Hazardous waste definitions
The hazardous waste program has its own unique terminology, which can be confusing. We are supplying common terms and definitions used in the discussion of hazardous waste. Many of the terms listed here are defined in Wisconsin Administrative Code.
Under s. NR 661.0001(3)(h), Wis. Adm. Code, "accumulated speculatively" means a material that is accumulated before being recycled. A material is not accumulated speculatively if the person accumulating it can show all of the following:
- The material is potentially recyclable and has a feasible means of being recycled.
- During the calendar year beginning Jan. 1, the amount of material that is recycled, or transferred to a different site for recycling, equals at least 75% by weight or volume of the amount of that material accumulated at the beginning of the year.
For more information, review s. NR 661.0001(3)(h).
A generator may accumulate hazardous waste for a short period of time before shipping it off-site or managing it on-site. The waste must be accumulated in either above-ground tanks or containers; it may not be accumulated in underground tanks, waste piles or surface impoundments.
Generators of more than 1,000 kilograms (2,205 pounds) of hazardous waste per month may accumulate their waste for up to 90 days before shipping it off-site or managing it on-site. Special accumulation provisions for persons generating F006 wastewater treatment sludge are defined in s. NR 662.034(7), Wis. Adm. Code.
Generators of 100 kilograms (220 pounds) to 1,000 kilograms (2,205 pounds) of hazardous waste per month may accumulate their waste for up to 180 days before shipping it off-site or managing it on-site. If the nearest treatment, storage, disposal or recycling facility to which they can send their waste is more than 200 miles away, they may accumulate their waste for up to 270 days.
Acute hazardous waste
S. NR 660.20(3m), Wis. Adm. Code defines "acute hazardous waste" as any hazardous waste with a waste code beginning with the letter "P" or any of the following "F" codes: F020, F021, F022, F023, F026 and F027. These wastes are subject to stringent quantity standards for accumulation and generation.
S. NR 660.10, Wis. Adm. Code defines "airbag waste" as waste that includes any hazardous waste airbag module or hazardous waste airbag inflator.
Airbag waste collection facility
S. NR 660.10, Wis. Adm. Code, defines "airbag waste collection facility" as a facility that receives airbag waste from an airbag waste handler and accumulates the waste for more than 10 days.
Airbag waste handler
An airbag waste handler is any person, by site, who generates airbag waste that is subject to regulations under ss. NR 661.0004 and 662.014, Wis. Adm. Code.
Adequate aisle space allows for the unobstructed movement of personnel, fire protection equipment, spill control equipment and decontamination equipment to any area of facility operation in an emergency.
Under s. NR 662.041, Wis. Adm. Code, certain facilities are required to submit the DNR’s hazardous waste annual report by March 1 of each year. Large quantity generators; small quantity generators; permanent household hazardous waste and very small quantity generators collection facilities; treatment, storage and disposal facilities; and publicly owned wastewater treatment works must complete this report.
S. NR 661.0001(3)(a), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "by-product" as a material that is not one of the primary products of a production process and is not solely or separately produced by the production process. Examples of by-products include process residues such as slags or distillation column bottoms. “By-product” does not include a co-product that is produced for the general public's use and is ordinarily used in the form that is produced by the process.
Central accumulation area
S. NR 660.10(9t), Wis. Adm. Code defines "central accumulation area" as any on-site hazardous waste accumulation area with hazardous waste accumulating in units subject to either s. NR 662.016, Wis. Adm. Code, (small quantity generators) or s. NR 662.017 (large quantity generators). A central accumulation area at an eligible academic entity that chooses to operate is also subject to s. NR 662.211 when accumulating unwanted material or hazardous waste.
Code of Federal Regulations
The Code of Federal Regulations contains the detailed regulations, written by federal agencies, to implement the provisions of laws passed by Congress. Regulations in CFR have the force of federal law.
A characteristic waste is a waste classified as hazardous because it is ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic. It has a waste code in the range "D001" to "D043." Each of these four characteristics is defined in s. NR 661.10, Wis. Adm. Code [exit DNR].
Under s. NR 660.10(13m), Wis. Adm. Code, "contained" refers to when a hazardous secondary material is held in a unit, including a land-based unit as defined in this subchapter, that meets certain criteria.
S. NR 660.10(16), Wis. Adm. Code defines "contingency plan" as a document setting out an organized, planned and coordinated course of action to be followed in case of a fire, explosion or release of hazardous waste or hazardous waste constituents that could threaten human health or the environment.
"Delisted wastes" are site-specific wastes that are excluded from regulation under ss. NR 660.22 and NR 660.23, Wis. Adm. Code [exit DNR] may be excluded or delisted from the lists of hazardous waste in s. NR 661, Subchapter D, Wis. Adm. Code [exit DNR] by petitioning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the DNR for a regulatory amendment.
Under s. NR 660.10(21), Wis. Adm. Code, "designated facility" is defined as one of the following:
- A hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facility that is licensed, permitted or regulated for recycling under s. NR 661.006 or NR 666.070, Wis. Adm. Code., or is designated on the manifest under s. NR 662.020, Wis. Adm. Code.
- A generator site designated on the manifest to receive its waste as a return shipment from a facility that has rejected the waste according to ss. NR 664.0072(6) or NR 665.0072(6), Wis. Adm. Code.
- If a waste is destined to a facility in an authorized state that has not yet obtained authorization to regulate that particular waste as hazardous, then the designated facility shall be a facility allowed by the receiving state to accept such waste.
Under s. NR 660.10(26), Wis. Adm. Code, "disposal" means the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking or placing of any hazardous waste into or on any land or water in a manner which may permit the hazardous waste or any hazardous constituent to be emitted into the air, discharged into any waters of the state or otherwise to enter the environment. Disposal does not include the generation, transportation, storage or treatment of hazardous waste.
"DNR" refers to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Also known as WDNR.
Electronic manifest or e-manifest
Under s. NR 660.10(28p), Wis. Adm. Code, "electronic manifest," or "e-manifest" is the electronic format of the hazardous waste manifest that is obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's national e-manifest system and transmitted electronically to the system, and that is the legal equivalent of EPA forms 8700-22, Manifest and 8700-22A, Continuation Sheet.
For more information, go to the Hazardous waste manifest requirements page.
Electronic manifest system or e-manifest system
Under s. NR 660.10(28s), Wis. Adm. Code, "electronic manifest system," or "e-manifest system" means the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's national information technology system through which the electronic manifest may be obtained, completed, transmitted and distributed to users of the electronic manifest and to regulatory agencies.
"EPA" or "U.S. EPA" means the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
EPA identification number
S. NR 660.10(34), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "EPA identification number," or "EPA ID number," as a 12-character number assigned by the DNR to each generator; transporter; and treatment, storage or disposal facility. The first two characters are alphabetical and stand for the state in which the site is physically located. The third character can be either alphabetical or numeric. The remaining nine characters are always numeric.
Episodic generation event
Under s. NR 662.231(1), Wis. Adm. Code, "episodic generation event" is an activity or activities, either planned or unplanned, that does not normally occur during generator operations, resulting in an increase in the generation of hazardous wastes that exceeds the calendar month quantity limits for the generator's usual category.
For more information, go to Episodic Generation of Hazardous Waste (WA-1872).
Evaluated hazardous waste pharmaceutical
Under s. NR 666.500(1), Wis. Adm. Code, "evaluated hazardous waste pharmaceutical" means a prescription hazardous waste pharmaceutical that has been evaluated by a reverse distributor in accordance with s. NR 666.510(1)(c) and will not be sent to another reverse distributor for further evaluation or verification of manufacture credit.
Excluded wastes are a list of wastes that are excluded from regulation under s. NR 661.0004, Wis. Adm. Code [exit DNR].
- Agriculture, Irrigation - Solid or dissolved materials in irrigation return flows.
- Auto manufacturing- Wastewater treatment sludges generated from zinc phosphating, when such phosphating is used in the motor vehicle manufacturing process.
- Cement kiln dust - Cement kiln dust waste.
- Chromium, Leather tanning, etc. - Wastes that: (1) are not listed in s. NR 661.30, Wis. Adm. Code or 40 CFR 261, Subpart D and only have the characteristic of toxicity for chromium; or (2) are listed in s. NR 661.30, Wis. Adm. Code or 40 CFR 261, Subpart D for only chromium and do not have any characteristics other than toxicity for chromium. These wastes must also meet the additional criteria for the exclusion listed in s. NR 661.04(2)(f), Wis. Adm. Code.
- Coal - Wastes generated primarily from processes that support the combustion of coal or other fossil fuels that when co-disposed with coal combustion residuals.
- Drilling fluids - Drilling fluids, produced waters or other wastes associated with the exploration, development or production of crude oil, natural gas or geothermal energy.
- Emission control waste - Fly ash waste, bottom ash waste, slag waste and flue gas emission control waste generated primarily from the combustion of coal or other fossil fuels.
- Fertilizers - Solid wastes generated by the growing and harvesting of agriculture crops or the raising of animals, including animal manure, and are returned to the soils as fertilizers.
- Health care- FDA-approved over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies such as nicotine patches, gums and lozenges.
