Questions about Compliance? Contact Us Today! 1-800-351-9563

Designating Your Waste

Unless your waste in question is exempt or excluded, it must be designated before transportation or disposal.  Designating your waste is necessary whether or not the waste, upon review, requires special disposal techniques.  Even if you conclude that no special handling is necessary, you must be able to show how you arrived at such a conclusion. Simply stating that you thought it looked ‘safe’ does not count as designating your waste!

When considering latex paint paint itself is not in question, but rather the potential chemicals added during the manufacturing process.  For example, many paints marketed as “Mold Resistant” contain chemicals that require designation.

Remember, a usable product is not considered dangerous waste.  For example, products that will be entirely installed at a customers house or building is not considered waste.  However, if you are applying a paint coating, the leftover paint from cleaning your equipment would be considered a waste.

The following is a list of steps to help you identify if your waste is regulated.  This information is tailored specifically to painting contractors and therefore excludes certain information.  If you handle unusual materials, please consult the Department of Ecology’s website for more information.

Designating your waste can be a complicated process.  Unless the designation is very straightforward, we recommend hiring a consultant to assist in the process.

General Considerations:

  • Businesses that produce solid waste are required by law to determine if their waste is considered hazardous wastes.
  • Occasionally someone may think that they need to designate an unwanted product before they sell it or give it away because it has dangerous properties – for example -  a salvaged door with lead paint. It does not need to be designated unless it is a waste that will be discarded.
  • For example: An unused hazardous solvent that is no longer needed does not need a dangerous waste manifest if it is returned to the supplier for a refund as a product.

Two – Exemptions or Exclusions:

Is the waste excluded from the DW regulations? (see WAC 173-303-017 and WAC 173-303-071 )

All wastes must be designated before disposal unless they are exempted or excluded (removed) from the dangerous waste regulations.

If yes, STOP, an exempted or excluded waste cannot be a dangerous waste.

If no, CONTINUE to Step Three.

  • Most demolition wastes are not exempted or excluded unless it is known that they are inert (not hazardous or dangerous) when disposed. Some examples of inert wastes are plastic, cardboard, rocks, and vegetation from land clearing.
  • Some wastes are exempted from the regulations if they are reclaimed or recycled. Waste paint is exempted if it can be returned to a paint manufacturer to be recycled into new paint.
  • The federal exclusion for household hazardous waste (“HHW”) may apply to wastes generated at a residential site. The household hazardous waste exclusion only applies to federal Hazardous Wastes or state Dangerous Wastes.

It does not apply to other regulations such as OSHA, Labor and Industries, WISHA, TSCA, or HUD. TSCA and HUD regulate residential lead paint management much more strictly than non-residential.

Refer to the Office of the Code Revisers on-line list of the exclusions in WAC 173-303-071 – including samples, treated wood wastes, asphalt, roofing tars and shingles .

Refer to Household Hazardous Wastes for additional information about this common exclusion.

  • Many wastes must be fully designated before they can be identified for an exclusion.

Three – Listed Discarded Chemical Products(P and U Waste Numbers):

Does the waste have only one active ingredient?

And – is it unused chemicals or spill clean up materials from unused chemicals or containers with residues of unused chemicals?

And – is it both described in WAC 173-303-081 and listed in WAC 173-303-9903 ?

See the Discarded Chemical Products Definition for more information.

See the Dangerous Waste Discarded Chemical Products “P” Code List.

See the Dangerous Waste Discarded Chemical Products “U” Code List.

Or, see the P Codes and U Codes in WAC 173-303-9903.

Remember to use the Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) number to look up the chemical. EPA’s Envirofacts Query lets you look up CAS numbers for chemical names at http://www.epa.gov/enviro/html/multisystem_query_java.html.

Construction and demolition activities do not normally generate wastes that would be discarded chemical products.

If yes, use the P or U waste code given and STOP.

If no, or to comply with federal Land Disposal Restrictions, CONTINUE to Step Four.

Knowledge

Use knowledge of the waste.  The U and P code wastes are intended for residues of chemical products which should have accompanying Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) information and labels.

Refer to the section Clues to Designation Knowledge for information about knowledge that can be gained from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

Test Methods

None.

Five to Eight – Characteristic Wastes (D Waste Numbers):

The next four wastes – Characteristic wastes are regulated because they behave in a manner that makes them hazardous or dangerous.

