Step two: Is it exempt or excluded?

Determine if your waste is excluded from the dangerous waste regulations.

When managed under specific requirements, some dangerous wastes are exempt or conditionally excluded from the regulations. Exclusions include:

  • Some materials are not considered solid waste or are exempted from solid waste. For example: commercial chemical products that are being reclaimed. (WAC 173-303-016)
  • Some materials are exempted from being solid waste because the material is being recycled and can be used in place of virgin materials without carrying extra chemicals. For example: pulping liquors reused for pulping. (WAC 173-303-017)
  • Materials that are solid waste may be excluded from being designated as dangerous waste based on what they are or how they are used. For example: scrap metal being recycled or irrigation return flows. (WAC 173-303-071)

Exempt wastes are not considered solid wastes, as long as they are used or managed under the requirements of WAC 137-303-016 or -017. Excluded wastes remain solid wastes, but are not subject to most of the dangerous waste rules, including counting and Dangerous Waste Annual Reporting requirements.


These dangerous wastes are excluded from part or all of the requirements. Often the waste must meet specific conditions to qualify for the exclusion. Look in WAC 173-303-071(3) to read the specifics for each exclusion.

Recycling wastes

Some wastes can be recycled easily. Wastes like used oil, spent antifreeze, and spent lead acid batteries have special rules when they are being managed for recycling. If you follow the requirements for recycling the wastes listed below, they are excluded from all other dangerous waste requirements:

For more information on these wastes, refer to the regulations in Chapter 173-303 WAC, sections -500 through -525.

Universal wastes

Some batteries, light bulbs, and equipment that contains mercury can be managed under simplified rules. They are called "universal waste." 

Continue to Step three: Is it listed?