In this paper, the ability of chrome shavings to remove motor oils, oily wastes and hydrocarbons from water has been studied. To determine amount of hydrocarbons sorbed on tanned wastes, a FT-NIR methodology was used and a multivariate calibration based on partial least squares (PLS) was employed for data treatment. The light density, porous tanned waste granules float on the surface of water and remove hydrocarbons and oil films. Wastes fibers from tannery industry have high sorption capacity. These tanned solid wastes are capable of absorbing many times their weight in oil or hydrocarbons (6.5-7.6g of oil and 6.3g of hydrocarbons per gram of chrome shavings). The removal efficiency of the pollutants from water is complete. The sorption of pollutants is a quasi-instantaneous process.