Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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Hazardous Waste Definitions

Accumulation

A generator that does not store hazardous waste under a Chapter NR 670, Wis. Adm. Code Interim or Final Operating License may accumulate hazardous waste for a short period of time before shipping it off-site or managing it on-site. The waste must be accumulated in either above ground tanks or containers; it may not be accumulated in underground tanks, waste piles or surface impoundments.

Generators of 1,000 kg (2,205 lbs) or more of hazardous waste per month may accumulate their waste for up to 90 days before shipping it off-site or managing it on-site.

Generators of 100 kg (220 lbs) to less than 1,000 kg (2,205 lbs) of hazardous waste per month may accumulate 6,000 kg (13,230 lbs) of waste for up to 180 days before shipping it off-site or managing it on-site. If the nearest treatment, storage, disposal or recycling facility to which they can send their waste is more than 200 miles away, they may accumulate their waste for up to 270 days.

Acute hazardous waste

is any hazardous waste with a Waste Code beginning with the letter "P," or any of the following "F" codes; F020, F021, F022, F023, F026, and F027. These wastes are subject to stringent quantity standards for accumulation and generation.

Characteristic waste

is classified as hazardous because it is ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic as determined by the TCLP test. It has a Waste Code in the range "D001" to "D043." Each of these four characteristics are defined in section NR 661 Subchapter C, Wis. Adm. Code.

Corrosive
  • an aqueous (water-containing) waste with a pH less than or equal to 2.0;
  • an aqueous (water-containing) waste with a pH greater than or equal to 12.5; or
  • a liquid waste that corrodes plain carbon steel at a rate greater than .25 inch per year (6.35 mm/yr).

Examples: waste rust removers, waste acid or alkaline cleaning fluids, and waste battery acids.

Disposal

Disposal means the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking or placing of any hazardous waste into or on any land or water in a manner which may permit the hazardous waste or any hazardous constituent to be emitted into the air to be discharged into any waters of the State or otherwise to enter the environment. Disposal does not include the generation, transportation, storage or treatment of hazardous waste.

EPA identification number

The EPA identification number is a 12-character number assigned by EPA to each generator, transporter, and treatment, storage, or disposal facility. Facilities which are not generators but anticipate possible generation activity must also apply for and receive an EPA ID number.

Generator

A generator is a site or mobile source whose actions or processes produce hazardous waste.

Generator notification form

Every site which generates, treats, stores or disposes of hazardous waste must inform EPA and the DNR of its hazardous waste activity by filing EPA form 8700-12, Notification of Hazardous Waste Activity. After receiving the notification form, EPA assigns an identification number to the site.

Hazardous waste

A solid waste which possesses at least one of four characteristics or appears on special DNR lists. The regulatory definition of hazardous waste is found in section NR 661.03, Wis. Adm. Code.

Ignitable
  • a liquid waste with a flash point less than 140°F; the flash point is the temperature at which the vapor above the liquid will ignite when a flame is introduced;
  • any waste that is an ignitable compressed gas; or
  • any waste material that can cause fire through friction, absorption of moisture or spontaneous chemical changes.

Examples: paint wastes, certain nonchlorinated degreasers or other solvents, adhesives, thinners, and mineral spirits.

Listed wastes

Those wastes specifically named in section 661, Subchapter D Wis. Adm. Code.

Large quantity generator (LQG)

is defined by the following criteria:

  1. generated in one or more months during the calendar year, 1,000 kg (2,205 lbs) or more of hazardous waste; or more than 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of acute hazardous waste, or more than 100 kg (220 lbs) of acute hazardous waste spill cleanup material; or
  2. accumulated at any time during the calendar year more than 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of acute hazardous waste; or 100 kg (220 lbs) of acute hazardous spill cleanup material; and
  3. accumulated hazardous waste in above ground tanks or containers during the calendar year for 90 days or less.
Chapters NR 661 to 679, Wisconsin Administrative Code

cover hazardous waste management and regulate the generation, transportation, treatment, storage or disposal of hazardous waste. The Chapter NR 600 series is adopted pursuant to the "Hazardous Waste Management Act" in sections 291.001 to 291.97, Wisconsin Statutes.

Publicly-owned treatment works (POTW)

is a municipal sewerage or liquid industrial waste treatment device or system owned by the State or a municipality.

