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Hazardous vs. Non-Hazardous Waste

Hazardous vs. Non-Hazardous Waste

If you work somewhere that generates waste, it is extremely important to know whether the waste being generated is hazardous or not.

If you work somewhere that generates waste, it is extremely important to know whether the waste being generated is hazardous or not. This will dictate how it needs to be handled, transported, and disposed of. The rules are quite different and if your company is the one generating the waste, you will be liable if there are any problems. The first step to making sure that this never becomes an issue is to figure out what type of waste you’re dealing with.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste materials are separated into two categories. The first of these is listed hazardous waste. This category contains anything the EPA or any other federal agency has named as hazardous. Hazardous wastes are separated by F, K, P, or U materials.

The other category of hazardous waste is characteristic hazardous waste. These materials are categorized this way because they have been deemed hazardous because they are  ignitable, corrosive, reactive (with air, water, or anything else), or toxic. This type of hazardous waste is D listed. D001 is ignitable waste, D002 is corrosive, and so on.

Testing and Analyzing

One of the best ways to find out for sure if the material you have is hazardous or not is to have it tested by an experienced, qualified lab. If the material in question turns out to be non-hazardous, the required transportation permits are far less strict. The actual process of disposing of non-hazardous waste is also much easier and less involved than hazardous waste disposal.

SDS and MSDS Sheets

The other way to definitively prove whether materials are hazardous or non-hazardous is through safety data sheets (SDS). Formerly known as material safety data sheets (MSDS), safety data sheets give detailed information about all chemicals in a product and their composition. The SDS will also tell you if the transport of the material is regulated by the DOT. If it is, the materials you’re dealing with are most likely hazardous.

If the documentation of the material is incomplete or unclear in some way, it is a good idea to have it thoroughly tested or find a reliable waste management company to help you deal with potentially hazardous waste.


No matter what kind of environmental issue you may have, AEG Environmental can help. We handle every situation with care, dedication, and a commitment to exemplary customer service. When you have an emergency, you can rely on us! Need training? We can handle that too! We train in a wide variety of environmental management areas so that your company can remain compliant with EPA, DOT, and OSHA. Make sure to check out our blog for the latest and greatest in the waste management world! You should also follow us on social media for updates.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 11th, 2017 at 10:01 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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