What is hazardous waste?
A waste is any solid, liquid, or contained gaseous material that is discarded by being disposed of, incinerated, or recycled. It can be the byproduct of a manufacturing process or simply a commercial product that you use such as a cleaning fluid or battery acid. Even materials that are recyclable or can be reused in some way such as burning used oil for fuel may be considered waste.
Hazardous waste comes in many forms, and generally is either listed specifically as hazardous by the federal government, or it is considered hazardous by the characteristics it demonstrates. A waste is considered hazardous if it is:
- Ignitable -- It catches fire under certain conditions. Examples are certain paints and degreasers and solvents.
- Corrosive -- It corrodes metals or has a very high or very low pH. Examples are rust removers, acid or alkaline cleaning fluids, and battery acid.
- Reactive or Unstable -- It is unstable and explodes or produces toxic fumes, gases, and vapors when mixed with water or under other conditions, such as heat or pressure. Examples are certain cyanides and sulfide-bearing wastes.
- Toxic -- It is harmful or fatal when ingested or absorbed, or it leaches toxic chemicals into the soil or ground water when disposed of on land. Examples are wastes that contain high concentrations of heavy metals, such as cadmium, lead, or mercury.
Additionally, a mixture of hazardous waste with solid waste (e.g., motor oil with trash or debris) may be considered a hazardous waste.
Do hazardous waste regulations affect my business?
If your business generates hazardous waste, measure the amount of hazardous waste the business produces each month. This information determines the business' generator category, which in turn determines the management requirements that must be followed.
How do I determine my generator category?
Many hazardous wastes are liquids and are measured in gallons, not pounds. In order to measure liquid wastes, convert from gallons to pounds. To do this, determine the density of the liquid. A rough guide is that 30 gallons (about half of a 55-gallon drum) of waste with a density similar to water weighs about 220 lb (100 kg); 300 gallons of a waste with a density similar to water weighs about 2,200 lb (1,000 kg).
The U.S. EPA has established three generator categories, each of which is regulated differently:
- Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQGS) - Generate no more than 220 lb (100 kg) of hazardous waste in any month. CESQGS are exempt from hazardous waste management regulations provided that certain basic requirements are met.
- Small Quantity Generators (SQGS) - Generate between 220 and 2,200 lb (100 and 1,000 kg) of hazardous waste in any month. SQGs must comply with EPA and state requirements for managing hazardous waste.
- Large Quantity Generators (LQGS) - Generate more than 2,200 lb (1,000 kg) of hazardous waste in any month. LQGs must comply with more extensive hazardous waste rules.
Note: Some wastes are so dangerous that they are called acutely hazardous wastes. If a business generates or accumulates more than 2.2 lb (1 kg) of acutely hazardous waste in a calendar month, all of the acutely hazardous waste must be managed according to the regulations applicable to LQGs.
- What Generator Category Are You? -- (PDF)
- Managing Hazardous Waste, a Handbook for Small Businesses -- (PDF)
ADEQ is concerned with the health and safety issues involving hazardous waste management in Arizona. Under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and state statutes and codes that are modeled on the federal law, the department has the authority to monitor and direct businesses that may generate, transport or dispose of hazardous waste in Arizona.
The Waste Programs Division implements state and federal hazardous waste laws pursuant to delegation from the U.S. EPA. The division is responsible for effectively implementing standards for the safe generation, management, treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste. Specific responsibilities include:
- Conducting compliance and complaint inspections to ensure that hazardous wastes are safely managed and properly recycled;
- Permitting facilities that treat, store or dispose of hazardous waste;
- Education and outreach for facilities and general public;
- Managing ADEQ's pollution prevention (P2) program and other activities aimed at eliminating or reducing the use of toxic substances and the generation of hazardous wastes;
- Tracking manifests and annual reports and issuing facility identification numbers.
At this time Arizona has not adopted the new Definition of Solid Waste rule found in 40 CFR Section 260.42. As such the addendum to the Site Identification Form will not be applicable to Hazardous Waste Facility Annual Reports being submitted to the State of Arizona.
Large Quantity Hazardous Waste Generator Annual Report Forms Software
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Facilities that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste are known as Hazardous Waste TSDF's.
