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Waste Designation Decision Matrix - Solid Waste Determination

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 a solid waste? 40 CFR 261.2 YES NO

Definition of a 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, semi-solid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, municipal, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations, and from community and institutional activities 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.

Solid waste does not include any of the following:

  • Domestic sewage or a mixture of domestic sewage and other wastes that pass through a sewer system to a POTW;
  • Industrial wastewater discharges subject to an NPDES permit;
  • Irrigation return flows;
  • Soil, dirt, rock, sand, and other natural or man-made inert solid materials used to fill land if the object of the fill is to make the land suitable for the construction of surface improvements;
  • and more. See 40 CFR 261.4(a)(1)-(22) for a complete listing.