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Wastes That May Be Accepted at Municipal Solid Waste Facilities

An overview of the types of solid wastes that may be accepted at municipal solid waste processing and disposal facilities.

 

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.

 

Definition 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.

Solid waste does not include:

  • 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.
  • 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 solid waste is available in the rules in 30 TAC 330.3 Exit the TCEQ.

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Requirement to Classify Solid Waste

If you generate a solid waste you are required to classify the waste. Use this tool to aid in waste classification.

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Types of Solid Waste

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste includes any solid waste identified or listed as hazardous by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Municipal Solid Waste

Municipal solid waste 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. (30 TAC 330.3) Exit the TCEQ

Municipal solid waste includes electronic waste from municipal, commercial, and institutional sources (including X-ray and other radiation-producing equipment). The following links offer additional information about these materials:

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 includes any industrial solid waste or combination of industrial solid wastes identified or listed as a hazardous waste. (30 TAC 335.1) Exit the TCEQ

Nonhazardous industrial waste is an industrial solid waste that is not identified or listed as a hazardous waste. If you generate nonhazardous industrial solid waste you must further classify the waste [30 TAC 335.503(a)(4)] Exit the TCEQ:

  • Class 1 waste: Any industrial solid waste or mixture of industrial solid wastes that—because of its concentration, or physical or chemical characteristics
    • is toxic, corrosive, or flammable
    • is a strong sensitizer or irritant
    • is a generator of sudden pressure by decomposition, heat, or other means
    • 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.
  • Class 2 waste: Any individual solid waste or combination of industrial solid wastes that are not described as Hazardous, Class 1, or Class 3.
  • Class 3 waste: 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.

Rules for these wastes are: Class 1: 30 TAC 335.505 Exit the TCEQ, Class 2: 30 TAC 335.506 Exit the TCEQ, Class 3: 30 TAC 335.507 Exit the TCEQ.

Special Waste

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.

 

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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). (30 TAC 330.5) Exit the TCEQ

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). The wastes that can actually be accepted by a particular facility depend on the provisions of that facility’s authorization.

Some facilities may accept special waste according to the provisions of 30 TAC 330.171 Exit the TCEQ (Disposal of Special Wastes) and 330.173 Exit the TCEQ (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.

Prohibited Wastes

You may not dispose of the following wastes in any MSW facility [30 TAC 330.15(e)]Exit the TCEQ:

  • 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), Exit the TCEQ as amended)
  • Liquid waste [except as allowed in 30 TAC 330.15(e)(6)] Exit the TCEQ
  • Regulated hazardous waste
  • Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) wastes (30 TAC 330.3) Exit the TCEQ
  • Radioactive materials [except as authorized in 30 TAC Chapter 336, Subchapter C, Exit the TCEQ or that are subject to an exemption from the Department of State Health Services]

 

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For More Information

Please contact us if you have questions about municipal solid waste.

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