Disposal of Flameless Ration Heaters (FRH) and Food Heaters
The TrueTech Self-Heating Technology is found in both the Flameless Ration Heaters (FRH) that heat military MREs, and also the food heaters found in HeaterMeals products. Both heaters are a simple combination of powdered food grade iron and magnesium, salt, and water. When water is poured on the heater pad (HeaterMeals food heaters use salt water, while FRH MRE heaters use regular water) the Food Heater releases enough heat to warm-up a pre-cooked meal 100 degrees Fahrenheit in approximately 10 minutes.
Both types of food heaters are non-toxic and safe to use. Spent food heaters can be easily disposed of as household trash.
The use of the military FRH MRE heater has raised questions in the past, and for a period of time, its disposal had certain requirements attached to it.
However, in 2004 the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) changed its original stance on how to dispose of small quantities of unused FRH food heaters. The EPA found that the FRHs were safe to dispose of as regular trash. In a guidance letter dated 10/19/2004, the EPA stated,
UNDER EPAS NEW GUIDANCE, FRHS ISSUED TO SOLDIERS WITH MRES FOR USE IN THE FIELD, AT MILITARY INSTALLATIONS, OR IN A TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT RESIDENTIAL SETTING ARE EXEMPT FROM RCRA REGULATION AS HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, SOLDIERS MAY DISPOSE OF WASTE FRH, EITHER ACTIVATED OR UNACTIVATED, AS NON-HAZARDOUS SOLID WASTE.
So, used and unused food heaters can be disposed of as ordinary trash. Large quantities of FRH food heaters can be returned to our factory for recycling for a nominal fee. Please call us toll free at 1-800-503-4483 for the details.
For complete comments from the EPA regarding FRH and food heater disposal, please see this Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP) link to EPA Guidelines for disposal of unused FRH MRE heaters.