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Waste Designation Decision Matrix - Excluded from RCRA

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.

This matrix is provided as an assistance tool. It cannot be used as a substitute for following applicable city, state, and federal laws.

Is your waste excluded from RCRA? Review the exclusions in 40 CFR 261.4(a)(1)-(27) and 40 CFR 261.6 .


The law has provisions allowing for exclusions to certain waste streams. It is in your best interest to know some of the more common ones:

  1. Household wastes. Individual households do NOT have to make a waste determination.
  2. Used oil and used oil filters.
  3. Excluded scrap metal and circuit boards that are being recycled.
  4. Domestic and Industrial wastewater discharges. These are regulated under the Clean Water Act.

There are plenty more. But remember, exclusions are tricky. When they apply and when they do not apply are often subjective. Be careful when applying exclusions.