A hazardous waste permit is required for any facility that accepts hazardous waste from off-site for the purpose of storage, treatment, or disposal.
A hazardous waste permit is not required for generators who store their hazardous waste for less than specified time periods, or for generators who treat their waste in on-site tanks for less than these specified time periods.
For large quantity generators, the allowed storage period is usually 90 days without a permit; for small quantity generators, this time period is usually 180 days. Some hazardous waste generators may require a hazardous waste permit for certain types of treatment operations.
U.S. EPA Identification Number
Hazardous waste generators, transporters, and TSDF's must obtain a U.S. EPA Identification Number using the following form:
- U.S. EPA Notification of RCRA Subtitle C Activity Form (Form 8700-12) -- (PDF)
To review a Hazardous Waste Permits file, please contact ADEQ's Records Center to make an appointment.
Hazardous Waste TSDFs in Arizona
Permit Applications and Fees
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Inspections and Compliance
The Hazardous Waste Inspections and Compliance Unit conducts inspections and follow-up compliance activities at facilities that generate hazardous waste. These facilities include:
- Large quantity generators (LQGs)
- Small quantity generators (SQGs)
- Treatment, storage & disposal facilities (TSDFs)
The purpose of our inspections and compliance program is to ensure that facilities are treating, storing and disposing of their generated hazardous waste in accordance with the hazardous waste regulations. The unit monitors the actions necessary for a facility to return to compliance and also initiates penalty actions for severe violations of the regulations. It also responds to citizen complaints dealing with improper storage and disposal of hazardous waste.
Steps to Basic Hazardous Waste Management -- (PDF)
Hazardous Waste Inspections and Compliance Reports
- CESQG Inspection Checklist -- (PDF)
- SQG Inspection Checklist -- (PDF)
- LQG Inspection Checklist -- (PDF)
- Tank System SQG Checklist -- (PDF)
- Tank System LQG Checklist -- (PDF)
- Transporter Inspection Checklist -- (PDF)
File a Complaint
File a complaint online about possible improper storage and disposal of hazardous waste or call:
(800) 234-5677, Ext. 771-4849 - Toll Free
The Hazardous Waste Inspections and Compliance Unit receives approximately 100 to 125 complaints every year. In most cases, the unit responds to complaints within five business days.
Please note: The department is required to ask for the complainant's name in accordance with A.R.S. § 41-1010. However, if releasing a complainant's name could result in substantial harm, the name can remain confidential.
Request a Compliance History
To request a compliance history for a particular facility, please contact ADEQ's Records Management Center at (602) 771-4380 to make an appointment to review the facility file. Please note that a file may not exist for the facility in question.
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Related Rules and Statutes
View federal rules and statutes relating to hazardous waste management
View Arizona rules relating to hazardous waste management
State statutes related to hazardous waste disposal may be found in Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) Title 49, Chapter 5 .
To view Arizona statutes related to hazardous waste permitting, compliance, and enforcement, see A.R.S. :
- § 49-911 - Permit Application; Plan Approval; Notice to Counties, Cities or Towns
- § 49-921 - Hazardous waste management - definitions
- § 49-922 - Hazardous waste management - department rules and standards; prohibited permittees
- § 49-923 - Compliance orders; civil penalties; injunctive relief
- § 49-924 - Violations; civil penalties
- § 49-925 - Classification of violation
- § 49-926 - Enforcement
- § 49-927 - Hazardous waste management fund
- § 49-928 - Public information
To view Arizona statutes related to hazardous waste fees and registration, see A.R.S. :
- § 49-929 - Annual registration for TSDs, transporters, generators
- § 49-930 - Annual registration of hazardous waste resource recovery facilities
- § 49-931 - Hazardous waste fees
- § 49-932 - Hazardous waste fuel penalty
To view Arizona statutes related to pollution prevention, see A.R.S. :
- § 49-961 - Pollution prevention definitions
- § 49-962 - Toxic data report
- § 49-963 - Pollution prevention plans
- § 49-964 - Review of pollution prevention plans
- § 49-965 - Pollution prevention technical assistance program
- § 49-966 - Annual report by ADEQ
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