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The weight of waste

August 24, 2011
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In 1986, new rules were written for businesses that generate between 220 pounds and 2,200 pounds of waste per month. As a result, there are three levels of hazardous waste generators:

  1. Generators of 220 pounds or less per month (conditionally exempt). This equals about one-half of a 55-gallon drum.
  2. Generators of 220 pounds to 2,200 pounds per month (small quantity generator). This is equal to about five 55 gallon drums.
  3. Generators of more than 2,200 pounds per month (large quantity generator).

Let us look at these levels in more detail, according to the law.

To be conditionally exempt:
A generator must:

  1. Identify all hazardous wastes generated.
  2. Send them to an approved waste facility.
  3. Never accumulate more than 2,200 lbs. of hazardous waste on-site.

Small quantity generators:
Federal law requires that you comply with the 1986 and 1987 rules for hazardous waste management.

Large generators:
You must comply with all hazardous waste rules in 40 CFR 260-268. Visit to locate the correct EPA Office in your area.

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