- Household - Household waste, including waste that has been collected, transported, stored, treated, disposed of, recovered or reused, except if the hazardous waste in this type is separated for management at a collection facility regulated under subch. HH of ch. NR 666, Wis. Adm. Code. "Household waste" means any material (including garbage, trash and sanitary wastes in septic tanks) derived from households (including single and multiple residences; hotels/motels, bunkhouses, ranger stations, crew quarters, campgrounds, picnic grounds; and day use recreation areas).
- Mining, Metallic - Metallic mining resulting from a mining operation, except generators of metallic mining wastes are required to comply with s. NR 662.011, Wis. Adm. Code, to determine whether their wastes are hazardous or nonhazardous. Metallic mining wastes are regulated under ch. NR 182, Wis. Adm. Code.
- Nuclear - Source, special nuclear or byproduct material as defined by 42 USC 2011 to 2114, the atomic energy act of 1954.
- Petroleum-contaminated media and debris - Petroleum-contaminated media and debris that fail the test for the toxicity characteristic in 40 CFR 261.24 (Hazardous waste codes D018 through D043 only) and are subject to the corrective action regulations in 40 CFR 280.
- Saccharin and its salts- Saccharin and its salts are not listed hazardous constituents. Commercial chemicals that contain saccharin and its salts are not required to be treated as hazardous waste.
- Sewage, Domestic - Solids or dissolved material in domestic sewage.
- Wastewater, Industrial - Solid or dissolved materials in industrial wastewater discharges that are point source discharges subject to permits under ch. 147, Wis. Stats.
- Wood, Wood Products - Discarded wood or wood products which fail the test for the toxicity characteristic given in s. NR 661.20, Wis. Adm. Code, solely for arsenic, and are not a hazardous waste for any other reasons, if the waste is generated by persons who utilize the arsenical-treated wood and wood products for the intended end use of these materials.
S. NR 660.10(43a), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "facility" as an entity (a business, an operation, a governmental unit, a property owner, etc.) at a location currently or formerly involved in hazardous waste activities regulated by the DNR and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The definition of facility includes all contiguous land, and structures, other appurtenances, and improvements on the land, used for treating, storing, or disposing of hazardous waste, or for managing hazardous secondary material prior to reclamation. A facility may consist of several treatment, storage, or disposal operational units (e.g., one or more landfills, surface impoundments, or combinations of them).
"Final closure" refers to the closure of all hazardous waste management units at the facility according to all applicable closure requirements so that hazardous waste management activities under chs. NR 664 and 665, Wis. Adm. Code, are no longer conducted at the facility unless subject to the provisions in ss. NR 662.015 and 662.017, Wis. Adm. Code.
EPA Form 8700-12 is the Site Identification Form (see Generator Notification). For more information, go to Notification of hazardous waste activities.
The "form code," used during hazardous waste reporting, is used to describe the general physical or chemical characteristics of the hazardous waste.
Form R, Toxics Release Inventory Form
"Form R" is also called the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory Report Form, or TRI Report Form. This form is required by Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986), Public Law 99-499. Submittal of this form is required annually. S. 166.20, Wis. Stats. requires that an additional copy of this report be submitted to the DNR.
S. NR 660.10(48), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "free liquids" as liquids which readily separate from the solid portion of a waste under ambient temperature and pressure.
A "generator" is a site or mobile source whose actions or processes produce hazardous waste.
S. NR 660.10(50m), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "generating facility" as all contiguous property owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the hazardous secondary material generator.
Every site that generates, treats, stores or disposes of hazardous waste must inform the DNR of its hazardous waste activity by filing EPA Form 8700-12, Site Identification Form. After receiving the Site ID form, the DNR assigns an identification number (EPA ID) to the site. Very small quantity generators of hazardous waste are not required to obtain an EPA ID number unless they use a hazardous waste manifest for their waste shipments.
Hazardous waste facility license
To obtain a hazardous waste facility license, a facility must complete a detailed submittal for DNR review, including information about the hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal activities are being proposed. A formal approval must be obtained before operation begins.
Hazardous secondary material
S. NR 660.10(51m), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "hazardous secondary material" as a secondary material, such as spent material, by-product, or sludge, that, when discarded, would be identified as a hazardous waste.
Hazardous secondary material generator
S. NR 660.10(51t), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "hazardous secondary material generator" as any person whose act or process produces hazardous secondary material at the generating facility. For the purposes of ss. NR 661.0002(1)(b)2 and 661.0004(1)(w), Wis. Adm. Code, a facility that collects hazardous secondary material from other persons is not the hazardous secondary material generator.
"Hazardous waste" is a waste with properties that make it dangerous or capable of having a harmful effect on human health or the environment. Hazardous waste is generated from many sources, ranging from industrial manufacturing processes to air pollution control equipment and may come in many forms, including liquids, solids, gases and sludges.
