Hazardous Waste Generators Program

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Frequently Asked Questions

 Program Information

Hazardous Waste, when improperly handled or stored, can result in fire, explosion, injury, illness, death, and environmental contamination. State and Federal laws to regulate the storage and handling of hazardous wastes were passed in the 1970’s and set-up a system for tracking the waste from “cradle to grave”. The hazardous waste generator (person or facility creating the waste) has responsibility for determining if their waste is hazardous and for the safe handling, transport, and disposal of that waste. Generators of hazardous waste in Yolo County are required to electronically submit a Hazardous Materials Business Plan to the Environmental Health Division, which is the CUPA (Certified Unified Program Agency) and are inspected by the CUPA for compliance with Federal and State hazardous waste storage, handling, and disposal regulations at least once every three years.

Workload: Close to 700 facilities
Authority: California Health and Safety Code Section 25200 et seq
California Code of Regulations Title 22, Section 66001 et seq

Hazardous Wastes FAQ's

 Who Is A Generator Of Hazardous Waste?

A generator of hazardous waste is any individual, business, or organization who through their activities produce a hazardous waste.

What Is A Hazardous Waste?

A hazardous waste is any substance that is a waste and threatens human health or the environment. Hazardous wastes may be solid, liquid or sludge. They may be the by-products of manufacturing processes or unwanted commercial products. By definition a waste may be hazardous if it is specifically listed or it has at least one of these characteristics: ignitable (flammable), corrosive to metal and tissue, reactive (explosive), and toxic or damaging to living organisms.

How Do I Decide If My Waste Is Hazardous Waste?

It is the generator’s responsibility to determine if a waste is a hazardous waste. A waste generator is required to maintain a written hazardous waste determination for each waste that they generate. The waste determination may be based upon the generator’s knowledge of the waste and/or upon analytical test results. In general, it is helpful to review the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for a product- derived waste as well as see if the waste is specifically listed in, or meets the characteristics set forth in, Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations. If you need assistance determining if your waste is hazardous waste, contact Environmental Health.

What Is A Safety Data Sheet (SDS, formerly Material Safety Data Sheet or MSDS)?

A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is a form prepared by a chemical manufacturer or formulator. It provides the following information: product name (common, trade, and/or chemical), hazardous ingredients, physical and chemical characteristics, fire and explosion information, physical and health hazards, special precautions and personal protection information, and disposal and spill information. Employees of the facility must have access to and be trained on the use of the SDS so that they can properly handle the hazardous materials in both normal and emergency circumstances.


Hazardous Waste Examples:  

  • Acid Solutions, pH less than 2 (i.e. muriatic acid, battery acid, plating waste, pickling liquor, etching residue, etc.)
  • Alkaline Solutions,pH greater than or equal to 12.5 (i.e. soda ash, sodium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, metal plating, cleaning waste, etc.)
  • Ashes (i.e. all ashes including oil ash, kiln, and oven residue)
  • Asbestos (i.e insulation products, old pipe lagging, acoustic (cottage cheese) ceiling, asbestos pipe waste, etc.)
  • Miscellaneous (i.e. explosives, drilling mud, printing ink, mine tailings, fly ash, waste chemicals, dyes, obsolete chemicals, etc.)
  • Monomer Waste/Polymeric Resin (i.e. incompletely reacted resin, resin rinse water, etc.)
  • Organic Liquids/Solids (i.e. fuel, paint thinner, paint remover, paint, dry-cleaning fluids, dry cleaning filters, etc.)
  • Pesticides (i.e. unusable portion of active pesticides, unrinsed empty containers, rinse water)
  • Photo Processing Waste (i.e. developer, fixer, hypo solutions)
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyl (i.e. PCB contaminated electronic capacitors, ballasts, transformer fluids)
  • Sludge (i.e. paint, degreasing, caustic, paper, metal pickling sludge, lime, machine coolant, tanning, acetylene, etc.)
  • Solids and Solutions (i.e. cyanide, azide, sulfide, fluoride, antifreeze, hypochlorite, metal and equipment cleaning solutions, anti corrosion fluids, heavy metals in solution or powdered, e.g.: antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, lead, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, silver, thallium, vanadium, zinc).
  • Solvents (i.e. acetone, methylene chloride, methyl ethyl ketone, benzene, perchloroethylene, Stoddard, styrene, dry cleaning fluids, xylene, etc.)
  • Waste Oil/Mixed Oil (i.e. motor oil, lube oil, cutting oil, oil and water, hydraulic fluid, transmission oil, bunker oil, and sulfonation oil)


Business Assistance FAQ's  

What Kinds Of Businesses Generate Hazardous Wastes?

Some examples include: auto repair facilities, auto body shops, agriculture, dry cleaning facilities, plating shops, print shops, auto wrecking yards, pesticide formulators, fertilizer manufacturers, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, and laboratories.



What Forms Do Hazardous Waste Generators Have to Submit?

All facilities that handle or store hazardous materials and/or hazardous wastes must submit to Yolo County the Hazardous Materials Business Plan that includes information on:
  • Business Activities
  • Business Owner/Operator
  • Hazardous Materials Inventory
  • Consolidated Contingency Plan
  • Annotated Site Map

Starting January 1, 2013, this must be done electronically via the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS).

How Long Can I Store Hazardous Waste? 

