Dangerous waste treatment by generator

Dangerous waste is typically taken to a permitted dangerous waste facility for treatment to make it less hazardous, non-hazardous, or easier or safer to transport. Under certain conditions, businesses may treat their own wastes on-site without a permit. This practice is called treatment by generator.

How can generators treat their own waste?

The treatment methods allowed and requirements you must follow depend on your generator category. The most common treatment methods include:

What additional requirements must generators follow?

Small quantity generators (SQGs)

SQGs may only use the common treatment methods (listed above) to treat waste on-site. In addition, SQGs must follow all guidance described in our publication, Small Quantity Generators Treating Dangerous Waste, such as:

  • Only treat wastes in containers and tanks that meet all required standards.
  • Use containers that meet all container standards. 
  • Use tanks that meet all tank standards.
  • Maintain a written log of all dangerous waste treated on-site, including the date of treatment and the amount of each dangerous waste treated.
  • Label or mark each treatment tank or container with the words “Dangerous Waste” or “Hazardous Waste” and the hazard associated with the waste.
  • Establish an emergency coordinator, post dangerous waste emergency information, and respond to any emergencies.

Medium (MQGs) and large quantity generators (LQGs)

MQGs and LQGs can use the following methods to treat waste on-site:

In addition, MQGs and LQGs must:

  • Treat waste in an accumulation tank or container.
  • Write the date you first add waste to tanks or containers.
  • Ship all dangerous waste and dangerous waste treatment residue off-site within the accumulation time limit:
    • 90 days for LQGs.
    • 180 days for MQGs.
  • Maintain a log of treatment activity.
  • Count and report the amount of treated waste and any dangerous waste residues resulting from treatment.

Waste analysis plan

When treating dangerous waste in accumulation tanks and containers in order to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Land Disposal Restriction standards, you must comply with 40 C.F.R. Part 268, which includes developing a waste analysis plan.

Learn more about waste analysis requirements (WAC 173-303-300).