Categories of Dangerous Waste
Identify Categories of Dangerous Waste
Identifying waste as a "dangerous waste," subject to or exempt from the
Dangerous Waste Regulations and applying a waste code is called waste
designation. There are three categories of dangerous waste. These categories are
important for applying the proper waste code to each waste or waste stream.
All Dangerous Wastes subject to regulations are
State Criteria Wastes. Two smaller subsets
of dangerous waste, "Extremely Hazardous Wastes" and "Acutely Hazardous
Wastes" have special regulations attached to them.
The Dangerous waste regulations contain lists of chemicals and
specific waste streams. These lists are used to identify
dangerous wastes, and are divided into two main categories:
- Discarded chemical products are unused commercial chemical
products containing only one sole active ingredient. There are
two lists of discarded chemicals:
- Acutely hazardous “P” listed chemicals are stringently
- “U” listed chemicals are less stringently regulated
- Waste streams listed by source. There are three lists of
waste streams from sources:
- “F” listed wastes are from non-specific sources
- "K” listed wastes are from specific types of industries and
- “WPCB" Washington State-only sources. Includes discarded
transformers, capacitors or bushings containing polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCB) at concentrations of 2 parts per million or
greater. Washington State regulates PCBs much more stringently
General Definition (see WAC 173-303-090 for full description)
||If a liquid, has a flashpoint of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or less. If a solid, will ignite and burn vigorously through friction, absorbtion of moisture or spontaneous chemical changes. Compresses gases and oxidizers are also classified as ignitable under certain conditions.
||If a liquid, has a pH less than 2 and greater than 12.5, or it is a liquid and corrodes steel at a specified rate. If a solid or a semisolid it has a pH less than 2 or greater than 12.5 (solid corrosive are a Washington state-only waste).
||Could explode, reacts violently or produce harmful vapors.
||A solid waste exhibits the toxicity characteristics if an extract of a representative sample (obtained by the toxicity characteristics leaching procedure (TCLP)) contains regulated levels of chemicals listed at WAC 173-303-090(8). Currently 40 chemicals are listed, including heavy metals, pesticides, solvents and other organics.
Identify (Designate) Dangerous Waste describes methods for determining if wastes have characteristics that might place them in this category of waste.
Washington State Criteria Wastes
The Washington State dangerous waste regulations are more stringent than the federal hazardous waste rules. Washington State regulates additional toxic and persistent dangerous wastes according to criteria. "Dangerous waste criteria" is found at WAC 173-303-100 in the Dangerous Waste Regulations. This section describes the standards for designating waste as a state-only toxic or persistent criteria waste.
Toxic Criteria Waste
Persistent Criteria Wastes
Toxic criteria waste
are regulated because testing shows they are lethal to fish or animals. A generator can have a lab test his waste using a bioassay test. More commonly, generators will use information from toxicity databases. These databases show results from testing specific chemicals on animals or fish. Highly toxic chemicals will cause mortality at low concentrations. The generator must know the concentration of the specific chemicals found in their waste in order to calculate if their waste is a state toxic waste
Persistent Criteria Wastes linger in the environment for a long time. Two
groups of Persistent Criteria Wastes are highlighted in the Dangerous
Waste Regulations, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Halogenated
Organic Compounds (HOCs).
The regulations list 20 hazardous chemicals
identified as PAHs, having hydrocarbon molecules fused with two or more benzene
rings. Wastes with more than 1% PAHs are a dangerous waste.
HOCs are any organic
(carbon-based) compound which includes at least one atom of either bromine,
chlorine, fluorine, or iodine bonded directly to a carbon atom. A common
HOC is dry cleaner perchloroethylene solvent.
State Criteria Wastes and Codes
|Extremely Hazardous Toxic Criteria Waste or Dangerous Toxic Criteria
Waste based on testing, book designation or the generator's knowledge of
their waste. (This is not the EPA Toxicity Characteristic Leaching
Procedure or TCLP test.)
||WT01 or WT02
|Extremely Hazardous Persistent Criteria Waste or Dangerous
Persistent Criteria Waste based on the total concentration of
Halogenated Organic Compounds (HOCs)
||WP01 or WP02
|Extremely Hazardous Persistent Criteria Waste based on the total
concentration of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
Chemical Testing Methods
for Designating Dangerous Waste, Ecology Publication 97-407
Which Rules Apply? discusses generator status based on the amounts and
types of waste generated.
Identify (Designate) Dangerous Waste
describes methods for determining if wastes have the characteristics that
might place them in this category of waste.
Hazardous Waste: More
Common Than You Think is a basic Ecology Publication describing
dangerous waste and where it might be found.
Checklist for Hazardous
Waste Generators is an Ecology checklist that will help determine if a
business produces dangerous wastes. It summarizes generator
Report Waste briefly discusses waste codes need for Annual Dangerous
Designation of Dangerous Waste
is at WAC 173-303-070 of the Dangerous Waste Regulations.
Excluded Categories of Waste is at WAC 173-303-071 of the Dangerous
Procedures and bases for exempting and excluding wastes
is at WAC 173-303-072 of the Dangerous Waste Regulations.
Dangerous waste characteristics is at WAC 173-303-090 of the Dangerous
Dangerous waste criteria is at WAC 173-303-100 of the Dangerous Waste
Alphabetic definitions list in the Dangerous Waste Regulations at WAC
173-303-040 lists PAHs under "polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons."