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Waste Designation Decision Matrix - Process Knowledge

This is the waste designation decision matrix provided by the Small Business and Local Government Assistance Program to aid businesses in deciding how certain wastes must be handled.

The first step in this process is to examine what information you have available.

  • Does the waste or product container have labels listing hazards or ingredients?
  • Do you have a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) available?
  • Do you know who the manufacturer is? Can you contact them?
  • What can you tell about this waste from its appearance?

Your answers to the above questions are good sources of information that are available for free. Knowledge of your process is also key. If you know what went INTO your process, you can make assumptions of what came OUT as a waste.

Using "Process Knowledge"

Think what went into the waste. Process knowledge may consist of information about the waste obtained from existing published waste analysis or studies generated by processes similar to those used in your operation. You may use any information you have about the waste including product labels, MSDSs, etc. to help determine if the waste is listed or is characteristically hazardous. Remember that if cross-contamination has occurred, an additional waste code will likely be generated.

Note: If you use process knowledge to make a hazardous waste determination, you must keep documentation of the information you rely on and the steps taken when making your determination.

If you do not have the necessary information to properly classify your waste, contact a laboratory in your area. The lab will perform the necessary testing and provide the results. It will be YOUR responsibility to apply that information properly in the waste classification process.

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