Generator category

Generator category icon
Most businesses and facilities generate dangerous waste. If your site generates dangerous waste, you must determine your generator category each month. Your generator category tells you which dangerous waste rules to follow.

  • Designate your waste to determine which wastes you have.
  • Count the dangerous waste you generated for the month.
  • Determine your generator category (small, medium, or large quantity generator).

Keep in mind that your generator category may change from month to month.

Determine your generator category

Designating waste gives you codes that help you figure out what type of waste you have. Waste types are determined by quantity exclusion limits (QELs).

What are quantity exclusion limits (QELs)?

A QEL is a monthly weight limit that determines your generator category (small, medium, or large quantity generator). There are two main waste types:

Barrel icon


Most dangerous wastes have a QEL of 220 pounds.

Small waste container icon


Dangerous wastes that are toxic in small amounts have a QEL of 2.2 pounds.*


*This includes extremely hazardous waste (code WT01), and acutely hazardous waste (all P-listed waste and some F-listed waste codes: F020, F021, F022, F023, F026, F027).

Monthly generation limits determine your category

Count how much of each waste type (above) you generated in a month. Then, compare these amounts with the monthly generation limits (below) to determine your generator category.

Read a plain text version of the monthly generation limits image

Residue from cleanup of 2.2-pound QEL waste

For accidental spills of 2.2-pound QEL waste, cleanup materials like contaminated soil, water, or debris from the cleanup have a 220-pound limit. (This includes all P-listed waste as well as F020, F021, F022, F023, F026, F027, and WT01 wastes.) If you generate more than 220 pounds of residue from a cleanup of these wastes, you are an LQG.