Hazardous Waste FAQs

 Frequently Asked Questions

What does RCRA stand for?
What is a hazardous waste "generator"? 
How can I obtain a copy of the hazardous waste laws and regulations? 
What is your generator status? 
How do I notify the state of my hazardous waste activity or what if my generator status changes? 
What if hazardous waste generation rates vary widely from month to month? 
What is a hazardous waste manifest and why is it required? 
How can I reduce hazardous waste generation? 
 
What does RCRA stand for?
  • RCRA stands for the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. It is federal legislation requiring that hazardous waste be tracked from "cradle (generation) to grave" (disposal).

What is a hazardous waste "generator"?
  • A generator is any person or site whose act or process produces hazardous waste identified or listed in 40 CFR Part 261 or whost act first causes a hazardous waste to become subject to the hazardous waste rules.

How can I obtain a copy of the hazardous waste laws and regulations?
 What is your generator status?
  • State and federal hazardous waste regulations classify hazardous waste generators into three categories based on the amount of hazardous waste (HW) they produce (generate) each month or have in storage on-site. Conditionally Exempt Generators (CEGs), the least regulated category, generate less than 220 pound of hazardous waste in a month and have less than 2,200 pounds of hazardous waste in storage. Large Quantity Generators (LQGs), the most regulated category, generate more than 13,200 pounds of hazardous waste in a month or have more than 13,200 pounds of hazardous waste in storage. Small Quantity Generators (SQGs) fall between these two categories (see table below). There is an exception to the general rules for CEG and SQG status. When a generator generates more than 2.2 pounds of acutely hazardous wastes (P-listed), this automatically places one in the Large Quantity Generator category.
  •  Amount of HW

    Drum Equivalents 

    Generated/Month 

    Stored on-site 

    up to 220 pounds                 

    half a 55 gallon drum 

    CEG 

    CEG 

    up to 2,200 pounds 

    five 55 gallon drums 

    SQG 

    CEG 

    up to 13,200 pounds 

    thirty 55 gallon drums 

    LQG 

    SQG 

    over 13,200 pounds  over thirty 55 gallon drums 

    LQG 

    LQG 

How do I notify the state of my hazardous waste activity or what if my generator status changes?
 What if hazardous waste generation rates vary widely from month to month?
  • For practical purposes, most businesses use their normal high generation rate months to determine their generator status and set up their hazardous waste management programs accordingly.  However, should you wish to switch your generator category as it changes, go to the following link.
 What is a hazardous waste manifest and why is it required?
  • The hazardous waste manifest program is a key element in controlling hazardous waste.  Using a set of forms, reports and procedures, the manifest program tracks hazardous waste from the time it leaves the generator facility where it is produced, until it reaches the off-site waste management facility that will store, treat, or dispose of the hazardous waste.  This cradle-to-grave tracking system ensures that the hazardous waste is transported from the place of generation to the place of ultimate disposal without being tampered with, dumped, or otherwise illegally disposed of along the way.  For further information regarding hazardous waste manifest, please click here.
 How can I reduce hazardous waste generation?
  • First, a complete evaluation of all products purchased that end up as hazardous wastes should be completed. Are these products necessary? Are there non-hazardous alternatives? Second, good housekeeping practices can often reduce hazardous waste generation. If your facility is using large quantities of absorbents for spills, actions should be taken to reduce the occurrence of spills to both reduce hazardous waste generation and to achieve a safer, cleaner work environment. Third, seek assistance. Generator assistance can be obtained from DEP by contacting by calling 304-926-0499 extension 1130 or your local inspector.  For a link to your local hazardous waste inspector, please click here.

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