A waste must be evaluated for each of the dangerous waste characteristics if any of the following two conditions is true:

1. The waste did not designate as a discarded chemical product or as a dangerous waste source.

2. The waste designated and it will be land disposed subject to WAC 173-303-140 (Federal Land Disposal requirements).

Example, an F solvent sent to Arlington, Oregon’s federally regulated hazardous waste landfill. An F solvent sent to an incinerator does not need to be designated for the characteristics.

Characteristic waste designation requires either:

  • Detailed knowledge of the waste’s constituents and the waste process, or
  • Test results. A representative sample is necessary if characteristic designation is done through testing.

Characteristic wastes may designate for more than one characteristic – for example: batteries that are both ignitable and corrosive.

These can be designated with MSDS information or label information or by test results on a representative sample.

The hazardous properties that would make a product ignitable or corrosive for designation should appear on the MSDS to warn users. The information on an MSDS may not be from the same testing methods that is required by the dangerous waste regulations. For example the flash point given on an MSDS may not be from the Pensky-Martin Closed Cup Tester or  Setaflash Closed Cup Tester that are referenced under the Ignitable Characteristics in WAC 173-303-090

Refer to the section Clues to Designation Knowledge for information about knowledge that can be gained from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

A sample obtained using any of the applicable sampling methods described in WAC 173-303-110 (2) , sampling and testing methods, is considered to be a representative sample (WAC 173-303-090 ). A representative sample can be expected to exhibit the average properties of the sample source (WAC 173-303-040 ).

Refer to the section Dangerous Waste Samples Summary for  information about representative and composite samples, field sampling and links to suggested screening and sampling plans.

Six – Corrosive Characteristic (D002  and WSC2 Waste Numbers):

Is the waste corrosive? (See WAC 173-303-090(6).

These wastes are regulated because they react dangerously with other wastes or cause other toxic contaminants to migrate.

Corrosive characteristic wastes have any of the following 3 properties:

1. If it is aqueous – is the pH less than or equal to 2, or greater than or equal to 12.5, as determined by a pH meter using EPA SW-846 test method 9040?

  • A litmus strip can be used for hazard evaluation but cannot be used to designate for corrosivity.
  • An aqueous waste may be a non-liquid gel, sol or suspension.

Examples of Corrosive Aqueous Acids:  Etching solutions.

Examples of Corrosive Aqueous Bases: Hydroxides found in many different cleaning compounds.

2. If it is a liquid – does it corrode steel (SAE 1020) at a rate greater than 0.250 inch (6.35 mm) per year at a test temperature of 55 degrees C (130 degrees F) as determined by the SW-846 test method 1110 specified in NACE (National Association of Corrosion Engineers) Standard TM-01-69?

An aqueous liquid may pass the pH test but fail the steel corrosion test.

Examples of Liquids that corrode steel: Sulfuric acid, Hydrochloric acid, Nitric acid and Phosphoric acid.

3. Is it a solid or semi-solid which upon testing using SW-846 test method  9045, results in a pH  less than or equal to 2, or greater than or equal to 12.5?

A solid or semi solid waste is considered to have less than 20% aqueous content before testing. For the pH test the waste is mixed with an equal weight of water.

To determine if a waste is corrosive look for any of the following three properties on the MSDS or labels:

Examples of Solid Corrosives: Sodium hydroxide (lye or caustic soda), Potassium hydroxide (caustic potash and potash lye) and batteries,

If yes, use the D002 (for liquids) or WSC2 (for solids) waste code and CONTINUE to Step Seven.

If no, CONTINUE to Step Seven.

Knowledge

Corrosives are often stored in stainless steel or glass containers. Hydrofluoric acid is stored in plastic.

Look at Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the pH of the hazardous materials that went into the waste.

Look for a black and white Class 8 US DOT shipping placard or label with a picture of test tubes pouring over a bar and a hand.

Look for  numbers in the (blue) left quarter of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) diamond label.

Refer to the section Clues to Designation Knowledge for information about knowledge that can be gained from:

  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) hazardous materials labels and placards
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 704 M hazardous diamond label.

Test Methods

To determine if a waste is corrosive evaluate a representative sample for any of the following three properties:

Aqueous waste is a pH meter using EPA SW-846 test method 9040 in “Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods”,EPA publication SW-846, as incorporated by reference in WAC  173-303-110 (3)(a).

