Many local governments
must deal with hazardous wastes at two different levels: (1) as a
hazardous generator and (2) as the responsible entity for protecting
landfills and other municipal solid waste collection/disposal
operations from hazardous waste disposal.
Hazardous waste is
defined by federal (Resource
Conservation and Recovery Act or RCRA) and state
regulations. In general, hazardous waste is
either a specifically listed material (e.g., spent cleaning solvent)
or is hazardous due to its characteristics (i.e., ignitable,
corrosive, reactive or toxic). Hazardous waste generated by local
governments can include waste paint, spent solvents, pesticides,
discarded cleaning products, excess/discarded/spilled chemicals, and
many other substances. All hazardous wastes must be managed
according to state and federal laws and the persons responsible for
handling the wastes must be trained.
Landfills and other
solid waste facilities operated by local governments are generally
not designed for handling large volumes of hazards waste. To
minimize the introduction of hazardous waste to these facilities,
many communities have established household hazardous waste
collections. This is typically accomplished by designating permanent
collection/exchange areas at landfills or by establishing special
collection days at a central location. These types of operations
require permitting by Regional EPA or state environmental agencies.
Waste. Learn more about hazardous waste and the
regulations that govern it.
Hazardous Waste. The options of reduction, reuse,
recycling, and disposal-listed in order of EPA's preferred waste
management hierarchy-are all important tools to safely manage HHW.
Hazardous Waste Regulations. EPA regulations, or rulemakings, translate the general mandate of RCRA into a set of requirements for the Agency and the regulated community. The RCRA hazardous waste program regulates commercial businesses as well as federal, State, and local government facilities that generate, transport, treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste.
Waste State Locator. Use this locator to find
hazardous waste and RCRA compliance resources on state websites. You
will find general information, fact sheets, permit forms and
guidance, contact information and other helpful resources and tools.
Waste Publications. Useful publications for business,
households and local governments.
Useful hazardous waste publications for small businesses.