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Types of Municipal Solid Waste Processing and Disposal Facilities, and Wastes That May Be Accepted

A municipal solid waste (MSW) facility may accept various types of municipal solid waste for processing or disposal, depending on the type of facility. An MSW facility may also accept certain special wastes and nonhazardous industrial solid wastes if approved by the TCEQ executive director.


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

Solid waste does not include:

  • Uncontaminated soil, dirt, rock, sand, and other inert solid materials, whether natural or of human origin, used to fill land if the object of the fill is to make the land suitable for the construction of surface improvements.
  • Waste materials that result from activities associated with the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas or geothermal resources, or other substance or material regulated by the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC). However, an RRC-regulated waste is considered a special waste if it is to be processed, treated, or disposed of at an MSW facility.
  • Plastics and other recovered post-use polymer materials that are not hazardous waste, converted using pyrolysis or gasification processes into materials for beneficial use.

More information about the definition of solid waste is available in Title 30 Texas Administrative Code (30 TAC) 330.3 and 335.1 .

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Requirement to Classify Solid Waste

If you generate a solid waste you are required by 30 TAC 335.503 to classify the waste. Use this tool to aid in waste classification.

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Types of Solid Waste

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Municipal Solid Waste

Municipal solid waste is solid waste resulting from, or incidental to, municipal, community, commercial, institutional, and recreational activities; it includes garbage, rubbish, ashes, street cleanings, dead animals, medical waste, and all other nonindustrial solid waste [30 TAC 330.3 ].

Municipal solid waste includes electronic waste from municipal, commercial, and institutional sources (including X-ray and other radiation-producing equipment). The following links offer additional information about these materials:

Special Waste

Special waste includes any solid waste or combination of solid wastes that—because of its quantity, concentration, physical or chemical characteristics, or biological properties—requires special handling and disposal to protect human health or the environment.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste includes any solid waste identified or listed as hazardous by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in accordance with the federal Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Industrial Solid Waste

Industrial solid waste is solid waste resulting from or incidental to any process of industry, manufacturing, mining, or agricultural operations. Industrial solid waste is classified as either hazardous or nonhazardous.

Hazardous industrial waste includes any industrial solid waste or combination of industrial solid wastes identified or listed as a hazardous waste [30 TAC 335.1 ].

Nonhazardous industrial waste is an industrial solid waste that is not identified or listed as a hazardous waste. If you generate nonhazardous industrial solid waste you must further classify the waste [30 TAC 335.503(a)(4) ]:

  • Class 1 waste: Any industrial solid waste or mixture of industrial solid wastes that—because of its concentration, or physical or chemical characteristics:
    • is toxic, corrosive, or flammable
    • is a strong sensitizer or irritant
    • is a generator of sudden pressure by decomposition, heat, or other means
    • may pose a substantial present or potential danger to human health or the environment when improperly processed, stored, transported, or disposed of or otherwise managed.
    Criteria for Class 1 waste determination are provided in 30 TAC 335.505 .
  • Class 2 waste: Any individual solid waste or combination of industrial solid wastes that are not described as Hazardous, Class 1, or Class 3. Criteria for Class 2 waste determination are provided in 30 TAC 335.506 .
  • Class 3 waste: Inert and essentially insoluble industrial solid waste, usually including, but not limited to, materials such as rock, brick, glass, dirt, and certain plastics and rubber, etc., that are not readily decomposable. Criteria for Class 3 waste determination are provided in 30 TAC 335.507 .

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Types of MSW Facilities and Wastes Accepted

Types of Facilities

MSW facilities that may accept waste for processing and disposal include landfills (Type I, IAE, IV, and IVAE facilities) and processing facilities (Type V facilities) [30 TAC 330.5 ].

Find a Facility

Find a Landfill

Use the Facility Map Viewer to find landfill locations and phone numbers.

Find a Transfer Station

Use the Facility Map Viewer to find transfer station locations and phone numbers.

Find a Processing Facility

Go to our MSW data download page to download a spreadsheet listing active MSW facilities, including processing facilities.

Types of Wastes Accepted

The types of waste that potentially may be accepted by MSW landfill facilities are summarized in this  table summarizing types of waste accepted by MSW landfills (RG-606). The wastes that can actually be accepted by a particular facility depend on the provisions of that facility’s authorization.

Some facilities may accept special waste according to the provisions of 30 TAC 330.171 (Disposal of Special Wastes) and 330.173 (Disposal of Industrial Wastes). Hazardous wastes and nonhazardous industrial wastes that cannot be accepted at an MSW facility must be treated, stored, or disposed of in accordance with hazardous and industrial waste requirements.

A note about electronic wastes: Televisions and computer monitors, when disposed of, may be classified as hazardous waste. The preferred method of managing used electronics from all sources is recycling. Households can legally dispose of used electronics in the regular trash; however, a business or other organization that disposes of electronic equipment must comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

Prohibited Wastes

The following wastes may not be disposed of in any MSW facility [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 any chlorinated fluorocarbon (the items must be handled in accordance with 40 CFR Part 82, 82.156 , as amended)
  • Liquid waste [except as allowed in 30 TAC 330.15(e)(6) ]
  • Regulated hazardous waste
  • Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) wastes (30 TAC 330.3 )
  • Radioactive materials (except as authorized in 30 TAC Chapter 336, Subchapter C , or that are subject to an exemption from the Department of State Health Services)

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Transporting Waste

This publication explains if a waste to be hauled is regulated and who regulates it, and summarizes important requirements.

Contact MSW Permits Section

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

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