Liquid that corrodes Type SAE 1020 steel is the SW-846 test method 1110  specified in NACE (National Association of Corrosion Engineers) Standard TM-01-69 as standardized in “Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods,” EPA publication SW-846, as incorporated by reference in WAC 173-303-110 (3)(a).

Solid or semi-solid is SW-846 test method  9045  in “Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods,” EPA publication SW-846.

 

Eight – Toxic Characteristic Wastes (D004-D043 Waste Numbers):

To determine if a waste is toxic evaluate a representative sample to determine if any constituent or constituents of the waste are listed on the Toxicity Characteristics Leaching Procedure (TCLP) List.

  • If a waste’s constituents are not on the list, the waste cannot be a toxic characteristic waste.
  • If a constituent or constituents are on the list – then does an extract of a representative sample of the waste fail the limit for leaching given on the TCLP list?

The waste is regulated for the toxicity characteristic if the concentration of a contaminant that leaches out during the test is equal to or greater than the concentration found on the list from WAC 173-303-090 (8) Exit Ecology.

Toxic characteristic wastes listed include certain metals, creosols, pesticides and volatile and semi-volatile organic chemicals.

If yes, use all D004-D043 waste codes that apply and CONTINUE to .

If no, CONTINUE to Additional State Only Designation, Steps Nine and Ten, the Criteria Wastes.

Knowledge

Look at Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to identify the hazardous materials that went into the waste. Use CAS numbers to verify the MSDS chemical names with the names on the table in WAC 173-303-090(8).

NOTE:  Many MSDS do not include an exhaustive list of potentially hazardous materials, especially if these are considered proprietary information.  Just because an MSDS does not list a regulated chemical do not assume the product is unregulated.

Look on the US DOT label, placard or shipping papers for a specific four-digit UN identification number. Most of the TCLP list contaminants have a UN number and there are usually several UN numbers for constituents in compounds. For example, 1114 is Benzene but Benzene phosphorus dichloride is 2798.

Look for numbers in the (blue) left quarter of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) diamond label.

Refer to the section Clues to Designation Knowledge for information about knowledge that can be gained from:

  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) hazardous materials labels and placards
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 704 M hazardous diamond label.

Test Methods

To determine if a waste has a toxic characteristic evaluate a representative sample by the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP)  SW-846 test method 1311 as described in “Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods”, EPA publication , and  incorporated by reference in WAC-173-303-110 (3)(a).

EPA test method 1311 is the only acceptable test method at this time.

The Extraction Procedure Toxicity Test (EPTOX) Method 1310 was the test used before the TCLP test. Generators and consultants have asked EPA if the old EP Toxicity Test could still be used instead of the TCLP test to designate waste. The answer is no, the TCLP test replaced the EP test because it is more accurate. If a person were to have an EP Toxicity Test run the results of the test could only be used as knowledge, similar to the use of the results of an XRF scan or test for total metals.

At one time the EP toxicity test could be substituted for the TCLP to determine compliance with federal Land Disposal Restriction Treatment Standards for two metals, arsenic and lead. This practice was revoked in the May 26, 1998 Federal Register relating to LDR treatment standard.

Additional State Only Designation:

If the waste did not designate on Steps Three through Eight, CONTINUE to check Step Nine and Step Ten for each Criteria.

If the waste did designate, and any of the three following conditions are true, CONTINUE, but check only for the EHW waste codes specified:

Otherwise Stop designation:

1. If the generator is a small quantity generator (SQG) and the waste is DW with a 220 pound Quantity Exclusion Limit -

Check Step Nine for WT01 Criteria and STOP.

2. If the waste is DW and is discharged (untreated) to a publicly owned wastewater treatment works (POTW) which will treat the waste under permit by rule -

Check Step Nine or Step Ten for WT01, WP01 or WP03 Criteria and STOP.

3. If the waste is a State Only DW (WPCB, WSC2, WT02 or WP02) and the waste is either:

  • to be burned for energy recovery as used oil
  • or, land disposed within Washington state

Check Step Nine or Step Ten for WT01, WP01 or WP03 Criteria and STOP.

If the waste designated in Worksheets Three through Eight as either a listed or a characteristic dangerous waste, but none of the special conditions apply, the designation process can STOP here.

