Hazardous Waste Program
Determining a Hazardous Waste
From the archives of the Enforcement and Compliance Listserv for Hazardous Waste Generators
The last two months we discussed when a business was considered a generator. Now we are going to discuss the responsibility that a generator has in regards to make a hazardous waste determination. The initial step to make a hazardous waste determination is knowing when you first have a solid waste, so let's begin there.
Some wastes are specifically excluded from being categorized as a solid waste. These exclusions are explained in 40 CFR 260.30 and 260.31. These exclusions cover parts of speculative accumulation, reclaimed materials that are reused, materials that must be reclaimed further and the variance procedure for businesses to request that a material not be considered a solid waste.
A solid waste is defined as "Any garbage, refuse, sludge from a waste treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility, and other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations and from community activities..." Uncontained gaseous materials are specifically excluded from the solid waste definition. If a material is not used for its intended purpose it is a waste. For instance, if the material is spilled, is too old to be used, or no longer needed, then it would be considered a waste. When you are considering whether a material at your facility is a solid waste, you may use the Waste or Product Determination Guidance to help you.
Discarded materials include:
- Garbage, refuse and sludge. The terms garbage and refuse are relatively easily understood and most businesses know that they must make a determination on a material before it goes into the trash can. Sludge is defined as residues from either water or air pollution control devices. For example, most gaseous emissions from business activities are regulated by the Clean Air Act (unless the emissions result from certain specific hazardous waste management units or activities) but the filter media, particulates, or dusts from emission control systems would be considered sludge. Sludges include, but are not limited to, bag-house dust, carbon filters from waste water treatment or resin from an ion-exchange column.
Materials that are thrown away, abandoned or destroyed:
- This includes materials that are stored in lieu of disposal, materials that are burned or incinerated for disposal (and were not originally fuels themselves) and materials that are inherently waste-like because they are hazardous to human health and the environment. Specifically, dioxin waste and halogen-containing material would fall into the latter category.
- The definition of spent material is "Any material that has been used and as a result of contamination can no longer serve the purpose for which it was produced without processing," see Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 261.1(c)(1). A common example of a spent material is a solvent that can no longer be used because it is too dirty. For a solvent to qualify as a spent material, the material must be used for its solvent properties and no longer be able to perform its function, or it must be taken out of service (i.e. dirty solvent is replaced with new solvent). Other examples of spent materials include, but are not limited to, spent catalyst and spent acids.
Tars, residues, slags and other materials incidentally generated:
- These are by-products generated as part of the manufacturing or mining process and are defined as "a material that is not one of the primary products of a production process and is not solely or separately produced by the production process. Examples are process residues, such as slags or distillation-column bottoms," see CFR 261.1(c)(3). By-products are different from co-products in two fundamental ways. Co-products, which are not wastes, are both intentionally produced by the production process and have a ready market without further processing.
Remember, the above information is meant to give you a very brief introduction to the definition of solid waste, not a comprehensive guide.
January 28, 2011
Co-Generators and Effect on Businesses
To review, generators are defined as any person by site, whose act or process produces a hazardous waste or whose act first causes a hazardous waste to become subject to regulation.
Co-generation occurs when a business or site hires a contractor to perform a service for them. For example, you hire a contractor to paint your building. When the job is completed, who is responsible for the leftover hazardous waste paint? Ultimately both you and the painter are responsible under federal cradle-to-grave hazardous waste regulations. However, either your facility or the painter can be listed as the generator on the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest. This means that either your facility or the painter can have their name, address and generator identification number on the manifest. Which business is listed as the generator on the manifests can affect many things -- most notably generator status. Any volume of hazardous waste paint could either be added to the generation amount of the physical site where buildings were painted or could be added to the generation amount of the painting company. It is best to discuss these arrangements ahead of time so neither business is surprised. As always, managing your hazardous waste to the highest standards, perhaps even keeping control of the manifesting and disposal, might be in the best interests of your business.