Reactive
  • is normally unstable and readily undergoes violent changes without detonating;
  • reacts violently with water;
  • forms potentially explosive mixtures with water;
  • generates toxic gases or fumes when mixed with water;
  • is a cyanide or sulfide that can generate toxic gases, vapors or fumes;
  • is capable of detonation or explosive reactions under certain conditions; or
  • is a forbidden, Class A or Class B explosive/

Example: cyanide plating wastes, sulfide containing wastes and waste toluene diisocyanate.

Resource conservation and recovery act (RCRA)

is the federal statute that regulates the generation, treatment, storage or disposal or recycling of solid and hazardous waste.

Recycling

The beneficial use, reuse or legitimate recovery or reclamation of a hazardous waste. Recycling also includes the recovery of energy from hazardous waste. As used in this report, recycling implies performing these activities either on site or off site, after the waste has been generated.

Residual

Amount of a pollutant remaining in the environment after a natural or technological process has taken place, e.g., the sludge remaining after initial wastewater treatment.

Solid waste

is any garbage, refuse, sludge from a waste treatment plant, water supply treatment plant or air pollution control facility and other discarded or salvageable materials including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous materials resulting from industrial, commercial, mining and agricultural operations and from community activities. Wastes excluded from this definition are solid or dissolved material in domestic sewage, or solid or dissolved materials in irrigation return flows or industrial discharges which are point sources subject to permits under Chapter 147, Wisconsin Statutes, or source, special nuclear or by-products material as defined under section 140.52, Wisconsin Statutes.

Source reduction

Source reduction is the reduction or elimination of waste at the source, usually within a process. Source reduction measures include process modification, feedstock substitutions, improvements in feedstock purity, housekeeping and management practices, increases in the efficiency of machinery, and recycling within a process. Source reduction implies any action that reduces the amount of waste exiting a process.

Small quantity generator (SQG)

is defined by the following criteria:

  1. in every single month during the calendar year, the site generated less than 1,000 kg (2,205 lbs) of hazardous waste;
  2. the site accumulated at any time during the calendar year 6,000 kg (13,230 lbs) or less or hazardous waste; and
  3. accumulated hazardous waste in above ground tanks or containers during the calendar year for 180 or 270 days (depending on the distance the waste is transported) or less.
Standard industrial classification (SIC) code

The SIC code is a four-digit coding system developed by the federal Census Bureau and Office of Management and Budget, that categorizes the principal product or group of products produced or distributed, or services rendered at site's physical location.

Storage

Containment of hazardous waste for a temporary period in a manner that does not constitute disposal (section 291.01 (18) Wisconsin Statutes).

temporary holding of waste pending treatment or disposal. Storage methods include containers, tanks, waste piles and surface impoundments.

Toxic

This characteristic is based on the amount of certain heavy metals, pesticides, semi-volatile and volatile organic compounds of hazardous waste that can be extracted from a laboratory sample of the waste. The laboratory test used to determine this characteristic is called the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP).

Treatment

means any method, technique or process, including neutralization, which follows generation and which is designed to change the physical, chemical, or biological character or composition of any hazardous waste so as to neutralize the hazardous waste, or so as to recover energy or material resources from the waste, or so as to render the waste nonhazardous for transport amenable for recovery, amenable for storage or reduced in volume. Treatment includes incineration.

Uniform hazardous waste manifest

The shipping document (DNR form 4400-66 or EPA forms 8700-22 or 8700-22a) that pertains to hazardous waste and that originates with and is signed by the generator.

Very small quantity generator (VSQG)

is defined by the following criteria:

  1. in every single month during the calendar year, the site generated less than 100 kg (220 lbs) of hazardous waste; and 1 kg (2.2 lbs) or less of acute hazardous waste, and 100 kg (220 lbs) or less of acute hazardous waste spill cleanup material; and
  2. the site accumulated at any time during the calendar year 1,000 kg (2,205 lbs) or less or hazardous waste, and 1 kg (2.2 lbs) or less of acute hazardous waste; and 100 kg (220 lbs) or less of acute hazardous spill cleanup material.
Waste minimization

means the reduction, to the extent feasible, of hazardous waste that is generated and subsequently treated, stored, or disposed of. It includes any source reduction or recycling activity undertaken by a generator that results in:

  1. the reduction of total volume or quantity of hazardous waste;
  2. the reduction of toxicity of hazardous waste; or
  3. both, as long as the reduction is consistent with the goal of minimizing present and future threats to human health and the environment.

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