Businesses may accumulate dangerous waste on-site for a certain length of time. The amount of time and quantity of dangerous waste you can accumulate depends on your generator category and where you store the waste. The waste must be in appropriate containers and tanks, and stored correctly.

Learn more about the different types of accumulation storage areas:

  • Central accumulation areas (CAAs).
  • Satellite accumulation areas (SAAs).

Central accumulation areas (CAAs)

A central accumulation area (CAA) is a location where dangerous wastes are stored prior to off-site shipment or on-site treatment.

  • CAAs may be anywhere on-site. They do not need to be "centrally located."
  • You may have more than one CAA (i.e., multiple CAAs).

Self-inspect weekly

You must self-inspect your CAA once a week (between Sunday and the following Saturday).

Check your central accumulation areas. Click to download or request a copy of this free poster.
Add this poster to your CAA

This free poster helps employees verify that all necessary equipment and signs are there.

Accumulation start date

An accumulation start date is the date you:

Every dangerous waste container in your CAA must show an accumulation start date, unless you are a small quantity generator (SQG).

Accumulation limits

Ensure you schedule enough time for your waste service provider to pick up your waste. They must pick up your waste before you exceed one of the following (whichever comes first):

  • Accumulation time limit,
  • Total on-site accumulation limit.
DW = Dangerous waste; AHW = Acutely hazardous waste; EHW = Extremely hazardous waste
Generator category Time limit Total accumulation limit
Small quantity generator (SQG) None
  • 2,200 pounds of DW
  • 2.2 pounds of AHW
  • 2.2 pounds of Toxic EHW
Medium quantity generator (MQG) 180 days
  • 6,600 pounds of DW
  • 2.2 pounds of AHW
  • 2.2 pounds of Toxic EHW
Large quantity generator (LQG) 90 days None

Other conditionally regulated dangerous wastes

Accumulation time limits may vary depending on the type of waste you generate. For instance:

Refer to the regulations for specific management requirements for these types of wastes.

What happens if you exceed your accumulation time limit?

If you have wastes on-site for longer than your accumulation time limit:

What happens if you exceed your total on-site accumulation limit?

Satellite accumulation areas (SAAs)

Satellite accumulation allows medium and large quantity generators to hold a certain amount of dangerous waste at or near the point of generation for longer than 90 or 180 days. It allows these facilities to do this without the need for a dangerous waste storage permit.

Medium and large quantity generators can have:

  • Multiple satellite accumulation areas (SAAs) across the site.
  • No more than 55 gallons of dangerous waste (or one quart (2.2 pounds) of acutely hazardous waste) in an SAA at any time.

How do you manage a satellite accumulation area?

Satellite accumulation areas must be under the control of the worker or secured at all times.

Learn more about satellite accumulation:

Frequently asked questions