If your business simply uses an environmental contractor to help complete hazardous waste manifests, to package, label and mark hazardous waste per U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, or for general record keeping, then that contractor cannot be listed as the generator on the manifest. The environmental contractor is not causing hazardous waste to become subject to regulation; they are merely informing you of, or assisting you in, complying with the regulations that already exist for the hazardous waste. When using an environmental contractor for their expertise the hazardous wastes are not considered co-generated. These wastes would have been hazardous waste without the participation of a contractor. It is vital that you as the generator be knowledgeable about the hazardous wastes that you generate. If an environmental contractor helps you make a hazardous waste determination and it is wrong, the business responsible for the violation is yours. That being said, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidance states, "While EPA will normally look to the party who fulfills generator duties, EPA reserves the right to enforce against any and all persons who fit the definition of 'generator' in a particular case if the requirements of Part 262 are not adequately met, providing such enforcement is equitable and in the public interest." This could be interpreted as contractors sharing in some portion of the liability. The bottom line is every generator is responsible for the determinations that they make and the way in which they manage their hazardous waste.
December 21, 2010
Who makes the hazardous waste determination?
The hazardous waste determination is the responsibility of the hazardous waste generator. The hazardous waste generator may consult others, including the manufacturer of the material, environmental consultants and trade organizations; however, ultimately it is the generator who will be held responsible if the hazardous waste determination is incorrect.
So who can be the generator of hazardous waste?
Hazardous waste generator is defined in 40 CFR 260.10 as any person by site, whose act or process produces a hazardous waste identified or listed in part 261 of this chapter or whose act first causes a hazardous waste to become subject to regulation.
There are three main ways that a business may become a generator of hazardous waste. The first way is the one that most people think of when we use the term generator: the owner or operator of the manufacturing process unit, product or raw material storage tank or transport vehicle or vessel. An example of this would be a manufacturing plant that generates waste benzene from a cleaning process. The owner or operator is clearly a hazardous waste generator of benzene.
The second way a business could become a generator is if they are the owner of the product, raw material or manufacturing material being stored that may generate hazardous waste. An example of this is when a business owns the formula and ingredients for a trademarked pesticide. This business sends their formula and ingredients to another business to mix, package and label their pesticide product. After the formulation, the leftover pesticide mixture that cannot be used is a waste and the owner of the ingredients could be a generator.
And finally, a business that removes hazardous sludges, sediments or other residues from a manufacturing process unit, tank, vehicle or vessel is the last way a business could become hazardous waste generator. For instance, a company has hazardous waste tanks at their facility. Every year they hire another business to perform a cleanout of their tanks so that they can inspect the integrity of their hazardous waste tanks. Beyond the routine pumping out of the tank, the cleaning business removes the bottom sludge that has accumulated during the year that would not have been removed during regularly scheduled hazardous waste pickups. In this situation, the cleaning business can be the generator of hazardous waste. Arrangements and agreements should be in place ahead of time to make sure each company involved is fully aware of their responsibilities.
It is important to remember that if hazardous waste is improperly managed then the Missouri Department of Natural Resources still has the authority to enforce the hazardous waste laws and regulations on any party involved in hazardous waste generation. This means that contracts between your business and another business will not shield your business from liability if violations occur. Businesses are not allowed to contract away liability in environmental cases.
It can get a little tricky in situations where there is a co-generator or where the above ways overlap. We will cover each of this topic in the next listserv.
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Jan. 31, 2008
Hazardous Waste Determinations Part IV
Is my Waste a Characteristic Waste?
The four characteristics that will make a waste a hazardous waste are Corrosivity, Reactivity, Ignitability and Toxicity. Your waste may have more than one characteristic that makes it hazardous. For now, let's go over each characteristic individually.
Corrosive (D002) wastes are extremely acidic or basic wastes. Corrosivity is defined as either an aqueous waste with a pH equal to or less than 2, or equal to or more than 12.5, OR a liquid waste that corrodes SAE 1020 carbon steel at greater than 0.25 inches per year. For the definition of corrosivity, the term aqueous waste means that the aqueous phase constitutes at least twenty percent of the total volume of the waste, i.e. the liquid has twenty percent free water by volume. Please note, there is no gas or solid that meets the corrosivity characteristic.
Reactive (D003) wastes are unstable and require special handling. There is no testing method for this characteristic. Instead a generator must use his or her knowledge of the waste to determine if it meets one of the criteria for reactivity. These criteria include:
- Is the waste normally unstable and readily undergoes violent change without detonation?
