Health & Safety

How can waste be identified as Hazardous?

There are two ways a waste may be identified as HAZARDOUS:

CHARACTERISTICS OF WASTES: A waste that exhibits any of the following characteristics:

  • IGNITABLE - Inks, Solvents - Flash Point less than 140°F
  • CORROSIVE - Acids, Caustics - pH less than or equal to 2 or greater than or equal to 12.5
  • REACTIVE - Explosives, Peroxides
  • TOXIC - Metals, Pesticides, Organics

LISTED WASTES: A waste is considered hazardous if it appears on any one of the four lists of hazardous waste contained in EPA regulations. These wastes have been listed because they either exhibit one of the characteristics described above or contain any number of toxic constituents that have been shown to be harmful to health and the environment. The regulations list over 400 hazardous wastes, including waste derived from manufacturing processes and discarded commercial chemical products.

Generator Categories

Important: These categories may vary by state. The categories below dictate the amount of regulations that will be applicable to the generator. A smaller amount of waste generated means a smaller amount of applicable regulations.

CONDITIONALLY EXEMPT SMALL QUANTITY GENERATORS: 
Generates less than 220 lbs/month of a hazardous waste

SMALL QUANTITY GENERATORS: 
Generates between 220 - 2200 lbs/month of a hazardous waste

LARGE QUANTITY GENERATORS: 
Generates 2200 lbs/month or more of a hazardous waste

A printer will commonly generate wastes that can be identified as hazardous. Processes that can generate wastes are screen cleaning, screen reclaiming, color matching and outdated/unusable materials.

EXAMPLE 1: 
If waste ink is accumulated that has a flash point less than 140°F or contains enough lead to be regulated, then this waste will be considered hazardous.

EXAMPLE 2: 
If a screen wash is accumulated that has a flash point greater than 140°F, but contains a material that is considered toxic (e.g. Methyl Ethyl Ketone) or contains a listed waste (e.g. Xylene, Toluene), then this waste is considered hazardous.