HWTR Education Fee

My Watershed

NOTICE: This is not a new fee. In previous years we've mailed out this fee on June 1. This year we adjusted our schedule to include billings in May and June. This will help us respond more quickly to the needs of our customers.



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our Hazardous Waste Generation Fee

Hazardous Waste Generation Fee

The Hazardous Waste Generation Fee was established by the Washington State Legislature in 1990. This fee is assessed to Washington businesses that generate any amount of dangerous waste. Currently the fee is $50.00, however the amount of the fee changes with inflation. This annual fee is mailed to businesses for the previous year’s hazardous waste generation activities.

Payment options:

Please send the billing coupon with your check or money order in the return envelope provided.

Didn’t generate hazardous waste?

Your business may apply for:

  • A one year waiver: Your business activities may generate waste in the future but did not generate any amount of hazardous waste in the year billed.
  • An exemption: Your business activities never generate any amount of hazardous waste.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why did my business receive this fee?  Answer...

Your business's classification code, also known as a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code, indicated your primary business activities typically generate dangerous waste. The back of your invoice shows the NAICS code assigned to your business and its description.

You must pay this fee if your business met the following criteria:

  • Your business generated dangerous waste in the year billed and the value of all your products, gross proceeds of sales, or gross income exceeded $12,000 in the previous tax year.
  • Or your business has an active RCRA Site ID number and reported dangerous waste generation activities in the previous calendar year.
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Can I pay for several billed facilities in Washington with one check? Answer...

Yes, but be sure to follow the payment instructions and include all billing coupons with the check. If you do not have the billing coupons, write your tax registration numbers on the check. Hide this content.

I have been in the same business for years, why have I not seen this fee before? Answer...

You may be seeing this bill for the first time because of changes to the business classification code (NAICS code). The federal government is responsible for the code and updates it every five years. Many businesses have had their classification codes updated during review.Hide this content.

What is the difference between dangerous waste and hazardous waste? Answer...

For the purpose of the fee, dangerous waste and hazardous waste mean the same thing. Hazardous waste is a federal term and dangerous waste is a state term.Hide this content.

What are some examples of dangerous waste? Answer...

For an extensive list, please refer to the Dangerous Waste Regulations. Examples include, but aren't limited to:

  • Waste paints
  • Solvents
  • Thinners
  • Aerosol cans
  • Adhesives
  • X-ray and photo processing chemicals
  • Dental amalgam
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Inkjet and toner
  • Screen printing
  • Propane and spilled pumped fuel
  • Pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and acids
  • Torch down roofing
  • Dry cleaning chemicals, including hydrocarbon dry cleaning solutions
  • Acetylene used in welding
  • Refrigerants
  • Used oil*
  • Antifreeze and coolants*
  • Transmission, brake, and hydraulic fluids*
  • Waste water from detailing and car washing

*This applies even if it has been recycled. This includes rags or towels used to clean or wipe up spills or excess.

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Do I have to pay the fee if I properly manage my dangerous waste? Answer...

Yes, the fee applies to all companies that generate dangerous waste in Washington. Hide this content.

What will happen if I ignore this bill? Answer...

Unpaid bills will begin accruing interest charges at a rate of 1% per month. If the bill remains unpaid, we may forward the bill to a collections agency. Collections charges could be up to 50 percent of the original fee, as allowed in RCW19.16.500(1)(b). Interest will also continue to grow until the fee is paid. Hide this content.

Our old company information is printed on the fee bill. Are we properly billed? Answer...

Yes, the bill was for last year’s activities under your old tax registration number or business name. If you generated waste during that period, the fee applies. Next year, you will be billed under your new tax registration number and business name, if your business meets the criteria. Hide this content.

How does Ecology use the funds collected from the fee? Answer...

We use the funds we collect to help businesses manage their waste safely. We provide technical assistance to businesses to help them:

Ecology's toxics reduction specialists offer technical assistance to anyone requesting help. These experts can explain the Dangerous Waste Regulations and help with pollution prevention and effective waste management. Many businesses working closely with our staff have reduced or eliminated the waste they generate.Hide this content.

Do you have additional resources about dangerous waste that can help my business? Answer...

We recommend starting with Shoptalk, an Ecology newsletter full of useful articles for dangerous waste generators. Read the latest issue.Hide this content.

What rules and laws govern the Hazardous Waste Generation Fee? Answer...


WAC 173-305 Hazardous Waste Fees regulation (section 110)

WAC 173-303 Dangerous Waste regulations


RCW 70.95E Hazardous Waste Fees (section 040)

RCW 43.17 Administrative Departments and Agencies - General Provisions (section 240)

RCW 19.16 Collection Agencies (section 500(1)(b))
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=19.16.500Hide this content.