40 CFR 261.2 defines a solid waste as any discarded material not excluded by regulation, variance, or non-waste determination. A discarded material is any material which is:
- Considered inherently waste-like as described in paragraph (d), or
- A military munition
What the US EPA defines as inherently waste-like is explained in detail at 40 CFR 261.2(d), the list is short and industry specific; it includes:
- Listed hazardous wastes which are Dioxins: F020, F021 (unless used as an ingredient to make a product at the site of generation), F022, F023, F026, & F028. The table of F-listed hazardous waste can be found at 40 CFR 261.31
- Secondary materials fed to a halogen acid furnace that are a listed or characteristic hazardous waste, except for brominated material that meet criteria listed in 40 CFR 261.2(d)(2)(i-iii). I won’t list those here, you can read the full regulations if you think this applies to you.
Paragraph (d) reads in part, “ The following materials are solid wastes when they are recycled in any manner”. What if you have no intention of recycling the waste? Is it still considered to be inherently waste-like? The answer is yes. If your waste meets the definition of inherently waste-like, it is considered by regulation to be a discarded material and therefore a solid waste unless it is excluded at 40 CFR 261.4(a).
A quick review of paragraph (d) should be enough to tell you if your waste is inherently waste-like. The list is subject to change since the US EPA maintains its right to add wastes to the list if it deems it necessary.
The determination of inherently waste-like is just one step of a complete hazardous waste determination that you must make for all waste. Proper training can help you to identify the steps you must take to maintain compliance.