- Is the waste capable of detonation or explosive reaction if subjected to a strong initiation source or if heated under confinement?
- Is the waste capable of detonation, explosive decomposition, or reaction at standard temperature or pressure?
- Does the waste react violently or form explosive mixtures with water?
- Does the waste generate toxic gases, vapors, or fumes when mixed with water in sufficient quantity to present a danger?
- Is the waste a forbidden explosive as defined in 49 CFR 173.54?
U.S. Department of Transportation regulations classifying explosives were modified in January 1991 to reflect numerical divisions for explosives as opposed to the previous Class A, B, and C designations. Visit 49 CFR 173.53 (the small box directly above 49 CFR 173.54 on page 478) to see a table that lists the current class of explosive paired with the previous class of explosive referred to in hazardous waste regulations. Although there is not a testing method available for reactivity, if a waste needs special handling for safety reasons, then the generator must evaluate if their waste meets any of the above criteria. Examples of reactive waste include some ethers, pyrophoric metals, cyanides, peroxides and fireworks.
Ignitability (D001) wastes are very common in many businesses. The ignitability characteristic is defined in four ways:
- For liquids, a waste (other than an aqueous solution containing less than twenty-four percent alcohol by volume) with a flash point of less than 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 degrees Celsius;
- For solids, a waste that can ignite under standard temperature and pressure through friction, moisture absorption, or spontaneous chemical change AND burns vigorously and persistently after ignition;
- For gases, any ignitable compressed gas as defined in 49 CFR 173.301 or by testing; or
- Any oxidizer defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation 49 CFR 173.127
Toxic hazardous wastes are listed in Table 1 of 40 CFR 261.24. This list includes forty contaminants that the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection deems hazardous and their corresponding regulatory levels. If the analytical results from your business' waste is equal to or greater than the regulatory level in the table for the contaminant in question, then you must use the associated EPA Hazardous Waste Number from the first column of Table 1 (D004 through D043). As always, you may use generator knowledge in lieu of testing. Don't forget, more than one waste code may apply to your waste.
December 28, 2007
Hazardous Waste Determinations Part III
Is my Solid Waste a Listed Hazardous Waste?
Listed hazardous wastes are those that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have identified as presenting a threat to human health or the environment when disposed. Because there is no test for a listing, businesses must use their knowledge of their processes and wastes to make this determination.
There are four separate lists:
K listed wastes - These are produced by a particular industrial activity. This listing is based on the activity that produces it. If your business is not one of the seventeen specified industries in the K list then this listing will not apply to you unless you accept K listed waste from another business. See the complete list.
F listed wastes - These are general hazardous wastes produced by many different industries. The F listed wastes can be grouped into six general categories:
- Spent solvents.
- Metal finishing wastes.
- Dioxin wastes.
- Wastes from chlorinated organics manufacture.
- Wood preserving wastes.
- Petroleum refinery wastes.
This listing is based on both the type of waste and the manner in which it was created. For example, xylene at a concentration of ten percent or more that is used for its solvent properties, would be an F003 hazardous waste. Discarded xylene that was not used for its solvent properties or at concentrations less than ten percent (before use) would NOT be a listed hazardous waste. However, this waste may be a characteristic hazardous waste if it is ignitable. See the complete list.
U listed wastes - These commercial chemical products are listed because of their toxicity. Businesses sometimes mischaracterize their waste as hazardous because they use this list incorrectly. First the waste must be a commercial chemical product. Commercial chemical products are unused chemicals, manufacturing intermediates of a chemical, off-specification variations, residues in containers that are not "RCRA empty", and cleanup residue or debris of any chemical named on the U or P list. Examples include but are not limited to: leftover laboratory chemicals, excess feedstock for an obsolete process, or unused pesticides. The term commercial chemical product, when used to determine a listing, does not include manufactured items such as thermometers or thermostats. Second, in order for the waste to qualify as U listed, the commercial chemical product's sole active ingredient must be on the U or P list. The term sole active ingredient is interpreted as the ingredient that performs the primary function of the product. Other ingredients such as fillers, colorants, carriers, or the like are not considered active ingredients. If the waste has two or more active ingredients, even if all the ingredients were found on the U or P list, then the waste is not a listed hazardous waste.
P listed wastes - These commercial chemical products are listed because of their acute toxicity. The information above regarding commercial chemical products and sole active ingredient applies to the P list as well. These wastes are listed because they are extremely toxic in small amounts and are regulated at a much lower level than other hazardous waste. Once a Missouri business generates or accumulates 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of an acute hazardous waste, then the business is a large quantity generator and must follow all large quantity generator standards. In addition to P listed wastes, any F listed hazardous waste with the hazard code (H) is also an acute waste and is regulated at this level. The F listed wastes with the hazard code (H) are F020, F021, F022, F023, F026, and F027.
See the table of P and U listed wastes.
It is important to note that the listing follows the waste. This means that anything mixed with a listed waste retains the hazardous waste listing. The only exception to this are the twenty-nine listed wastes that are listed solely because they exhibit a characteristic described in 40 CFR 261.3(g)(1) If a generated waste is listed only because it exhibits a characteristic, it is no longer considered hazardous when it no longer exhibits that characteristic. Those twenty-nine wastes are denoted by (I) for ignitability, (C) for corrosivity, (R) for reactivity or a combination of the two in the Hazard Code column to the far right of the list. This exception does not include any waste listed for toxicity (T) or hazard (H). For instance, spilled acetone would normally be U002. When you look U002 up in the 261.33 (f) table it's listing is followed by the letter "I" in parenthesis indicating that it is on the list solely due to its ignitability characteristic. However if the material is cleaned up with kitty litter and is no longer ignitable, then it is no longer listed. Remember, this applies only to the twenty-nine wastes that are listed solely because they exhibit a characteristic. All other listed wastes, including waste from the cleanup of a listed waste, will retain the listing. Listed wastes are also evaluated differently than characteristic wastes when using EPA's contained in policy and the derived-from rule. We will examine these rules and policies sometime in the coming year.
You can use EPA's searchable document entitled List of Lists to see if your business generates a listed hazardous waste. You can search the document using Adobe Acrobat's search function (the black binoculars located at the top of the page) by entering the name of the chemical or the Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) registry number. Because some chemicals have common synonyms, try to use the CAS number so that you don't miss your listed chemical. Check your material safety data sheet for the proper chemical name, active ingredient, and CAS number. If the waste is listed, the proper code will be located under the column labeled "RCRA CODE".
Nov. 28, 2007
Hazardous Waste Determinations Part II
Include the Exclusions in your Identification of Waste (cont.)
Let's continue the hazardous waste determination discussion by reviewing the solid waste exclusions allowed in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 261.2, Table 1 Table 1 is very important if you want to recycle your material and properly manage it. In Table 1, the rows list the type of material that you may wish to recycle (i.e. the 'what'). The columns represent the manner in which you wish to recycle the material (i.e. the 'how'). If what you want to recycle and how you want to recycle it has an asterisk in the box where they intersect, then that material MUST be managed as a solid waste during the process. And as you know, if the material is a solid waste then a hazardous waste determination must be made on it.
In Missouri, an asterisk has been added to the box in the commercial chemical products in the third column. Thus, a commercial chemical product listed in 40 CFR 261.33 that is reclaimed must be managed as a solid waste. Commercial chemical products are not solid wastes when the ORIGINAL manufacturer uses, reuses, or legitimately recycles the material in his/her manufacturing process. If you visit the link above to print from the federal regulations, be sure that you add the asterisk and make a note on your copy that original manufacturers may reclaim commercial chemical products.
Here are some definitions to help you navigate Table 1. You may recognize some of these definitions from previous listservs, but here they are being used for a different purpose. Here they are being used to categorize whether a material is a solid waste when it is being recycled.
SPENT MATERIALS: As you may remember from last month, that includes "Any material that has been used and as a result of contamination can no longer serve the purpose for which it was produced without processing," see CFR 261.1(c)(1). A common example of a spent material is a solvent that can no longer be used because it is too dirty. For a solvent to qualify as a spent material, the material must be used for its solvent properties and no longer be able to perform its function, or it must be taken out of service (i.e. dirty solvent is replaced with new solvent). Other examples of spent materials include, but are not limited to, spent catalyst, acids, caustics, and batteries.
