.

Logistics of the GMA Garnet Return Program

How does the GMA Garnet Return Program work?

Customers send used garnet from waterjet cutting or abrasive blasting operations to one of our collection points, and we reprocess the material in one of our state-of-the-art processing plants. Before used garnet can be returned, we must ensure it is environmentally safe to transport and process.
  • To ensure all loads of garnet are non-hazardous, a 100-gram sample of used garnet must be tested with a Third-Party Environmental Laboratory for Resource Conservation & Recovery ACT (RCRA 8 Metals) via Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) analysis (RCRA 8 TCLP).
  • Next, a sample is submitted to the appropriate GMA laboratory for a Sieve Analysis to determine if the garnet is viable for reprocessing.
  • If suitable and safe, GMA will issue a return authorization upon completing a simple Garnet Profile Form.

What does GMA do with the spent garnet?

GMA will reprocess the garnet just as we process freshly mined garnet, according to our same strict standards and testing.

How do I get it out of a waterjet tank?

There are many ways to remove spent garnet from a waterjet tank, ranging from shoveling the material to various automated removal systems. Contact your waterjet OEM or GMA representative to discuss options for your shop.

Does the water in the garnet add weight?

Garnet itself does not absorb water, so any water weight is minimal and usually limited.


What is the cost?

The cost will include the TCLP analysis, transportation of the material to the GMA facility, and, in special cases, GMA handling fees. These costs differ depending on transportation distance, lab fees, and other variables.

Typically, costs are lower if your facility is closer to a collection point. Our beneficial use collection points are located in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania; Cincinnati, Ohio; Coos Bay, Oregon; and Houston, Texas.

Do you repurchase the garnet from us?

GMA does not purchase the used garnet. However, allowing GMA to recycle your garnet is, in most cases, more affordable than paying for other methods of garnet disposal. We work with customers to create a sustainable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly arrangement.


Do I return used garnet in bulk bags?

While returning material repackaged in bulk bags is most common, we are happy to work with customers to see if other options may be convenient.

How do I package my used garnet?

Typically, you return it in unlined, like-new bulk bags on a good-quality pallet.

Do I return garnet waste in dump trucks and roll-off bins?

We are happy to work with customers to see if this can be an option.


Is used waterjet garnet or abrasive blast media hazardous?

GMA garnet products are inert and inherently nonhazardous. However, the garnet can be contaminated if foreign materials are introduced during the waterjet cutting or blasting. Hence, testing and evaluation are required before returning any garnet to protect both companies.

Is environmental testing needed?

We require a TCLP test prior to returning garnet, and your local regulations may require further testing.

We are responsible for the spent material from cradle to grave – how can we be assured this isn’t going to impact us later (legal, environmental, etc.)?

Upfront testing will negate future liability, and GMA reprocesses your garnet according to all regulations.

From a client

We have finally found GMA, a partner who meets our requirements in managing our used
garnet responsibly at a reasonable cost.

Read more about CUTCUT's success in waterjet abrasive recycling with GMA.

Florian Baumann, General Manager, CUTCUT


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