So your company has used, empty 55 gal drums or other containers.  What do you do with them now and how do you classify them?

Typically empty chemical containers must be classified as Class 1 waste, but if they meet the following criteria, you may be able to classify them as Class 2 waste.

Here is some guidance on the subject:

30 TAC 335.508 (2), 40 CFR 302 Yes, RCRA-empty containers from an industrial generator must be classified as a Class 1 industrial solid waste if they previously stored a:

  • hazardous substance, · hazardous waste, · Class 1 industrial solid waste, or · material that would be classified as a hazardous or Class 1 industrial solid waste if disposed.

If the business is involved in these types of industrial activities, all wastes produced are considered industrial solid waste, even the office trash.

Common Questions on Empty Containers – What options do industrial solid waste generators have? 30 TAC 335.508 (2) and 513, 40 CFR 302.4

You do have the option of classifying the RCRA-empty containers as Class 2 industrial solid waste if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Option 1. The container capacity is 5 gallons or less; or
  • Option 2. The container previously stored a Class 2 industrial solid waste; or
  • Option 3. The container is an aerosol can that was depleted of its contents, such that the inner pressure of the can equals the atmospheric pressure, and the minimal residue remains in the can; or
  • Option 4. The container capacity is more than 5 gallons and meets both of the following conditions:

• The residue is completely removed either by triple rinsing with a solvent capable of removing the waste, by hydro-blasting, or by other methods.

• The container was crushed, punctured, or subjected to other mechanical treatment that renders it unusable.

  • Option 5. The container will be recycled and meets all of the following conditions:

• The residue was completely removed either by triple rinsing with a solvent capable of removing the waste, by hydro blasting, or by other methods.

• The container is not regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, 40 CFR Part 165.

• The generator maintains documentation, according to 30 TAC 335.513 Documentation Required, that demonstrates the container is being recycled; and

• The recycling activity involves shredding, dismantling, scrapping, melting, or other method that renders the container unusable.

Learn more about how to manage TX hazardous waste generator rules and regulations and risks here.

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