WASTE OR PRODUCT DETERMINATION GUIDANCE
|Hazardous Waste Program fact sheet||
|Division of Environmental Quality Director: Leanne Tippett Mosby||
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a waste and a product? A product can become a waste if a facility does not properly store the material or the product is beyond its shelf life. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has developed this fact sheet to help generators determine if a product is really a waste.
Generators must use products for their intended purpose. If a generator is no longer using the product, it may be recycled or must be properly disposed and not abandoned or stored. A business storing a material that is a hazardous waste must comply with Missouri’s hazardous waste regulations.
The term “hazardous material” is very broad and encompasses many types of materials, including hazardous waste. However, the hazardous materials are not necessarily wastes and may be materials in usable condition. Hazardous materials may have additional storage requirements.
Criteria for determining if a material is a product or waste
When determining if a material in storage is a product or waste, the generator should consider the following criteria:
- The generator must be able to document the ability to use the material in a specified process that the generator is capable of completing. Changes in formulations, processes and equipment may make a material obsolete. Unusable material must be properly disposed of and cannot be stored.
- If a facility believes that another company can use a material that facility must document they are actively attempting to market the material. If they locate a company that is interested in using the material as a product, that company must demonstrate they can legitimately use the material in one of its processes.
- To be considered a product, the facility must be able to identify the material being stored and their use. If the facility representative is unaware of what the material is or how it will be used, it should be considered a waste. Ideally, if the material is a product, the facility should track it in an inventory or accounting system.
- To be considered a product, the material must be stored as though it has value. It must be stored in accordance with guidance and warnings from the manufacturer and in the Material Safety Data Sheet. The facility should manage stored materials in accordance with its quality control policies and procedures.
- Containers used to store product must be in good condition and compatible with the material being stored. If containers are rusted, leaking, open, etc., then the material can be considered a waste because of exposure or contamination.
- The material itself must be in a condition that it can be used in a manner originally intended for the material. If the material can be legitimately used as a substitute for another product, without any processing or treatment, the material is not a solid waste and therefore is not a hazardous waste. If your facility can reasonably use the material in the future, then the material is a product.
- To be considered a product, the recommended shelf life of the material must not have been exceeded. Excessive storage times beyond the expiration dates or recommended shelf life of the product is an indicator that the material is a waste and not a usable product.
- Products and waste should be stored and managed separately. If a drum is labeled “Quarantined”, “DO NOT USE”, “Hazardous Waste”, “Waste ”, etc., the material is considered a waste and must be managed as such.
Is the waste hazardous?
Once you have determined if a material is a waste, you must determine if that waste is hazardous or non-hazardous. The generator should first determine if the waste is excluded from regulation under 40 CFR 261.2. If the waste is not excluded, then the generator is required to determine if the waste is listed as a hazardous waste in subpart D of 40 CFR 261. The generator must further determine if the waste exhibits a hazardous waste characteristic, as identified in subpart C of 40 CFR 261. The generator may do this by testing the waste according to methods set forth in that same subpart or by using knowledge of the hazardous characteristics of the waste. For more detail please see the publication Making a Hazardous Waste Determination found at http://dnr.mo.gov/pubs/pub919.htm
Additional considerations and sources
Hazardous waste requirement are found in the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Laws, Sections 260.345 through 260.575 of the Revised Statures of Missouri (RSMo). The Missouri Hazardous Waste Regulations are found in Title 10, Division 25 of the Code of State Regulations (CSR). Most of the federal environmental requirements in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are adopted by reference into the Missouri regulations.
Copies of the Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri are available through the Revisor of Statutes at 573-526-1288 or are available on the Web at www.moga.mo.gov. Copies of the Missouri Code of State Regulations are available through the Missouri Secretary of State at 573-751-4015 or are available online at www.sos.missouri.gov/adrules/csr/csr.asp.
Federal Regulations may be viewed at federal depository libraries or may be purchased from a U.S. Government Bookstore, the U.S. Government Printing Office or from a commercial information service such as the Bureau of National Affairs. Federal Regulations are also available online at www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html.
Nothing in this document may be used to implement any enforcement action or levy any penalty unless promulgated by rule under chapter 536 or authorized by statute.
For more information
Missouri Department of Natural Resources Hazardous Waste Program
Compliance and Enforcement Section
P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176
573-751-2032 or 800-361-4827