Waste Programs Division
Hazardous Waste Management
The management of hazardous waste is governed by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Federal and state hazardous waste management regulations apply to most businesses that generate hazardous waste. The following Q&A explains how hazardous waste may affect your business and ADEQ’s role in hazardous waste management.
What is Hazardous Waste?
- Ignitable — Creates fire under certain conditions, spontaneously combustible, or have a flash point less than 140F (e.g. some paints, degreasers and solvents)
- Corrosive — Capable of corroding metals or has a high or low pH (e.g. acid or alkaline cleaning fluids, rust removers and battery acid)
- Reactive or unstable — Can cause explosions, toxic fumes, gases and vapors when mixed with water or under other conditions, such as heat or pressure (e.g. some cyanides and sulfide-bearing wastes)
- Toxic — Harmful or fatal when ingested or absorbed, or leaches toxic chemicals into the soil or ground water (e.g. wastes with high concentrations of heavy metals, such as cadmium, lead or mercury)
How do I determine my generator category?
- Generated and accumulated on site for any period of time before disposal or recycling. For example, dry cleaners must count any residue removed from machines, as well as spent cartridge filters.
- Packaged and transported away from your business.
- Placed directly in a regulated treatment or disposal unit at your place of business.
- Generated as still bottoms or sludges and removed from product storage tanks.
- Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQGs) generate no more than 220 pounds (100 kg) of hazardous waste in any month and store no more than 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg) of hazardous waste at any given time. CESQGs are conditionally exempt from hazardous waste management regulations provided that certain basic requirements are met.
- Small Quantity Generators (SQGs) generate between 220 and 2,200 pounds (100 and 1,000 kg) of hazardous waste in any month and store no more than 13,228 pounds (6,000 kg) of hazardous waste at any given time. SQGs must comply with EPA and state requirements for managing hazardous waste.
- Large Quantity Generators (LQGs) generate more than 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg) of hazardous waste in any month. LQGs must comply with more extensive hazardous waste rules.
How does ADEQ monitor hazardous waste?
- Inspections and Compliance - Conducting routine, follow-up, and initial compliance inspections and responding to public complaints and other agency referrals to ensure that hazardous wastes are safely managed and properly disposed
- Permits and Plan Review - Permitting facilities that treat, store or dispose of hazardous waste and reviewing required plans and monitoring reports
- Outreach and Compliance Assistance - Educating and reaching out to the regulated community and the general public
- Pollution Prevention - Managing ADEQ’s pollution prevention (P2) program and other activities aimed at eliminating or reducing the use of toxic substances and the generation of hazardous wastes
- Remediation and Cleanup – Providing oversight and coordination of investigations and cleanups of contaminated sites
- Information Management - Tracking hazardous waste manifests and facility annual reports (FAR) and issuing EPA identification numbers