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Special Waste

Maintain or remove non-hazardous empty containers the easy way with Republic Services

 
 

Rely on us for assistance with non-hazardous tank, cylinder and empty container disposal

Testing, maintaining and disposing of containers is a necessary and complex undertaking, and many containers must be cleared of hazardous residue before we can help you dispose of them.

To get started, request services now

Related forms
► Special Waste Profile Form

For proper handling and management of these types of waste, view Title 40 of the e-CFR.

For transportation of these types of waste, view Title 49 of the e-CFR.

Hazardous Waste Container Guidelines

  • a) Residues of Hazardous Waste
    The U.S. EPA’s regulations for residues of hazardous waste in empty containers are found in 40 CFR 261.7 and should be reviewed in their entirety prior to management of containers. According to these regulations, unless a hazardous waste container or inner liner is considered “empty” as defined in the regulations, the container or inner liner must be managed as a hazardous waste. The federal definitions for “empty” vary depending on the previous contents of the container (i.e., acute hazardous waste, non-acute hazardous waste or compressed gases).
    §261.7 Residues of hazardous waste in empty containers:
    • (A) Any hazardous waste remaining in either (i) an empty container or (ii) an inner liner removed from an empty container, as defined in paragraph (b) of this section, is not subject to regulation under parts 261 through 265, or part 268, 270 or 124 of this chapter or to the notification requirements of section 2010 of RCRA.
    • (B) No more than 0.3 percent by weight of the total capacity of the container remains in the container or inner liner if the container is greater than 100 gallons in size.
      • (b)(1) A container or an inner liner removed from a container that has held any hazardous waste, except a waste that is a compressed gas or that is identified as an acute hazardous waste listed in §261.31, 261.32, or 261.33(e) of this chapter is empty if:
        • (i) All wastes have been removed that can be removed using the practices commonly employed to remove materials from that type of container (e.g., pouring, pumping and aspirating), and
        • (ii) No more than 2.5 centimeters (one inch) of residue remain on the bottom of the container or inner liner, or
        • (iii) (A) No more than 3 percent by weight of the total capacity of the container remains in the container or inner liner if the container is less than or equal to 110 gallons in size, or
      • (b)(2) A container that has held a hazardous waste that is a compressed gas is empty when the pressure in the container approaches atmospheric.
      • (b)(3)A container or an inner liner removed from a container that has held an acute hazardous waste listed in §§261.31, 261.32, or 261.33(e) is empty if:
        • (i) The container or inner liner has been triple rinsed using a solvent capable of removing the commercial chemical product or manufacturing chemical intermediate;
        • (ii) The container or inner liner has been cleaned by another method that has been shown in the scientific literature, or by tests conducted by the generator, to achieve equivalent removal;
        • (iii) In the case of a container, the inner liner that prevented contact of the commercial chemical product or manufacturing chemical intermediate with the container has been removed.
  • b) Compressed Gas Containers
    • Aerosol cans, in shipments known to contain empty containers or where discovered during the random inspection program, must be punctured.
    • Cylinders must have the valves removed and must be allowed to air out for at least 24 hours. To prevent scavenging, the threads must be damaged so that the cylinders are not reusable.
  • c) All Empty Containers: All empty containers regardless of what they previously contained should meet the following:
    • Warning labels depicting hazardous waste, hazardous materials, chemicals or substances, radioactive materials and commercial chemical products or trade names on empty containers should be painted over or removed prior to shipment to a sanitary landfill.
    • Containers should be received crushed, or if whole, one end must be removed to allow landfill personnel the ability to verify they are “RCRA Empty.”
  • d) RCRA Empty Containers:
    “RCRA Empty Containers” which meet the conditions of 40 CFR 261.7(b)(1)(2)(3) should be profiled and approved by Republic’s Special Waste Department. The generator must write on the profile that the containers are “RCRA Empty.”

    Empty containers with residues remaining are special wastes and require specific handling. If the generator does not specify “RCRA Empty” the container should be managed in the same manner as the waste held in the container. A completed Generator’s Special Waste Profile Sheet, along with the Analytical Report or MSDS for the material stored in the containers should be submitted to Republic’s Special Waste Department for review and approval. Loads of “empty containers with special waste residue remaining” should be accompanied by a Non-Hazardous Special Waste Manifest.
  • e) Tanks
    The rules regarding empty containers only apply to tanks that meet the definition of a container. The definition of container from 40 CFR 260.10 is: any portable device, in which a material is stored, transported, treated, disposed of, or otherwise handled (40 CFR 260.10).

    The key word is “portable.” Since tanks are generally not portable, they cannot be considered RCRA Empty. Tanks are covered by individual state regulations, landfill permits and operating procedures, Republic Services’ broad recommendation is that they have been steam cleaned or pressure washed. If the tank contains a specific product or residue an MSDS or Analyticals may be required. Review state and local regulations and/or contact the agency that administers the solid or hazardous waste programs to determine when a tank is “RCRA Empty.”
Ask a Republic Services representative about solutions for removing empty containers and tanks.

To get started, request services now

  
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Resources


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