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Wastes Excluded by Regulation

Conditionally Excluded Wastes

The Dangerous Waste Regulations conditionally exclude some dangerous wastes. See Excluded categories of waste at WAC 173-303-071. Excluded wastes remain solid wastes, but they generally are not subject to most of the dangerous waste rules, including counting and annual reporting requirements. Usually the waste must meet a set of specific conditions in order to qualify for the exclusion.

These wastes may be excluded because:

  • They are regulated under other state and federal programs
  • They are recycled in ways that don’t harm human health or the environment

For example, a household-hazardous-waste exclusion removes household waste from dangerous waste regulation. Other exclusions include treated wood waste, polychlorinated biphenyl's (PCBs), and waste reclaimed and reused in a closed loop system. Many other excluded wastes are listed in the regulations. This page lists some of the most common ones.

Special Wastes

Special Wastes are another category of state-only excluded wastes with their own set of management requirements.. See Conditional exclusion of special wastes at WAC 173-303-073. Special Wastes are only solid phase wastes that are state corrosive, level D toxic or non-EHW persistent.  Special wastes pose a relatively low hazard to the environment. Subject to approval, they may be disposed in municipal landfills or recycled.  

Domestic Sewage Exclusion (DSE)                   

This exclusion allows dangerous waste to be discharged to a publicly-owned treatment works (POTW). Washington state’s version of the DSE exclusion is more stringent than the federal exclusion. Important conditions include:

  • Waste treated or stored prior to discharge is counted.
  • Waste directly discharged to the sanitary sewer is not counted.
  • The waste must be treatable at the POTW.
  • The discharger has a permit that allows that activity.
  • The waste is excluded only after it enters the sanitary sewer system.

Domestic Sewage Exclusion is an Ecology publication that explains this exclusion in detail.

Selected Other Exclusions

Industrial Wastewater discharges - Point source discharges regulated under the Clean Water Act

Treated Wood

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)

Waste reclaimed and reused in a closed loop system

Asphaltic materials

Roofing tars and shingles

Shredded circuit boards being recycled

Controlled substances, legend drugs, and over-the counter drugs that are state-only dangerous wastes

Cathode Ray Tubes

Related information

Construction and Demolition Debris

Focus Sheet: Management Requirements for Special Waste

Special requirements for reclaiming spent lead acid battery wastes.

Which Rules Apply? (Generator Status) can help you to determine your generator status once you know how much waste you produce

Which Rules Apply—If Your Business Generates Dangerous Waste  

Used Oil Facts is a publication that describes basic information about management as used oil.

Focus on Spent Antifreeze publication that describes spent-antifreeze management

Dangerous Waste Rules:

Designation of Dangerous Waste (WAC 173-303-070)

 Excluded Categories of Waste (WAC 173-303-071)

 Procedures and bases for exempting and excluding wastes (WAC 173-303-072)

Special requirements for reclaiming spent lead acid battery wastes (WAC 173-303-520)