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Appropriate Containers for Dangerous Waste

Containers and Container Management

Barrel storageSelect a container made of material compatible with the waste. For example, use polyethylene containers rather than metal drums for corrosive wastes. Containers designed for food are not appropriate for chemical wastes.

The container must be:

  • Intact, with no holes or corrosion
  • Safe for workers
  • Labeled correctly

If a waste is a powder, the material should not be able to sift out during transport.

Label Waste describes labeling requirements.

Empty Containers addresses the legal definition of "empty" and how to handle empty containers.

Container Management

Keep containers of dangerous waste in a dangerous-waste-accumulation area. Container rows should be 30 inches apart to allow for easy inspection. Keep incompatible wastes apart. Separate them by a dike, berm or wall adequate to prevent mixing in case of leaks.

Keep dangerous waste containers closed, except when adding or removing waste. Keep containers covered and out of the weather.

Funnels must screw in tightly. Lock all funnels and securely fasten ring locks. Remove any non-locking funnels. 

Storage and Accumulation discusses storage time limits.

Satellite Accumulation allows some waste to be stored near the point of generation.

Secondary Containment offers suggestions for how to contain liquid dangerous wastes.  

Check containers and the entire system at least once a week for leaks, rust, dents, or other defects. Transfer waste out of unsafe containers.  Keep Good Records of these inspections.

Spills discusses preparedness and responsibility for spills.

How to Report a Spill  explains your notification requirements when a spill or a severely leaking or rusting container releases dangerous waste into the environment.  You must immediately notify the Department of Ecology and appropriate local agencies.

Related information

Use Proper Containers and Manage Them Correctly is a detailed publication about container management, part of a published step-by-step guide to managing waste.

Accumulating dangerous waste on-site addresses containers in WAC 173-303-200(b)(i) and container management at WAC 173-303-200(b)(i), (d) of the Dangerous Waste Rules.