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Waste Designation Decision Matrix - Industrial Generator

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 the waste from an "Industrial Generator?"YES NO

Industrial Vs. Nonindustrial Wastes

Industrial wastes result from (or are incidental to) operations of industry, manufacturing, mining or agriculture — for example, wastes from power generation plants, manufacturing facilities, and laboratories serving an industry.

Nonindustrial wastes, by contrast, come from sources such as schools, hospitals, churches, dry cleaners, most service stations, and laboratories serving the public.

It is very important that you recognize whether or not you are an "industrial" generator in order to make a proper waste determination.

Even if a facility does not generate any hazardous waste, its nonhazardous waste may still be subject to regulation by Texas state rules, depending on the type of facility and the amount and type of waste it generates.

Industrial facilities, for example, must comply with more regulations than nonindustrial facilities. If you are involved in an industrial activity, all wastes produced by and in your facility are industrial wastes . . . even office trash. Therefore, it is very important for you to be able to determine whether or not your facility is considered industrial.

"Industrial wastes," although nonhazardous by federal definition, are regulated in the state of Texas and subject to classification. If you have an industrial facility, you must determine which of the following three categories applies to your nonhazardous waste:

  • Class 1 waste — any industrial solid waste that, because of its concentration or physical or chemical characteristics, or is considered potentially threatening to human health or the environment when improperly managed. This waste CAN be disposed of at some landfills without treatment but you MUST classify the waste and receive approval from the landfill prior to disposal. Common examples are paint with lead levels of 4.5 mg/l and soil contaminated with high levels of hydrocarbons.
  • Class 2 waste — any industrial solid waste that cannot be described as hazardous, Class 1, or Class 3. These wastes are less threatening to human health and the environment. Empty chemical containers and plant trash may fall into this category. These wastes may be disposed of at a permitted municipal landfill.
  • Class 3 waste — inert and essentially insoluble industrial solid waste, usually including but not limited to demolition debris such as rock, brick, glass, dirt, and certain plastics and rubber. If essentially uncontaminated, this waste is considered nonthreatening and can be accepted at ALL permitted landfills and may qualify for an exemption from fees as "inert material."

The following table gives examples of industrial vs. nonindustrial facilities.


-- laboratories located on industrial sites

-- facilities recycling industrial materials

-- facilities where the recycling results in the production of a product

-- laboratories providing services for the general public or providing services to both industrial and nonindustrial customers

-- city recycling centers

-- facilities recycling nonindustrial materials