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Waste Designation Decision Matrix - Special Waste

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 only as a tool. It cannot be used as a substitute for following applicable city, state, and federal laws.

You have now completed the waste determination process per RCRA.

The waste appears to be nonhazardous.

Check your waste against the "Special Waste" criteria below AND review the "Advanced Topics" for possible applicability.

If you have applied any of the codes (P, U, F, K, or D-characteristic) then your waste is hazardous for the associated code.

Test your waste determination knowledge.

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Please review the information below regarding special wastes.

What is Special Waste?

Special waste is a waste that requires special handling, trained people, and/or special disposal methods. This is often due to the sheer size of the waste, the concentration, and the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of the waste. The TCEQ authorizes landfills to accept special waste through special waste acceptance plans (SWAP). Wastes not included in a SWAP may go to a landfill if a Form-00152 (PDF, help with PDF) and supporting documentation is submitted to the TCEQ for consideration. A technical review will then determine whether the request should or should not be granted.

Special Waste Guidance

Below is a list of special waste examples per 30 TAC 330.3 :

  1. Hazardous waste from conditionally exempt small quantity generators (CESQGs) - under 100 kilograms/220 pounds per month.
  2. Class I industrial waste if going to a municipal solid waste landfill with a dedicated special waste trench .
  3. Special waste from health care-related facilities that has not been treated in accordance with state regulations - refers to certain items of medical waste.
  4. Public-owned treatment works, sewage and waste supply sludges - must pass "paint filter" test.
  5. Septic tank sludge - must pass "paint filter" test.
  6. Grease and grit trap wastes.
  7. Wastes from commercial or industrial wastewater treatment plants, air pollution control facilities; tanks, drums, or containers used for shipping or storing any material that has been listed as a hazardous constituent in 40 CFR, Part 261, Appendix VIII but not listed as a commercial chemical product in 40 CFR 261.33(e); or (f) - Empty hazardous waste containers, for example, paint and solvent cans from an auto body shop.
  8. Slaughterhouse waste.
  9. Dead animals, especially large quantities or large animals such as cows and horses.
  10. Bulk expired or contaminated foodstuffs and/or drugs, for example, strawberries with high pesticide levels.
  11. Pesticide containers - empty containers that are not triple-rinsed.
  12. Discarded asbestos - regulated asbestos containing material (RACM) such as, friable, properly managed pipe insulation and nonregulated asbestos containing material (NonRACM) such as, nonfriable, properly packaged brake pads.
  13. Nonhazardous incinerator ash.
  14. Soil contaminated by petroleum products, crude oils, or chemicals - spill clean-up.
  15. Light ballasts and capacitors, under 50 ppm PCB.
  16. Railroad Commission waste - under current memorandum of understanding.
  17. Waste generated outside the boundaries of Texas.
  18. Any waste stream the TCEQ deems appropriate - special conditions.

Note: Lead-acid batteries and used oil filters are prohibited for land disposal.

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Transporters of industrial Class I waste must register with the TCEQ using the Solid Waste Transporter Notification Form.

Asbestos transportation requirements include:

  • getting a license from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to transport asbestos;
  • inspecting the load before transporting to make sure that it has been correctly packaged and labeled;
  • checking for proper completion of the manifest;
  • covering or enclosing the transport vehicle; and
  • displaying signs and markings in a legible manner.

The signs must include the following language:




Authorized Personnel Only

For further information on asbestos abatement, handling, or an application, contact the DSHS, Asbestos Abatement Program at (512) 834-6600.

All other special waste should be managed and transported according to state regulations relating to municipal solid waste collection and transportation.

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Acceptance and/or disposal of a special waste requires prior written approval by the TCEQ. This approval is granted to landfills in one of three ways. By the approval:

  1. Of a permitted Class I dedicated waste trench in full compliance with 30 TAC 330.173 ; or
  2. Of a special waste acceptance plan contained in the site operating plan of a MSW permitted landfill; or
  3. On a case-by-case basis of the waste in question, taking into consideration the waste characteristics and a given landfill's design and permit requirements.

When deciding where to send your waste for disposal, first contact the landfill of your choice. If the landfill is unable to accept the waste, then contact the TCEQ's Waste Evaluation staff or the nearest TCEQ regional office for additional information on your disposal options.

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