Nearly full barrel with a yardstick to show the contents are almost full
Businesses may accumulate dangerous waste on-site for a certain length of time. The amount of time and quantity of dangerous waste you can accumulate depends on your generator category and where you store the waste. The waste must be in appropriate containers and stored correctly.

Learn more about the different types of accumulation storage areas:

Central accumulation areas (CAAs)

A central accumulation area (CAA) is a location where dangerous wastes are stored prior to off-site shipment or on-site treatment.

  • CAAs may be anywhere on-site. They do not need to be "centrally located."
  • You may have more than one CAA (i.e., multiple CAAs).

Self-inspect weekly

You must self-inspect your CAA once a week (between Sunday and the following Saturday).

Check your central accumulation areas. Click to download or request a copy of this free poster.
Request our free poster

Download or request our free CAA poster to help employees verify that all necessary equipment and signs are there.

Spanish versionRevisa sus áreas de acumulación central

Show the accumulation start date

Every dangerous waste container in your CAA must show an accumulation start date. An accumulation start date is the date you:

Adhere to accumulation limits and timeframes

Ensure you schedule enough time for your waste service provider to pick up your waste. They must pick up your waste before you exceed one of the following (whichever comes first):

  • Accumulation time limit
  • Total on-site accumulation limit.

Accumulation limits by generator category

DW = Dangerous waste; AHW = Acutely hazardous waste; EHW = Extremely hazardous waste
Generator category Time limit Total on-site accumulation limit
Small quantity generator (SQG) None
  • 2,200 pounds of DW
  • 2.2 pounds of AHW or toxic EHW
  • 220 pounds of spills of AHW or toxic EHW
Medium quantity generator (MQG) 180 days
  • 6,600 pounds of DW
  • 2.2 pounds of AHW or toxic EHW
  • 220 pounds of spills of AHW or toxic EHW
Large quantity generator (LQG) 90 days None

Other conditionally regulated dangerous wastes

Accumulation time limits may vary depending on the type of waste you generate.

Refer to the regulations for specific management requirements for these types of wastes.
Type of waste Time limit

Episodic generation

60 days or the end of the episodic event

Universal waste

1 year
Pharmaceutical waste 1 year

Frequently asked questions: CAAs

Satellite accumulation areas (SAAs)

Satellite accumulation allows medium and large quantity generators to hold a certain amount of dangerous waste at or near the point of generation for longer than 90 or 180 days. It allows these facilities to do this without the need for a dangerous waste storage permit.

Medium and large quantity generators can have:

  • Multiple satellite accumulation areas (SAAs) across the site.
  • No more than 55 gallons of dangerous waste, or one quart (2.2 pounds) of acutely hazardous waste, in an SAA at any time.

How do you manage a satellite accumulation area?

Satellite accumulation areas must be under the control of the worker or secured at all times.

Learn more about satellite accumulation:

Frequently asked questions: SAAs

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