Hazardous Waste Containers, Labels and Storage

Hazardous waste generators are responsible for properly storing their waste containers. Improper storage can lead to a release and require a clean-up.

Hazardous Waste Containers

Choosing your container

The hazardous waste containers must be sturdy and leakproof, with closure devices that will hold the waste if it is tipped. Some things to consider:

  • Is the container in good condition?
 This means no severe rust or dents that could weaken the container’s integrity.
  • Is the container compatible with the waste?
  • Will the closure device contain the waste material if it is dropped?
  • Does the closure device allow employees to easily add or remove waste? This helps ensure that the container is kept closed after use. If possible, store the waste in the shipping container. This reduces the potential for spills during waste transfer.
  • Make sure the container is properly labeled.

Keeping your container closed

You must keep your waste accumulation container closed unless you are adding or removing waste. Keeping it closed will help prevent spills should the container tip. This is important because open containers top the list of waste-handling violations. Select the closure devices that make compliant storage easy, practical and useful.

Marking your container correctly

All hazardous waste containers must have the words Hazardous Waste, a clear description of the contents and the accumulation start date.

Hazardous Waste Labeling

Used oil and universal wastes: a special labeling situation

Used oil and related wastes are only required to have a clear description of the waste, such as used oil, used oil filters or used oil sorbents.

Universal wastes should be labeled as:

  • Universal Waste – type of waste such as ‘universal waste batteries’
  • Waste – type of waste, such as ‘waste thermometers’
  • Used – type of waste, such as ‘used lamps’

Hazardous Waste Storage

Storing your waste containers

  • The surface under the containers must be an impermeable floor. An impermeable floor does not react with the waste and has no cracks, drains or sumps that would allow the waste to escape.
  • Close and mark your container.
  • Maintain adequate aisle space and place containers with the labels facing out for easy identification.
  • Incompatible wastes must be separated by curbing or spill trays.
  • Conduct and document weekly inspections.
  • Don’t exceed time or quantity storage limits.

We’re always here to help. Feel free to call our office anytime at 952-474-2628 with any questions you may have.

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Industrial Compliance Services

St. Paul, MN

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