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What is Generator Status?

If your business produces dangerous waste, it is considered a “dangerous waste generator.” Generators in Washington are legally required to know if their waste is dangerous and how much dangerous waste they generate each month. Generators are separated into three categories, based on how much waste they generate or keep on site.

Your generator status determines which rules your business must follow.

Which category is my business in?

Generator Status

Amount of Dangerous Waste

220-pound QEL waste (see below for description)
Generate less than 220 pounds per month.
Accumulate less than 2,200 pounds at any time.
2.2-pound QEL waste
Generate or accumulate less than 2.2 pounds of waste with these codes:
all P codes* | WT01 | F020 | F021 | F022 | F023 | F026 | F027
220-pound QEL wastes
Generate between 220 and 2,200 pounds per month.
Accumulate less than 2,200 pounds at any time.
2.2-pound QEL waste
There is no MQG status for waste with a 2.2 quantity exclusion limit.
If you have more than 2.2 pounds in any month, you are large quantity generator
220-pound QEL wastes
Generate 2,200 or more pounds per month.
Accumulate more than 2,200 pounds at any time.
2.2-pound QEL wastes
Generate or accumulate 2.2 or more pounds of waste in these codes:
all P codes* | WT01 | F020 | F021 | F022 | F023 | F026 | F027
* Residues, contaminated soil, water, or other debris from the cleanup of a spill of any chemical
designated on the "P" discarded chemical products list have a 220-pound limit.

What is a quantity exclusion limit (QEL)?

The quantity, by weight, at which a waste becomes fully regulated under medium quantity generator and large quantity generator requirements, according to the Dangerous Waste Regulations, Chapter 173-303-070 Washington Administrative Code (WAC).

These weight limits divide generators into status categories (small, medium, or large quantity generator). Most dangerous wastes have a 220-pound QEL, but some are limited to 2.2-pounds because they are dangerous in small amounts. Designating your waste will give your waste a code that will help you determine its QEL as 220 or 2.2 pounds.

QELs apply to the total amount of dangerous waste each month, not each individual waste stream. For example, if you have three different wastes with 220-pound QELs, you must add the weight of those wastes together. If those three wastes together weigh 220 pounds in one month, you would be a medium quantity generator.

Does my business generate waste?

Designate Your Waste — Is it Dangerous? is an Ecology video to help you learn whether your company generates dangerous waste.

How much does my business generate?

Count Dangerous Waste explains how to measure the dangerous waste that your business creates. The regulations refer to this process as “counting,” as in counting the pounds of waste generated each month.