SLUDGES: Sludge is defined as residue from either water or air pollution control devices. For example; filters, scrubbers, or dust collectors from air emission devices would be considered sludge. Sludges do not need to be wet. Sludges include, but are not limited to, bag-house dust, carbon filters from waste water treatment, or resin from an ion-exchange column. Sludge does not include treated effluent from a wastewater treatment plant.
BY-PRODUCTS: By-products are generated as part of the manufacturing or mining process and are defined as "a material that is not one of the primary products of a production process and is not solely or separately produced by the production process. Examples are process residues, such as slags or distillation-column bottoms," see CFR 261.1(c)(3). By-products are residuals from a process that need substantial processing before they would have a market value. We will discuss the listed and characteristic hazardous wastes in upcoming listservs.
COMMERCIAL CHEMICAL PRODUCTS: Commercial chemical products are unused, essentially pure chemical products listed in the P and U lists 40 CFR 261.33. This includes both new product, excess product remaining after use, and off-specification product. The Environmental Protection Agency has also interpreted commercial chemical products to include all types of unused products. A commercial chemical product that exhibits a characteristic of hazardous waste is regulated as a hazardous waste. Examples of unused product include but are not limited to paint, batteries, and computers. We will expand more on the definition of commercial chemical product when we review listed hazardous waste in an upcoming listserv.
SCRAP METAL OTHER THAN EXCLUDED SCRAP METAL: This definition is sometimes the most difficult for generators to grasp because we all have a preconceived idea of what scrap metal is. Non-excluded scrap metal is solid waste by regulation. According to CFR 261.1(c)(6), the definition of scrap metal is "bits and pieces of metal parts (e.g., bars, turnings, rods, sheets, wire) or metal pieces that may be combined together with bolts or soldering (e.g. radiators, scrap automobiles, railroad box cars), which when worn or superfluous can be recycled." This means equipment, tools, products made of metal, and the small pieces generated from some operations such as turnings and shavings. It does NOT include liquid wastes that contain metals, solder skimmings, metals generated from smelting, or metals generated from refining. Mercury cannot be a scrap metal because it is not a bit or piece of a metal part and it could not be bolted or soldered together with other metal pieces. Although scrap metal, other than excluded scrap metal, is a solid waste through the four recycling activities, 40 CFR 261.6(a)(3)(ii) exempts hazardous waste scrap metal being sent for recycling from RCRA regulations, see 40 CFR 261.6.
EXCLUDED SCRAP METAL: This scrap metal is excluded from the definition of solid waste based on it being destined for recycling AND it being a commodity or product-like. If it is not to be recycled, it cannot be considered excluded scrap metal. Excluded scrap metal includes processed scrap metal (e.g. metal baled and ready for recycling), unprocessed home scrap metal from steel mills, foundries and metal refineries( e.g. metal cuttings or borings), and unprocessed prompt scrap metal from fabrication and metal working businesses. For all descriptions of excluded scrap metal, see 40 CFR 261.1(c)9-12
USE CONSTITUTING DISPOSAL: Wastes that are placed on the land or burned are being managed in a manner 'constituting disposal.' For example, you may not use a sludge to repave the driveway to your business. A by-product may not be used to fill in a ditch. If the product was originally intended to be applied to the land, such as a pesticide used for crop treatment, then this use may be allowed under the reuse relief, if such use is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.
BURNING FOR FUEL OR ENERGY RECOVERY: When wastes are used as fuels to fire boilers, furnaces, or cement kilns, they are being burned for energy recovery. This includes both directly using the waste and blending the waste with another high energy fuel source. Material that was once a fuel may be burned for energy recovery if no additional processing is done prior to burning, see DNR's fact sheet on the Management of Petroleum Storage Tank Wastes.
RECLAMATION: Reclamation occurs when the material is either processed or regenerated to recover something of value. If your spent solvent is cleaned to remove impurities so that it may be used again, it has been reclaimed. If a liquid waste containing metal is processed so that the metal is recovered, it has been reclaimed. If the process just makes the material ready for reclamation, then that is treatment, not reclamation. For instance, if dry wastes that contain metal are formed and baked into blocks or bricks to make the wastes easier to handle at a smelter, then the process of making the blocks is treatment, not reclamation. Reclamation occurs once the blocks are used in a smelter for metal recovery.
