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Waste Designation Decision Matrix - Exclusions

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.

There are MANY materials which are excluded from the definition of "solid waste" and therefore are excluded from being fully regulated as "hazardous waste." This does not mean they are not hazardous to yourself, your employees, or the environment. It simply means that the EPA has either recognized this specific material as being excluded from being a solid waste, or that due to the nature of the waste it can/should be handled under a different set of regulations.

In order to fully understand this concept, first you must understand that the terms "solid waste" and "hazardous waste," are defined by the EPA and are directly related.

For our purposes, consider a hazardous waste as solid waste that exhibits a characteristic (as listed in the matrix as (D001, D002, D003, D004 - D0043-codes) or is "listed" on either the F, K, P, and/or U lists and is NOT EXCLUDED. Refer to the matrix to understand this better.

A solid waste, as defined by the EPA, is any discarded material that is NOT EXCLUDED and includes solids, liquids, and containerized gases that are abandoned, recycled, or are considered "inherently waste-like."

It sounds pretty confusing, and it is. Federal and state regulations are riddled with exclusions. For more information, visit EPA's website on Wastes Specifically Excluded from RCRA .   If you need assistance in understanding and applying a particular exclusion, please contact the TCEQ.