Ecology can also require a generator to test their waste for state criteria per WAC 173-303-070 (4).

  • One waste could designate for both criteria.

Nine – Washington State Toxic Criteria Wastes (WT01 and WT02 Waste Numbers):

State toxicity criteria wastes are regulated due to the presence and concentration of constituents that would be lethal to test animals or fish.

Does the waste contain toxic constituents at a concentration that would be defined in WAC 173-303-100 as either extremely hazardous or as dangerous?

  • These wastes are regulated because they are toxic to biological organisms.

A waste designates as a dangerous waste if it meets the toxicity criteria through:

1. book designation for any known toxic constituent of the waste, or

    2. testing by bioassay (on animals) .

Acute toxicity is a discernible, adverse effect (lethal or sublethal) induced in the test organisms within a short period of exposure to a test material, usually less than or equal to 4 days for fish.

Book Designation:

Book designation can be done if the designator has enough knowledge of the waste to identify the toxic components and has access to standard toxicology reference data.

Book designation can also be done when a generator has chemical testing results to identify the components of the waste.

 

    If The Toxic Constituents Equivalent Concentration Is: Then The Waste’s Designation And Waste Number Are:
    Less than 0.001%, The waste is not a toxic criteria dangerous waste.
    Equal to or greater than 0.001% and less than 1.0%, The waste is DW and dangerous waste number is WT02.
    Equal to or less than 0.01%, The waste is DW and may also be a special waste
    Equal to or greater than 1.0%, The waste is EHW and the dangerous waste number is WT01.

Bioassay Testing

Bioassay or biological testing can be done on a representative sample of a waste with unknown components.

Biological test methods are referenced in WAC 173-303-110 (3) (b).The actual test methods are described in Biological Testing Methods 80-12 For the Designation of Dangerous Waste, Department of Ecology Publication #80-12, June 2009.

The test methods referenced are the Static Acute Fish Toxicity Test and the Acute Oral Rat Toxicity Test.

    If data from the test indicates that the waste is Dangerous Waste, then assign the dangerous waste number WT02. 

    If data from the test indicates that the waste is Extremely Hazardous Waste, then assign the dangerous waste number WT01.

Toxic Criteria Waste Codes:

WT01 The waste is Extremely Hazardous Waste.

WT02 The waste is Dangerous Waste.

Examples of Toxic Criteria Wastes: Wash waters, spent solvents, batteries, paints, coatings and sealing compounds.

Ten – Washington State Persistent Criteria Wastes (WP01, WP02 and WP03 Waste Numbers):

Persistence  means the quality of a material which, as defined in WAC 173-303-040, retains more than half of its initial activity after one year (365 days) in either a dark anaerobic or dark aerobic environment at ambient conditions.

Does the waste contain persistent organic chemical compounds identified as  polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) or halogenated organic compounds (HOCs)? (See WAC 173-303-100)

Generators are not required analyze a waste to determine whether it retains more than half of its initial activity after one year (365 days). Instead, generators are required to identify specific persistence compounds. Those persistence compounds are either halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

     

  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs).

PAHs are clearly defined by the regulations through a specific list of chemical constituents of concern. For the purposes of WAC 173-303-040, PAH means those hydrocarbon molecules composed of two or more fused benzene rings. There are twenty PAHs of concern listed under current Dangerous Waste Regulations. Refer to the section titled WP03 Waste Codes for the complete list.

     

  • or Halogenated Organic Compounds (HOCs),

For the purposes of WAC 173-303-040, HOC means any organic compound which includes at least one atom of either:

Bromine, Chlorine, Fluorine, or Iodine

which is/are bonded directly to a carbon atom. The carbon-halogen bond is one of the primary organic structures that resist biodegredation in the environment.

How to Designate Persistent Criteria Wastes:

Persistent Criteria Waste Codes :

WP01 The total concentration of HOCs is greater than 1% or 10,000 parts per million – the waste is Extremely Hazardous Waste.

WP02 The total concentration of HOCs is equal to or greater than 0.01% or 100 parts per million, and not more than 1% or 10,000 parts per million – the waste is Dangerous Waste.

WP03 The total concentration of PAHs is greater than 1% or 10,000 parts per million – the waste is Extremely Hazardous Waste. There is no Dangerous Waste concentration level for PAHs.