SPECULATIVE ACCUMULATION: Speculative accumulation can be identified in two ways: one way is if less than 75 percent of the material in a calendar year is reused (January - December); the other way is if no valid recycling option exists for the material. For instance, if there is no established processes in place to recycle the material or there is no end market for the recycled material, stockpiling the waste will be considered speculative accumulation.
Oct. 29, 2007
Hazardous Waste Determinations Part II
Include the Exclusions in your Identification of Waste.
There are many materials that are excluded from the definition of hazardous waste. Although these materials are excluded from regulation under Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), it does not mean that these materials are unregulated. In most cases the materials are simply regulated by another set of rules. For instance, sewer discharges are governed by the Clean Water Act instead of RCRA.
A list of materials that are not solid wastes can be found in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 261.4(a). Missouri regulations may modify or not incorporate certain federal exclusions. For example, Missouri incorporates the exclusion 40 CFR 261.4(a)(8)(i), but the phrase "through completion of reclamation is closed" is replaced with "is a totally enclosed treatment facility." This means that the treatment facility is hard piped into the process, does not release air emissions, and the reclamation is completed in the treatment facility (not just partially finished for completion elsewhere). Also, exclusions 40 CFR 261.4(a)(11) regarding nonwastewater splash condenser dross residue from the steel industry and 40 CFR 261.4(a)(16) regarding comparable fuels or comparable syngas fuels do not apply in Missouri.
A list of solid wastes which are excluded from being hazardous wastes can be found at 40 CFR 261.4(b). (see page 43) In Missouri, fly ash that is not regulated under other parts of state law or that is not beneficially reused AND fails the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure test must be disposed of as a hazardous waste (see 10 CSR 25-4.261(2)(A)6 for more details).
What is NOT a solid waste when it is reused?
The simplest way to recycle a material is to reuse the material as is. 40 CFR 261.2(e) allows a material to be used without becoming a solid waste and potentially a hazardous waste. You have three options:
1. Use the material directly as an ingredient in an industrial process to make a product. You may not alter, clean, change, or treat the material before reusing.
2. Use the material as an effective substitute for a product. The key word here is effective. The material must perform the function of the product that it is replacing in an effective manner. For instance, using ten times as much of a substitute material to achieve the same result as the original product amount would not be as effective.
3. Returning the material to the process which generated it, without reclaiming or land disposal. An example of this is if you can return a material to the process because it has not lost its strength. It is then being used as a substitute for the original feedstock materials.
In order to qualify for the reuse exclusion, the material may NOT be:
1. used in a manner constituting disposal (the material cannot be placed on the land or burned).
2. burned for fuel or energy recovery (e.g. the material cannot be sent for fuel blending, unless it starts out as a waste fuel or off-specification fuel).
3. accumulated speculatively (speculative accumulation is defined as reusing less than 75 percent of the material in a calendar year, starting January 1 or a valid recycling option not existing for the material).
4. inherently waste-like material, specifically dioxins and halogen acids as identified in 40 CFR 261.2(d).
Oct. 2, 2007
Hazardous Waste Determinations Part I
Is the Material in Question a Solid Waste?
Nationally, failure to determine if a solid waste is a hazardous waste is one of the most commonly noted violations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. So how can you avoid it? Over the next few months we will review the four basic questions you need to ask yourself when making a hazardous waste determination. Each month this listserv will expand on one question and give you the information your business needs.
The four questions are:
1. Is it a solid waste?
2. Is it excluded?
3. Is it listed?
4. Is it characteristic?
Let's start with the basics, is it a solid waste? A solid waste is defined as "Any garbage, refuse, sludge from a waste treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility, and other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations and from community activities..." If a material is not used for its intended purpose, for instance, if it is spilled, if it is too old, or it is no longer needed, it is a waste. Uncontained gaseous materials are specifically excluded from the solid waste definition.
Discarded materials include:
Garbage, refuse and sludge. The terms garbage and refuse are relatively easily understood and most businesses know that they must make a determination on a material before it goes into the trash can. Sludge is defined as residues from either water or air pollution control devices. For example, air emissions from business activities are usually regulated by the Clean Air Act (unless the emissions result from hazardous waste management activities) but the filters, scrubbers, or dust collectors would be considered sludge. Sludges also include, but are not limited to, bag-house dust, carbon filters from waste water treatment, or resin from an ion-exchange column.
