Characteristic Waste: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 42 USC 6903, and regulations at 40 CFR 260 and 40 CFR 261

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Hazardous waste determination: 40 CFR 261.10 and 40 CFR 261.20 to 261.24

Exceptions: 40 CFR 261.4(a)

Hazardous waste characteristics:

Ignitability: 40 CFR 261.21

Corrosivity: 40 CFR 261.22

Reactivity: 40 CFR 261.23

Toxicity: 40 CFR 261.24

Test methods: 40 CFR 260.11 and 40 CFR 261

Waste numbers: 40 CFR 261.20 to 261.24

Generator knowledge: 40 CFR 261.10(a)(2)(ii) and 40 CFR 262.11(c)(2)

Sampling and testing:

Sampling: 40 CFR 261.10(a)(2)(i); 40 CFR 261, Appendix I; 40 CFR 264.13; 40 CFR 265.13; and 40 CFR 262.11(c)(1)

Testing: 40 CFR 261.20 to 261.24

Waste analysis plan: 40 CFR 264.13 and 40 CFR 265.13

Waste characterization samples: 40 CFR 261.4(d)

Recordkeeping: 40 CFR 262.40(c), 40 CFR 262.44(a), 40 CFR 264.73(b)(3), and 40 CFR 265.73(b)(3)

Hazardous Waste Identification Rule (HWIR): 40 CFR 261.3(g)

Regulatory Agency

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER)

See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.

Frequently Asked Questions
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Characteristic Waste Overview


Determining whether a waste is a characteristic waste is only one step in the process of hazardous waste identification. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) require that any person who produces or generates a waste must determine if that waste is hazardous.

RCRA defines "hazardous ...

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State Requirements

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Characteristic Waste Resources

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Characteristic Waste Products

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