Dangerous waste basics
Businesses that generate any amount of dangerous waste are responsible for this waste from cradle to grave. In Washington state, the Dangerous Waste Regulations determine what dangerous waste is, and how businesses should properly handle and dispose of it.
For most businesses, the process will involve these basic steps:
- Designation (determine if your waste is dangerous)
- Determine your generator category (small, medium, or large)
- Proper containment and labeling
- Waste disposal or recycling
- Reporting and possible fees
This page offers some introductory videos, publications, and posters to help you better understand the basics of dangerous waste management.
Washington state uses the term "dangerous waste" rather than the federal law's term of "hazardous waste." This is because Washington state's Dangerous Waste Regulations are more protective than federal laws. The definition of "dangerous waste" is more expansive than "hazardous waste."
What are the Dangerous Waste Regulations?
The regulations are based on the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), but are more protective. You may find the regulations in the following formats:
- Online (searchable by topic or keyword).
- Email us for a free printed and bound copy.
- Download a PDF.
Unable to access YouTube? Request a free DVD copy of any of our videos.
Shoptalk, our dangerous waste and pollution prevention newsletter, comes out three times a year. It provides information on training, best practices, rulemaking, and reporting deadlines. We recommend businesses subscribe to Shoptalk for the latest issues and updates.
Guides for businesses
Businesses may find the following publications helpful. This is by no means an exhaustive list of our publications about dangerous waste, but these offer some essential guidance:
- Guide to Dangerous Waste by Generator Category
Use this quick reference to find out what dangerous waste rules apply to each generator category (small, medium, or large quantity).
- Guide to Dangerous Waste Training
Employee training is essential to worker safety and accident prevention.
- Shop Guide for Dangerous Waste Management
This guide covers how to properly manage several common types of dangerous waste. Keep your employees, community, and environment safe by following these practices.
- Dangerous Waste Regulations Self-Audit Checklist
This self-audit checklist includes many items from the dangerous waste regulations that we evaluate during a compliance inspection.