Dangerous waste guidance

Businesses in Washington are required to follow the state Dangerous Waste Regulations. You are responsible for properly handling and disposing of your dangerous waste.

Most businesses in Washington generate some type of dangerous waste — waste that’s potentially harmful to our health and environment. You are required to determine whether the waste your business generates is dangerous. You must also handle your dangerous waste safely and dispose of it properly.

Knowing whether you have dangerous waste, how much you have, and the rules you have to follow is a process. To properly manage your waste, you must:

Is my waste dangerous?

Designation is the process of determining if a waste is dangerous waste and what the hazards are. It’s the first step in managing your dangerous waste properly. Also learn about common types of dangerous waste.

How much waste do I have?

After you determine you have a dangerous waste, you must know how much you generate each month. This is called "counting."

What is my generator status?

Your generator status determines which rules apply to your business. Your status is based on how much waste you generate and accumulate at your facility. Small quantity generators have the fewest rules to follow. Medium and large quantity generators have more rules to follow and reports to submit.

How do I handle my dangerous waste?

You must keep your containers closed, in good condition, and be able to prevent spills. Learn about good container management.

You must also label your dangerous waste. Labeling protects workers and prevents costly disposal mistakes.

How do I dispose of my dangerous waste?

Most businesses hire a hazardous waste service provider to transport and dispose of their wastes. Even if you hire a contractor, it's your responsibility to ensure proper disposal.

What's a Dangerous Waste Annual Report?

If you have an active EPA/State Identification Number, you must submit a Dangerous Waste Annual Report. Most facilities who report are medium or large quantity generators. The report details the dangerous waste you generate and other waste-related activities in a calendar year.