Hazardous Waste

Differences Between Universal Waste and Hazardous Waste Regulations

The following sections have a comparison of requirements for:

The tables below are a guide; please see the complete universal waste regulations for all of the requirements. These tables are not intended to modify or affect in any way existing statutory or regulatory requirements; they are intended to briefly summarize existing requirements. States can have more stringent requirements. In many cases a state has lowered the amounts allowed for the very small quantity generators (lower than 220 pounds) so it is important to check your state hazardous waste regulations.


General Comparison of Generator Requirements to Universal Waste Requirements

  Universal Waste Requirements Generator Requirements

Small Quantity Handler of Universal Waste (SQHUW)
Large Quantity Handler of Universal Waste (LQHUW) Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG) Small Quantity Generator (SQG) Large Quantity Generator (LQG)
Quantity Handled by Category

accumulate
< 5,000 kg (11,000 lb) on site at any one time

§273.9

accumulate
5,000 kg (11,000) or more on site at any one time

§273.9

generate
< 100 kg (220 lb) per month
< 1 kg acute* per month
< 1 kg per month of acute spill residue or soil

§260.10

generate
>100 and < 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) per month

§260.10

generate
> 1,000 kg per month
> 1 kg acute* per month or >100 kg per month of acute spill residue or soil


§260.10

EPA Identification Number

Not required

§273.12

Required

§273.32

Not required

Required

§262.18

Required

§262.18

On-Site Accumulation Limit < 5,000 kg
§273.9
No quantity limit

< 1,000 kg
< 1 kg acute*
< 100 kg acute spill residue or soil

§262.14(a)(3) & (4)

<  6,000 kg

§262.16(b)(1)

No quantity limit
Storage Time Limit
(without a storage permit)
1 year, unless for proper recovery, treatment, or disposal §273.15 1 year, unless for proper recovery, treatment, or disposal
§273.35
None

< 180 days or
< 270 days (if transporting greater than 200 miles)

§262.16(b)-(d)

< 90 days

§262.17(a)

Manifest

Not required

§273.19

Not required, but must keep basic shipping records

§273.39

Not required
 

Required

Part 262 subpart B

Required

Part 262 subpart B

Personnel Training

Basic training

§273.16

Basic training geared toward employee responsibilities

§273.36

Not required

Basic training required

§262.16(b)(9)(iii)

Required

§262.17(a)(7)

The universal waste citations listed can be found at 40 CFR part 273.
The generator citations listed can be found at 40 CFR part 262.

General definitions of terms applicable to these regulations are found in 40 CFR section 260.10.

Note: "§" is used in this page to refer to a section in title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (For example "§273.15" is also referred to as "40 CFR section 273.15" or "title 40, part 273, section 15.")

* "Acute" refers to acute hazardous waste as identified in 40 CFR part 261.

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General Comparison of Hazardous Waste Transporter Requirements to Universal Waste Transporter Requirements

  Universal Waste Transporters
40 CFR part 273 subpart D
Hazardous Waste Transporters
40 CFR part 263
Compliance with Department of Transportation (DOT) Yes
§273.52(a) cites DOT Requirements
49 CFR parts 171-180
Yes
§263.10 DOT Requirements
49 CFR parts 171-179
EPA ID Number (Notification Requirements) None Yes
§263.11
Allowance to Store up to 10 days at a Transfer Facility Yes
§273.53
Yes
§263.12
Manifest Requirements None Yes
§263.20-22
Response to Releases Yes
§273.54
Yes, with more complex requirements
§263.30-31

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Comparison of Hazardous Waste Recycling, Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility Requirements and Universal Waste "Destination Facility " Requirements

"Destination facilities" are facilities that treat, dispose of, or recycle a particular category of universal waste and are subject all applicable requirements that apply to any hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities (See 40 CFR sections 273.9 and 273.60).

Facilities that are just accumulating a universal waste, but not recycling, treating, or disposing of that waste category can use the less stringent universal waste requirements for handling that universal waste category.

The universal waste rule does not change the requirement for recycling facilities to get a storage permit if they store waste before they recycle it. Also, if a recycling facility does not store, they still have to comply with the requirements of 40 CFR section 261.6(c)(2) according to 40 CFR section 273.60(b)

Please see the regulations for Universal Waste Destination Facilities in 40 CFR part 273, subpart E for the full requirements and check your state's regulations as they may differ from the federal requirements. 

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