  • 90 days, if waste generated is > 1000 kg/month
  • 180 days, if waste generated is < 1000 kg/month
  • 270 days, if waste generated is < 1000 kg/month and transported over 200 miles for disposal
  • 90 days of reaching 100 kg if waste generated is < 100 kg/month

For more information on hazardous waste accumulation please refer to DTSC Fact Sheet on “Accumulation”.

How Can I Dispose Of Small Quantities Of Hazardous Waste Responsibly And Inexpensively?

(Less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste generated per month for most waste streams)
Yolo County has a low-cost program to help small quantity generators legally and properly dispose of small quantities of hazardous waste. For more information contact the Yolo County Department of Community Services, Division of Integrated Waste Management at (530) 666-8852 or (530) 666-8856 or visit their web page and navigate to the links describing Business Hazardous Wastes.

What Are Some Of The Other Hazardous Waste Generator Requirements?

The generator must label each container of hazardous waste, with the words "Hazardous Waste", the date accumulation of the waste began, the name and address of the generator, the manifest tracking number, and with labels that conform to the U.S Department of Transportation requirements.
When hazardous waste is transported, the generator must record the type, quantity, and the hazards of the waste on a tracking document called a hazardous waste manifest. Copies of all hazardous waste manifests must be kept on-site and available for a minimum of 3 years.

During accumulation and storage the generator must inspect the hazardous waste containers weekly to verify that the containers are closed and in good condition.

For further information on generator requirements please refer to the DTSC Fact Sheet on “Hazardous Waste Generator Requirements


What Is An EPA ID Number?

An EPA Identification (ID) Number is required for every non-household generator of hazardous waste. An EPA ID Number consists of a three-letter prefix followed by nine digits.

EXAMPLE: CAL 000 123 456

The EPA ID Number tracks the generation, transportation, and disposal of hazardous wastes (cradle to grave). EPA ID numbers are site/location specific. Call the state Department of Toxic Substances Control at (916) 324-1781 to obtain an EPA ID Number. This number is permanent and there should only be one number for each address. Make sure you do not already have one before you call.


Household Assistance FAQ's  

Is It OK To Dump Hazardous Waste in the Gutter or Storm Drain?

NO! It is NOT legal to place hazardous waste in the garbage, down the drain, into the air, or on the ground. Hazardous waste can cause injury or illness to the public, utility employees, and wildlife. Do not pour or flush hazardous waste down the sewer or into the storm drain. Do not discard it on the ground. Please contact a State registered hazardous waste transporter. You can obtain a list by contacting Yolo County Environmental Health Division at (530) 666-8646, or at the following link: Hazardous Materials Contractors. Waste engine oil, oil filters, and automotive batteries can be taken to Yolo Central Landfill for free disposal. Additionally many auto-parts stores take waste engine oil, oil filters, and automotive batteries. See Yolo County Department of Community Services, Division of Integrated Waste Management for programs helping small business operators and homeowners dispose of waste properly and cost effectively in Yolo County.

What Can A Homeowner Do With Household Hazardous Waste?

Yolo County offers free disposal of household hazardous waste for Yolo County residents! Hazardous Waste can be generated from the yard includes pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, paint, and workshop chemicals. Waste generated in the home may include cleaners, aerosol sprays, polishes, medicines, batteries, and craft chemicals. From the garage, hazardous waste may include automotive fluids such as antifreeze, oil (and filters), waxes, polishes, brake and transmission fluids, as well as car batteries. All of these materials are accepted during the monthly household hazardous waste days.

Yolo County Central Landfill: Hours of Operation

What Is NOT Accepted? 

    • No Explosive or Radioactive Materials
    • No Medical or Infectious Waste
    • No Agricultural Waste
    • No Business Waste (see Business Assistance)

Local Hazardous Waste Disposal Or Waste Recycling Contacts

Yolo County Division of Integrated Waste Management

      • Yolo County Public Works: (530) 757-5564
      • Yolo County Environmental Health: (530) 666-8646
      • City Of Davis: (530) 757-5686
      • City Of West Sacramento (916): 373-5810
      • City Of Winters: (530) 795-2820
      • City Of Woodland: (530) 661-5969
      • University Of California, Davis: (530) 752-6970


Universal Waste FAQ’s  

What is Universal Waste?

Universal waste is a type of hazardous waste that is generated by businesses and households alike. Universal waste is very common and poses a lower risk to people and the environment than other types of hazardous waste. This waste is now being regulated under the “Universal Waste Rule” which can be found in the California Code of Regulations, title 22, division 4.5, chapter 23.

 What are some examples of Universal Waste?

Some common types of Universal Waste include the following:
  • Common Batteries (AA, AAA, C cells, D cells and button cell batteries)
  • Electronic Devices such as: Computer and television monitors, wireless phones, computer processing units, printers, VCRs and microwave ovens
  • Fluorescent light tubes and bulbs
  • High intensity discharge lamps
  • Mercury switches
  • Mercury thermometers
  • Mercury thermostats
  • Non-empty aerosol cans

How do I manage and dispose of Universal Waste?



Yolo County Environmental Health
Hazardous Materials Specialist

292 West Beamer Street
Woodland, CA 95695

Phone: (530) 666-8646
Fax: (530) 669-1448
Email: Environmental.Health@yolocounty.org

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