Waste service providers are businesses that might help you:
- Transport waste
- Dispose of waste
- Identify waste codes (designate your waste)
- Create hazardous waste manifests
- Assist with record-keeping
But you are ultimately responsible for all the waste you generate, from cradle to grave. So be sure you do your homework when selecting a provider to work with, and know what you need to do to be in compliance.
Only small quantity generators may transport their own dangerous waste. So if you're a medium or large quantity generator, you need to work with a dangerous waste service provider.
Find a waste service provider
Search these statewide and regional directories to find service providers near you:
Please note: Ecology does not endorse any service providers listed in any of the directories. You are responsible for making sure your dangerous waste is handled and disposed of properly.
How to choose a hazardous waste service provider
Protect your business by making sure any waste service providers you use are reliable. The lowest price is not always the best choice. If you use a service provider that does not manage your waste properly, you are liable for the consequences, which could include the high cost of cleaning up contamination.
Consider balancing cost, liability, and service to find the right provider for your business. Ask questions like:
- Are they in compliance with hazardous waste regulations?
- Do they provide a “safety net” (also known as a financial assurance) that reduces my risk?
- What are the detailed costs of their service?
Do they have an Ecology permit to operate as a TSD in Washington?
We require permits for facilities that treat, store, or dispose of dangerous waste, also known as TSDs. Permits help mitigate, control, and prevent hazards to human health or the environment. Search for permitted Treatment, Storage, and Disposal facilities in Washington.
Do they comply with environmental laws?
Your waste service provider’s compliance record is as important as costs and services — if they fail to follow the rules, it can cost your business to clean up the mess. If they fail to manage your waste safely and legally, you could be responsible for paying for an expensive and embarrassing cleanup.
You can search U.S. Environmental Protection Agency enforcement information through ECHO (Enforcement and Compliance History Online). Search ECHO in two ways:
- By community: go to ECHO and enter the city or zip code of the facility. Scroll through the list or click the map to look for the facility.
- By the facility’s name: go to ECHO and click the Explore Facilities button. Enter the facility’s name in the search bar. Scroll through the list to find the facility.
Was the facility cited for any violations? Are they classified as a Significant Non-complier or High-priority Violator in ECHO?
Violations that threaten, or have potential to threaten, human health or the environment are serious. Examples include:
- Unreported spills
- Drums or containers without secure lids
- Incorrect waste identification
Do they have citations for poor waste-tracking or for record-keeping failures for waste shipments? Their citations for poor or missing records could impact your compliance as a generator if it calls into question what happened to a hazardous waste shipment.
Do they provide financial assurance?
“Financial assurance” is how the company will make sure money is available to clean up after operations. This is so taxpayers won’t have to pay for a cleanup if they go out of business.
Balance cost, service, and liability
What does their service include and for how much money? The lowest bidder is not always the best choice. Ask yourself, “How is one company able to keep costs lower than another?” It could be that the cheaper choice sacrifices essential services, cuts corners on regulatory compliance, or exposes you to higher risk from liabilities. Only you or your company can decide how much risk and liability is acceptable.
Specify how you want bidders to detail costs, specifically the unit and cost you want to see (for example, $/gallon or $/pound). Put all your expectations for costs, services, compliance record, and financial assurance in your scope of work. A clear, detailed scope of work can help you get bids that are comparable.
Make sure you “compare apples to apples.” For example, if you compare the waste management cost of a permitted TSD to a conditionally exempt recycling facility, you may be overlooking the higher costs of financial assurance provided by the TSD. On the other hand, using an exempt recycler may help you earn valuable recycling credits against the hazardous waste planning fee assessment.
Used oil processing
If you are sending your used oil to be processed or recycled, be cautious of facilities that aren’t concerned about the nature or source of the used oil. A good facility will require information about how your oil is generated, its sources, and what contaminants might exist or be introduced in the process of generating or storing the oil.
Need to find a lab?
If you need a lab to test your waste, search for labs and get information about choosing one.