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Dispose of According to the Regulations...

Posted by Amy Harvell on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Are you in a position that you hear those words often and are frustrated with them?  Maybe you ask yourself – Please just tell me how!?  The hazardous waste regulations may be hard to follow and interpret, but don’t worry, these basic steps can get the process started.  


 First, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What wastes do I have?
  2. Is this a hazardous waste?
  3. How am I regulated?

Conducting an initial inventory of materials generated from a process or activity is the best way to start.  Some of your activities may include:

  • Vehicle and equipment maintenance which may generate items that cannot be reused, such as, oil, antifreeze, oily rags, tires, batteries, fuels, and absorbents. 
  • Building maintenance which may generate light bulbs, batteries, mercury-containing devices, pesticides, refrigerants, and paints.
  • General operations which may generate computers, phones, batteries, paper, cans, and plastic.

The second step is to determine if it is a waste, which is a material that no longer has any use, or if the material can be recycled or reused.




  • Universal Waste - Light bulbs, batteries, mercury switches, thermostats, thermometers, and expired or recalled pesticides

  • Electronic Waste – television, computers, computer equipment, DVD players, camcorders, digital media players, etc.

  • Used Oils – synthetic oil, transmission fluid, hydraulic oil, engine oil, compressor oil, etc.

  • Used Antifreeze – when segregated and not mixed with other wastes or materials

  • General Recyclables – paper, plastic, cardboard, cans, glass, etc.

  • Oils mixed with solvents or fuels

  • Antifreeze mixed with cleaners, mineral spirits and other materials

  • Solvents and flammable liquids – acetone, xylene, gasoline, isopropyl alcohol, diesel fuel, etc.

  • Aerosol cans with remaining product

  • Corrosive cleaners with high or low pH levels

  • Paints and thinners

If you're not sure what is in your waste, you should consider collecting a sample to have it analyzed for hazardous waste components.  

The third step is to calculate the total amount (pounds) of waste you create monthly and determine which category your site belongs in.

Generator Category

Quantity Generated Per Month

Amount Stored On Site

Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG)

No more than 220 lbs.

No more than 2.2 lbs acutely hazardous waste

No more than 2,200 lbs.

Small Quantity Generator (SQG)

Between 220 and 2,200 lbs.

No more than 13,228 lbs.

Large Quantity Generator (LQG)

More than 2,200 lbs.

No limit

Once you determine which category you are in, you can implement the necessary management, handling and recordkeeping requirements your waste needs.  This could include:

  • Screen_Shot_2015-09-22_at_10.45.18_AMHow, where and in what type of containers are wastes stored in?
  • How long do you store hazardous waste?
  • How is hazardous waste identified?
  • Have you established emergency procedures for hazardous waste?
  • How are waste shipments and inspections documented?

Contact Amy Harvell, CHMM at Wessler Engineering to request a free initial review of your waste management program.  Please note that not all of the hazardous waste regulations that may apply to your facility are discussed above.

Please refer to IDEM and the regulations for further information.  




Cover page Where's Your Waste guide with nuclear symbol

Tags: waste disposal


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