Materials that are thrown away, abandoned, or destroyed:
This includes materials that are stored in lieu of disposal, materials that are burned or incinerated for disposal (and are not a fuel), and materials that are inherently waste-like because they are hazardous to human health and the environment. Specifically, dioxin waste and halogen-containing material
The definition of spent material is "Any material that has been used and as a result of contamination can no longer serve the purpose for which it was produced without processing," see Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 261.1(c)(1). A common example of a spent material is a solvent that can no longer be used because it is too dirty. For a solvent to qualify as a spent material, the material must be used for its solvent properties and no longer be able to perform its function, or it must be taken out of service (i.e. dirty solvent is replaced with new solvent). Other examples of spent materials include, but are not limited to, spent catalyst and spent acids.
Tars, residues, slags and other materials incidentally generated:
These are by-products generated as part of the manufacturing or mining process and are defined as "a material that is not one of the primary products of a production process and is not solely or separately produced by the production process. Examples are process residues, such as slags or distillation-column bottoms," see CFR 261.1(c)(3). By-products are different from co-products in two fundamental ways. Co-products, which are not wastes, are both intentionally produced by the production process and have a ready market without further processing.
Remember, the above information is meant to give you a basic understanding of the definition of waste, not a comprehensive, all-inclusive review. For further information, you can review our fact sheet on Waste or Product Determination Guidance at /pubs/pub1349.pdf. Next time, we will discuss which materials are considered a waste even when they are recycled and what regulatory requirements follow that waste
October 23, 2006
Waste or Product?
It is an age old question, is that product you are storing or waste you are unintentionally trying to avoid? Even more important than cleaning out your closet at home is frequently going through your facility and checking on the usefulness, condition and age of your products. To prevent confusion when a hazardous waste inspector visits your company, the department has developed a new fact sheet, entitled Waste or Product Determination Guidance . This guide outlines some basic criteria for determining if your product has become a waste. The fact sheet also gives you pointers on how to store your product so it retains its value.
November 18, 2005
1. Ever wonder why regulators put such importance on determining whether a waste is a hazardous waste or not? It is because this determination is the basis for all subsequent handling of the wastes. For example, the department received a phone call from a company that had changed processes approximately two years ago. That change resulted in their waste no longer fitting the definition of a hazardous waste. Due to a miscommunication within the company, the waste continued to be handled as hazardous, resulting in unnecessary costs and unnecessary regulation. Don't let this happen to you. Evaluate your waste streams and periodically re-evaluate them. Here is a link to EPA guidance on Hazardous Waste PDF There are also state specific regulations that this document does not address.
2. Compliance with Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) US DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's training information page. More information on training..
October 17, 2005
1. Is your waste a RCRA listed waste? It is important to determine if your waste falls into this category. Your waste may not be a characteristic waste (see below) but if it is on a list it can be a hazardous waste. My favorite web site for checking this is EPA's List of Lists . I especially like that the page is searchable (using the button with the binoculars at the top of the page). You can look up a P or U listed chemical using its common name, or even better its Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) registry number. Using the CAS number prevents confusion when looking up chemicals that have more than one common name. This document also provides information you may need on Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) reporting. Of course, as with any part of hazardous waste law, it is important you know how to properly apply the information.
2. What is CRIT? No, its not something you wipe off your shoes, it is an acronym for the four characteristics that can make a waste a characteristic hazardous waste: Corrosivity, Reactivity, Ignitability, and Toxicity. If your waste meets any of the specified thresholds for the above it must be handled as a hazardous waste. To learn more about how to determine if your waste has a CRIT characteristic, check out our technical bulletin, Does your business generate a hazardous waste? >fact sheet--PUB117
Now remember, beyond the federally listed hazardous waste, we do have state listed hazardous waste. If you operate in or send your waste to Missouri, you must handle these wastes as a hazardous waste. This includes: Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB), dioxin waste (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin), waste oil for disposal and wastes from the creation of Hexachlorophene using highly purified 2,4,5-tricholorophene.
Next time, we will discuss storing product vs. storing waste.
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