Examples of Persistent Criteria Wastes:

  • Organic compounds, such as heating and motor fuels, cleaning solvents, paints, varnishes, and aerosols are very commonplace materials.
  • Asphalt wastes
  • Paint and ink
  • Oil, grease, brake fluid and fuels
  • PCB contaminated wastes
  • Pesticides
  • Contaminated soil and absorbents

Examples of chemicals not intended to be regulated as halogenated organic compounds:

  • The hydrochlorides, the sulfonyl chlorides, and other classes of compounds where the halide is not bound to a carbon atom.
  • HOCs which are polymerized, or chemically bound in a solid matrix are not subject to regulation. An example is PVC pipe.

Knowledge for HOCS

If the generator has knowledge of the specific halogenated compounds present in the waste, they should be able to calculate the quantity of HOC. Please refer to Chemical Testing Methods for Designating Dangerous Waste, for further information.

Screening Test Methods for HOCs WP01 – and WP02 waste codes

The Ecology publication Chemical Testing Methods for Designating Dangerous Waste, Department of Ecology Publication #97-407, June 2009 describes the methods for testing halogenated organic compounds.

Because of the wide scope of potentially halogenated wastes streams produced by generators, Ecology recommends that the generator rely on their analytical laboratory for the appropriate analytical method to determine the HOC content in their specific waste stream.

Ecology recommends an HOC screening test, which can be used as knowledge to determine if a waste designates as a HOC based on the total halogen content of the waste stream. If the waste contains a total hologen the generator can either use the associated dangerous waste code or continue with more detailed testing. If some of the total halogens are inorganic instead of organic the waste may not designate.

Ecology recommends that SW-846 Method 9076 be used as the screening method in the determination of total halogens in a waste stream.

Ecology recognizes that several halogen specific analyses that could satisfy the screening criteria. Table 3-1: Methods for Determining Halogens, in Chemical Testing Methods for Designating Dangerous Waste, lists some of the methods described in SW-846.

Designation Test Methods for HOCs

There are thousands of halogenated compounds potentially regulated under the regulatory definition of HOC. There is no single method that will sufficiently determine all of the possible HOCs in a waste stream. It is only when a generator has sufficient knowledge of the waste that a specific analytical method can be applied to the waste stream.

  • Please note that SW-846 contains many methods not mentioned in this document that could satisfy the requirements.

When the chemical constituents of the waste are known, the generator should consult with their analytical laboratory to determine the best test method.

  • Ecology recommends the use of the ‘8000 series’ methods in SW-846. As with all of the 8000 series methods, e.g. 8021B and 8121, specific analytes are targeted. Although these methods have a limited target list associated with them, other compounds not listed may be able to be determined using these methods.

If the chemical constituents of the waste stream are unknown, the generator should test the waste using both

  • SW-846 Method 8260B, for the volatile HOC portion of the waste, and
  • SW-846 Method 8270C, for the semi-volatile HOC portion of the waste.

Test Methods for PAHs – WP03

PAHs are defined by a specific list of chemical constituents in the regulations.

See the WP03 Waste Codes for a  list of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs).

  • SW-846 Test Method 8270C is the test method for Semivolatile Organic Compounds by GC/MS. This method will detect all fifteen compounds and is the most accurate of the ‘8000 series’ methods available to detect PAHs.
  • Although Method 8270C is the most expensive analysis of the three methods listed. Ecology strongly recommends the use of Method 8270C, preferential to Method 8100 and Method 8310. All three methods are described in Chemical Testing Methods for Designating Dangerous Waste.

Organic compounds are frequently toxic, flammable, and/or may achieve explosive limits in the air.

Organic compounds can also cause a range of detrimental chronic health effects. This hazard, combined with an organic compound’s ability to persist in the environment has led to regulatory standards in Chapter 173–303 WAC.

Other sections of Chapter 173-303 WAC also contain requirements for halogenated compounds

  • The Toxicity Characteristics Leaching Procedure Test Method 1311 lists twenty-three halogenated (chlorinated) compounds under WAC 173-303-090(8).
  • Some halogenated solvents on the TCLP list are also on the “F” list under WAC 173-303-9904.
  • Used oil when burned for energy recovery is presumed to be dangerous waste if it contains more than 1,000 parts per million total halogens under WAC 173-303-515.