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“Emptiness” Standards for Hazardous Waste Containers

“Emptiness” Standards for Hazardous Waste Containers

Believe it or not, hazardous waste containers aren’t always as empty as they appear.

Believe it or not, hazardous waste containers aren’t always as empty as they appear. Simply dumping the contents does not necessarily empty something. The EPA has standards that containers must follow in order to be considered truly empty. These standards vary based on the type of material that was being stored.

Hazardous Waste Containers

These containers are considered empty when all of the contents have been removed by pouring, pumping, or suction and no more than one inch of residue is remaining. This is known as the “one-inch rule”. If the container was holding up to and including 119 gallons of materials, hazardous waste disposal standards will still apply if the remaining residue is more than or equal to three percent of the original weight of the material. If the container was holding more than 119 gallons, the residue must be less than three tenths of a percent of the original weight.

Acute Hazardous Waste Containers

In order for a waste material to be considered “acute”, it has been determined that even a small amount poses a significant risk to human health. Because of this, the standards become far more stringent. Acute hazardous waste containers may not have any residue at all. These containers must be triple-rinsed with an appropriate solvent, or by another method that is equivalent to a triple rinse. See your state’s guidelines for specific rules on triple-rinsing.

Compressed Gas Hazardous Waste Containers

In order for compressed gas waste containers to be considered empty, the pressure inside of the container must equal the air pressure outside of the container. Since this requires opening the container, you should make sure you take all necessary precautions based on the material you are releasing.


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This entry was posted on Friday, October 6th, 2017 at 3:22 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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