1. Is it a Hazardous Waste?

Hazardous Waste Storage Area

Hazardous waste is a waste with properties that make it dangerous or capable of having a harmful effect on the environment or human health. Some wastes are used or spent. This means the waste is used in a process and is “dirty” and no longer has a purpose. Other wastes can be old, unwanted, abandoned or expired chemicals that can no longer be used for their intended purpose.

2. Could it be Exempt?

Certain waste is not regulated by EPA and therefore is do not qualify as a federally regulated hazardous waste. However, some states do regulate certain processes and wastes the EPA does not. States with their own standard have to be as strict or stricter if they have their own guidelines. Examples include: Waste oil, materials for recycle, and medicinal nitroglycerine. Check your states hazardous waste regulations.

3. Is it a Listed Waste?

Waste can be hazardous because it is specifically identified as an EPA listed waste on one of their four specific lists or because the waste has a hazardous characteristic.

  • “P” Listed Waste- Acutely Hazardous Waste
  • “U” Listed Waste- Toxic Hazardous Waste

To be a  “P” or “U” listed waste, the chemical must be the pure or the sole active ingredient in the product.

There are three categories for F listed waste: Spent Solvents, Chemical Metal Working, and Chemical Manufacturing.

Waste from one of 17 specific industries such as Ink Formulation, Making Organic Chemicals, and Wood Preservation.

4. Characteristic Waste?

There are four Characteristic Wastes:Characteristic Hazardous Waste

  • Ignitable- D001
  • Corrosive- D002
  • Reactive- D003
  • Toxic- D004-D043


5. Hazardous Waste Mixture?

A hazardous waste mixture is a waste or material that is either:

  • Mixed with a listed waste ( P, U, F, or K)
  • A characteristic waste, and the mixture still exhibits the hazardous waste characteristic. Usually, spill residues, soil, water, debris or absorbents that are mixed with wastes after they are created.


It is the responsibility of the hazardous waste generator to make waste determinations. You can do this with knowledge of products and procedures, specifics acquired through analytical testing and research. A full service environmental company will guide you through this process and reduce your burden.

About MLi Environmental

We are specialist in the disposal/removal of Hazardous Waste streams from companies all over the United States. We also act as Hazardous Consultants to many large generators within the East Coast area.