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Special Waste Disposal

Information about requesting authorization to dispose of a special waste. General information about identifying and testing special waste, transporting special waste, and disposing of special waste in landfills.

How to Request Authorization to Dispose of Special Waste

Form for Requesting Authorization

To request authorization to dispose of special waste, complete and submit form TCEQ-00152 with supporting documentation to TCEQ (scan completed form and supporting documentation, and email to for expedited service).

When deciding which landfill to send a special waste to for disposal, first contact the landfill to determine if it is able to accept the waste.

Some special wastes, identified in 30 TAC 330.171(c) and (d) , do not require prior written authorization for acceptance and disposal, whereas others do. Requests for written authorization to dispose of a special waste must be submitted by the generator to the TCEQ or to a facility with an approved SWAP, pursuant to 330.61(b) and 330.171(b)(2) .

If a particular facility is unable or chooses not to accept a waste, contact the TCEQ Waste Permits Division, or the applicable TCEQ regional office for additional information on disposal options.

Prohibited Wastes

The following wastes are prohibited from disposal in any MSW facility by 30 TAC 330.15(e) :

  • Lead-acid storage batteries
  • Do-it-yourself used motor vehicle oil
  • Used oil filters from internal combustion engines
  • Whole used or scrap tires
  • Refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, and any other items containing chlorinated fluorocarbon (CFC) (must be handled in accordance with 40 CFR Part 82, 82.156(f) , as amended)
  • Bulk or noncontainerized liquid waste
  • Wastes containing free liquids (except as allowed in 30 TAC 330.15(e)(6) )
  • Regulated hazardous waste
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) wastes
  • Radioactive materials (except as authorized in 30 TAC Chapter 336, Subchapter C , or that are subject to an exemption)

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Examples of Special Waste

Special waste is a waste that requires special handling, trained people, and/or special disposal methods. A waste may be a special waste because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or biological characteristics. Special waste is defined in Title 30 Texas Administrative Code (30 TAC), Chapter 330, Section 330.3 and described further in 330.171 and 330.173 .

Additional information:

Examples of special waste include:

  • Class 1 nonhazardous industrial waste
    • Special wastes that are Class 1 nonhazardous industrial wastes (except industrial wastes that are designated Class 1 only because of asbestos content), and other special wastes that are not from industrial sources but which may contain constituents of concern at concentrations that equal or exceed the maximum leachable concentrations listed in 30 TAC 335.521(a)(1) ) may be accepted at a Type I MSW landfill, but must be disposed in a dedicated Class 1 industrial waste trench that complies with 30 TAC 330.331(e) . Class 1 nonhazardous industrial waste must be accompanied by a waste manifest form.
  • Untreated medical waste
  • Hazardous waste from conditionally exempt small-quantity generators
  • Municipal and domestic water and wastewater treatment plant sludges
  • Septic tank pumpings
  • Grease and grit trap wastes
  • Slaughterhouse wastes
  • Dead animals
    Additional information:
  • Drugs, contaminated foods, or contaminated beverages (other than those contained in normal household waste)
  • Pesticide containers
  • Discarded materials containing asbestos
    Additional information:
  • Incinerator ash
  • Contaminated soils
  • Waste from oil, gas, and geothermal activities subject to regulation by the Railroad Commission of Texas when those wastes are to be processed, treated, or disposed of at a municipal solid waste (MSW) facility
    Additional information:
  • Certain wastes generated outside the boundaries of Texas
  • Other wastes that may be special wastes in some cases (for example, sorbent materials, blast media, diseased plants)

Find more information here about wastes that may be accepted at municipal solid waste facilities.

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Classifying and Testing Special Waste

It is the responsibility of a generator of a waste to classify the waste and determine proper treatment and/or disposal methods. A generator may use process knowledge and/or analytical testing to classify a waste. Process knowledge (see 30 TAC Chapter 335, 335.511 ) is a waste generator's knowledge about how a waste is produced and handled, and what constituents are likely to be present in the waste. Analytical testing (see 335.509 ) is information about the concentrations of constituents in a waste, obtained from laboratory analysis. If sufficient process knowledge is available to classify a waste, little or no analytical testing may be needed. Additional information:

Some special wastes tend to vary significantly and may require testing. These wastes include:

Classify the waste based on test results using the following guidelines:

Regardless of whether you rely on process knowledge or opt for analytical testing, you must fully document the information used in making your waste classification.

A note about listed wastes:

  • Some wastes, such as contaminated soils, may contain one or more constituents that are listed hazardous wastes (see 40 CFR Part 261, 261.30 through 261.35) which could require the contaminated soil to be managed as a hazardous waste, even if the waste is not characteristically hazardous and even if the leachable concentrations of hazardous constituents are below toxicity thresholds. These wastes must be managed as hazardous wastes unless a "contained-in" determination shows that contaminant concentrations do not exceed applicable Tier 1 protective concentration levels; for more information see the “Contained in” Determinations section in TRRP: Compatibility with RCRA (RG-366/TRRP-3).

Find more information here about wastes that may be accepted at municipal solid waste facilities.

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Transporting Special Waste

Some special wastes (such as discarded materials containing asbestos) may require special handling, packaging, transportation by a registered transporter, and/or manifesting. For more information on waste transportation, see:

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Information for Landfills Accepting Special Waste

MSW landfills may accept special wastes in accordance with 30 TAC 330.171 and 330.173 , subject to provisions and limitations of the facility's authorization.

Some special wastes (those identified in 330.171(c) and (d) ) do not require prior written authorization from the TCEQ before they can be accepted by a landfill, whereas others do.

Wastes that require prior written authorization from the TCEQ must be:

  1. Accompanied by a Request for Authorization for Disposal of a Special Waste (Form TCEQ-00152) completed by the person disposing of the waste and approved by the TCEQ, or
  2. Received, managed, and disposed in accordance with an approved Special Waste Acceptance Plan (SWAP) prepared in accordance with 30 TAC 330.61(b) and 330.171(b)(2) .

Any and all documents, manifests, shipping documents, trip tickets, etc., involving special waste must be retained in the facility operating record in accordance with 30 TAC 330.125(b)(10) . The TCEQ may revoke an authorization to accept special waste if the owner or operator of a facility does not maintain compliance with rules or conditions specified in the authorization to accept special waste.

Authorization to accept special waste may be granted case-by-case in accordance with 30 TAC 330.171 and 330.173 , or may be established for a facility by an explicit Special Waste Acceptance Plan (SWAP) prepared in accordance with 330.61(b) and 330.171(b)(2) . Wastes not included in a SWAP may be considered for disposal at an MSW landfill if a request with supporting documentation is submitted by the waste generator to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for technical review, and the request granted.

Some special wastes, identified in 30 TAC 330.171(c) and (d) , do not require prior written authorization to be accepted.

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Contact MSW Permits Section

Please contact the MSW Permits Section if you have questions about special waste.

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