Types of Municipal Solid Waste Processing and Disposal Facilities, and Wastes That May Be Accepted
A municipal solid waste (MSW) facility may accept various types of municipal solid waste for processing or disposal, depending on the type of facility. An MSW facility may also accept certain special wastes and nonhazardous industrial solid wastes if approved by the TCEQ executive director.
- Types of Solid Waste
- Types of MSW Facilities and Wastes Accepted
- Transporting Waste in Texas — A Guide to Regulation (RG-086) (in PDF; help with PDF)
- For More Information
Types of Solid Waste
Solid waste includes garbage, rubbish, refuse, sludge from a wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility, and other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, municipal, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations and from community and institutional activities.
Soil, dirt, rock, sand, and other inert solid materials, whether natural or of human origin, used to fill land are not classified as waste if the object of the fill is to make the land suitable for the construction of surface improvements.
Solid waste does not include waste materials that result from activities associated with the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas or geothermal resources, or other substance or material regulated by the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC). An RRC-regulated waste is considered a special waste if it is to be processed, treated, or disposed of at an MSW facility.
More information about the definition of solid waste (and what is not included) is available in the rules in Title 30 Texas Administrative Code (30 TAC), Chapter 330, Section (§) 330.3 and Chapter 335, §335.1 .
The main types of solid waste are:
- Hazardous waste (including universal waste)
- Municipal solid waste (including electronic waste)
- Industrial solid waste
- Special waste
Hazardous Waste (including Universal Waste)
Hazardous waste includes any solid waste identified or listed as a hazardous waste by the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in accordance with the federal Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (see definition of hazardous waste in 30 TAC §335.1 ). Household waste is excluded from regulation as a hazardous waste by Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR), Part 261, §261.4(b) .
Regulated hazardous waste (defined in 30 TAC §330.3 ) is a hazardous waste that is not excluded from regulation as a hazardous waste by 40 CFR §261.4(b), or that was not generated by a conditionally exempt small-quantity generator.
Universal waste is a subset of hazardous waste—consisting of certain batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment, and lamps—with special regulations under 40 CFR Part 273 to simplify handling and promote recycling of materials. The universal-waste rule does not apply to household waste, which is already excluded from regulation as a hazardous waste by 40 CFR §261.4(b)(1). More information about universal waste:
The following tool is available to assist in making a waste determination:
Municipal Solid Waste
Municipal solid waste, as defined in 30 TAC §330.3 ] is solid waste resulting from, or incidental to, municipal, community, commercial, institutional, and recreational activities; it includes garbage, rubbish, ashes, street cleanings, dead animals, medical waste, and all other nonindustrial solid waste.
Municipal solid waste includes electronic waste from municipal, commercial, and institutional sources (inluding X-ray and other radiation-producing equipment). The following links offer additional information regarding these materials:
- Electronics Recycling and Waste Reduction
- Regulations, Resources, and Guidance on Recycling Electronic Equipment
- Disposing of X-Ray Equipment in Texas
Industrial Solid Waste
Industrial solid waste is solid waste resulting from or incidental to any process of industry, manufacturing, mining, or agricultural operations. Industrial solid waste is classified as either hazardous or nonhazardous.
Hazardous industrial waste, as defined in 30 TAC §335.1 , includes any industrial solid waste or combination of industrial solid wastes identified or listed as a hazardous waste .
Nonhazardous industrial waste is an industrial solid waste that is not identified or listed as a hazardous waste. A generator of nonhazardous industrial solid waste must further classify the waste pursuant to 30 TAC §335.503(a)(4) as:
- Class 1 waste, including any industrial solid waste or mixture of industrial solid wastes that—because of its concentration, or physical or chemical characteristics—is toxic; corrosive; flammable; a strong sensitizer or irritant; or a generator of sudden pressure by decomposition, heat, or other means; or may pose a substantial present or potential danger to human health or the environment when improperly processed, stored, transported, or disposed of or otherwise managed (see the rule at 30 TAC §335.505 for more information);
- Class 2 waste, consisting of any individual solid waste or combination of industrial solid wastes that are not described as Hazardous, Class 1, or Class 3 (see rule at §335.506 for more information); or
- Class 3 waste, consisting of inert and essentially insoluble industrial solid waste, usually including, but not limited to, materials such as rock, brick, glass, dirt, and certain plastics and rubber, etc., that are not readily decomposable (see rule at §335.507 for more information).
The following tool is available to assist in classifying a solid waste:
More information about treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous and nonhazardous industrial waste is available on our Hazardous and Industrial Waste pages.
Special waste includes any solid waste or combination of solid wastes that—because of its quantity, concentration, physical or chemical characteristics, or biological properties—requires special handling and disposal to protect human health or the environment.
Examples of special waste:
- Class 1 nonhazardous industrial waste
- Untreated medical waste
- Hazardous waste from conditionally exempt small-quantity generators
- Sludges from municipal and domestic water and wastewater treatment plants
- Septic tank pumpings
- Grease and grit-trap wastes
- Slaughterhouse wastes
- Dead animals
- Drugs, contaminated foods, or contaminated beverages (other than those contained in normal household waste)
- Pesticide containers
- Discarded materials containing asbestos
- Incinerator ash
- Contaminated soils (contaminants in concentrations of greater than 1,500 milligrams per kilogram total petroleum hydrocarbons, or exceeding concentrations listed in Table 1 of §335.521(a)(1) )
- Waste from oil, gas, and geothermal activities subject to regulation by the Railroad Commission of Texas when those wastes are to be processed, treated, or disposed of at an MSW facility
- Certain wastes generated outside the boundaries of Texas
More information about identification, transport, and disposal of special waste is available on our Special Waste Disposal page.
Types of MSW Facilities and Wastes Accepted
Types of MSW Facilities
MSW facilities that may accept waste for processing and disposal include landfills (Type I, IAE, IV, and IVAE facilities) and processing facilities (Type V facilities). More information about the classification of MSW facilities is available in the rules in 30 TAC §330.5 .
Types of Wastes Accepted
The types of waste that potentially may be accepted by MSW landfill facilities are summarized in this table (in PDF; help with PDF). Which wastes can actually be accepted by a particular facility depend on provisions of that facility’s authorization.
Some facilities may accept special waste according to provisions of 30 TAC §330.171 (regarding Disposal of Special Wastes) and §330.173 (regarding Disposal of Industrial Wastes). Hazardous wastes and nonhazardous industrial wastes that cannot be accepted at an MSW facility must be treated, stored, or disposed of in accordance with hazardous and industrial waste requirements.
A note about electronic wastes: Televisions and computer monitors, when disposed of, may be classified as hazardous waste. The preferred method of managing used electronics from all sources is recycling. Households can legally dispose of used electronics in the regular trash; however, a business or other organization that disposes of electronic equipment must comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
The following wastes are prohibited from disposal in any MSW facility by 30 TAC §330.15(e) :
- Lead-acid storage batteries
- Do-it-yourself used motor-vehicle oil
- Used oil filters from internal combustion engines
- Whole used or scrap tires
- Refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, and any other items containing any chlorinated fluorocarbon (the items must be handled in accordance with 40 CFR Part 82, §82.156(f), as amended)
- Liquid waste (except as allowed in 30 TAC §330.15(e)(6) )
- Regulated hazardous waste
- Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) wastes, as defined in 30 TAC §330.3
- Radioactive materials (except as authorized in 30 TAC Chapter 336, Subchapter C, or that are subject to an exemption from the Department of State Health Services)
For More Information
Please contact us if you have questions about municipal solid waste.