The Washington State Department of Ecology is working with schools and
laboratories to find safer alternatives to reduce, or even eliminate the use of
The table below lists some of the most common dangerous waste compliance
issues and offers best management practices for proper identification,
accumulation, and disposal of dangerous wastes. For more information contact your local
Ecology Regional Office.
|Common Compliance Issues
||Best Management Practices
Designation, WAC 173-303-170(1)(a), and by reference
|Waste streams not designated: wastes must
be designated to determine if they are a dangerous waste.
||Determine if wastes are a dangerous waste by using
the Washington Dangerous Waste Designation Tool, a downloadable EXCEL
spreadsheet that helps dangerous waste generators through the process of
identifying and assigning
waste codes to wastes.
|Spilled materials: spills, leaks, or
drips are wastes, unless reusable, and must be cleaned up, stored in appropriate
containers, designated, labeled, and properly disposed.
Store appropriate emergency spill material
near areas where wastes are being collected or transferred from one
container to another.
Clean up spill promptly using absorbent pads
or absorbent granules for liquid spills and store in compatible containers.
Designate the spilled material and properly
label container to indicate what is in the container, if it is a dangerous
waste or non-hazardous waste, the associated hazards, and the date
Protect floor and sink drains from accidental
Do not use water to mop up spills or to wash
(1)(b) and by reference
630(5)(b): all dangerous waste containers must be in good
condition (no rust, bulging, etc.) and handled to prevent rupture or leaks.
Always check accumulation containers before
use to assure they can be securely closed and are in overall good condition.
Only collect compatible waste types in the
same container. Example: acids with acids, bases with bases, organic
Use containers that are compatible with the
waste. Example: use metal drums to collect waste organic solvents, use
polyethylene for acids and bases.
Use labels that are easy to read, identify as
"Dangerous Waste," name of the waste, nature of the hazard (corrosive or
ignitable), and the date waste was first added. Ensure the labels are
visible and legible.
Keep securely closed except to add or remove
waste. If wastes are added frequently, consider using a funnel with a
Provide secondary containment for all
dangerous wastes being stored.
Store wastes according to the Uniform Fire
Code: ignitable in flammable cabinets, reactive separate from organics,
bases separate from acids.
Locate satellite accumulation areas near waste
Do not stack satellite waste collection
containers on top of each other.
Arrange so incompatible wastes cannot come in
contact with each other.
|Incompatible wastes and containers,
and by reference
630(4): do not mix incompatible waste types in one
container. Collection containers must be compatible with the waste being stored.
|Poor waste container labeling,
(1)(d): container labels need to indicate a dangerous waste, the waste
name, hazards, and the date waste was first placed in the container.
|Open when not in use,
(1)(b) and by
reference 630(5)(a): dangerous waste containers must be closed except when
adding or removing wastes.
|No secondary containment,
(1)(b) and by
reference 630(7): dangerous waste accumulation areas must have a
containment system to catch leaks or spills.
|Improper storage practices,
dangerous waste collection containers must be easily accessible and stored to
|Dangerous waste disposed to the drain or
garbage, WAC 173-303-141(1): designated dangerous waste must be disposed of
at a treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) operating under a permit or a
facility authorized to receive dangerous waste.
Use the appropriately labeled accumulation
container to collect dangerous wastes.
Do not dispose of dangerous waste in garbage
Do not dilute, neutralize, or solidify aqueous
dangerous wastes and then pour down the drain.
Do not leave unused volatile organic reagents
in the fume hood to evaporate. Store in appropriately closed containers for
use at a later time.
|Treated wastes disposed to a drain,
173-303-950(2): dangerous waste cannot be treated (neutralized,
solidified, etc.) and discharged to a septic system or sanitary sewer system.
|Dilution is not the solution,
173-303-150: dangerous waste cannot be divided or diluted and discharged to a
septic system or sanitary sewer to avoid regulation.
|Wastes evaporated in fume hoods,
173-303-141(1): do not leave unused analytical reagents or liquids in fume
hoods to evaporate.