The hazardous waste identification process is found in ch. NR 661, Wis. Adm. Code.
- For a material to be classified as a hazardous waste, it must first be a solid waste as specifically defined in s. NR 661.0002.
- The second step in the process examines whether the waste is specifically excluded from regulation as a solid or hazardous waste.
- If the waste meets the definition of a solid waste, and is not excluded from regulation, then determine if the waste is a listed or characteristic hazardous waste.
Hazardous waste constituent
Under s. NR 660.10(53), Wis. Adm. Code, "hazardous waste constituent" is a constituent listed as a hazardous waste in subch. D of ch. NR 661, Wis. Adm. Code, or a constituent listed in table 1 of s. NR 661.0024.
Hazardous waste pharmaceutical
S. NR 666.500(2), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "hazardous waste pharmaceutical" as a pharmaceutical that is a solid waste, as defined in s. NR 661.0002, Wis. Adm. Code, and exhibits one or more characteristics identified in subch. C of ch. NR 661, Wis. Adm. Code or is listed in subch. D of ch. NR 661.
When a pharmaceutical is legitimately used or reused, for example lawfully donated for its intended purpose, or reclaimed, it is not a solid waste, as defined in s. NR 661.0002, and therefore not a hazardous waste pharmaceutical.
S. NR 666.500(3), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "healthcare facility" as any person that is lawfully authorized to do any of the following:
- Provide preventative, diagnostic, therapeutic, rehabilitative, maintenance or palliative care; and counseling, service, assessment or procedure with respect to the physical or mental condition, or functional status, of a human or animal or that affects the structure or function of the human or animal body.
- Distribute, sell, or dispense pharmaceuticals, including over-the-counter pharmaceuticals; dietary supplements; homeopathic drugs; or prescription pharmaceuticals. Including wholesale distribution; third-party logistics that serve as forward distributors; military medical logistics facilities; hospitals; psychiatric hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; health clinics; physicians’ offices; optical and dental providers; chiropractors; long-term care facilities; ambulance services; pharmacies; long-term care pharmacies; mail-order pharmacies; retailers of pharmaceuticals; veterinary clinics; and veterinary hospitals. This definition does not include pharmaceutical manufacturers, reverse distributors, or reverse logistics centers.
Home scrap metal
S. NR 661.0001(3)(k), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "home scrap metal" as scrap metal generated by steel mills, foundries, and refineries such as turnings, cuttings, punchings and borings.
Household waste pharmaceutical
S. NR 666.500(4), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "household waste pharmaceutical" as a solid waste, as defined in s. NR 661.0002, Wis. Adm. Code, but as a household-generated waste, is excluded from being a hazardous waste under s. NR 661.0004(2)(a). The exclusion doesn’t apply the household hazardous waste is separated for management at a collection facility regulated under subch. HH of ch. NR 666, Wis. Adm. Code.
S. NR 660.10(67), Wis. Adm. Code defines "lamp" as a bulb or tube portion of an electric lighting device. Examples of common universal waste electric lamps include fluorescent, high intensity discharge, neon, mercury vapor, high pressure sodium and metal halide lamps.
S. NR 660.10(67m), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "land-based unit" as an area where hazardous secondary material is placed in or on the land before recycling. This does not include land-based production units.
Land Disposal Restrictions Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Land Disposal Restrictions Program, or LDR Program, ensures wastes are properly treated prior to disposal, to reduce the potential for leaching of hazardous constituents and by reducing waste toxicity by destroying or removing harmful constituents.
"Listed wastes" are wastes specifically named in ch. NR 661, Subchapter D, Wis. Adm. Code, and 40 CFR 261, Subpart D. The criteria for listed wastes are defined in s. NR 661.0011. These wastes are listed as hazardous because the dangers they present are considered self-evident. They bear waste codes beginning with the letters F, K, P or U.
Large quantity generator
In s. NR 660.10(70m), Wis. Adm. Code, a large quantity generator (LQG) generates any of the following in one or more months during a calendar year:
- 2,205 pounds (1,000 kilograms) or more of non-acute hazardous waste.
- 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) or more of acute hazardous waste.
To estimate the weight of hazardous waste generated, a general rule of thumb is half a 55-gallon drum of liquid waste weighs approximately 220 pounds. This means that accumulating more than 5 drums of liquid hazardous waste could exceed the monthly limit of 2,205 pounds and results in an LQG classification.
Long-term care facility
S. NR 666.500(5), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "long-term care facility" as a licensed entity that aids with activities of daily living, including managing and administering pharmaceuticals to one or more individuals at the facility. This definition includes hospice facilities; nursing facilities; skilled nursing facilities; and the nursing and skilled nursing care portions of continuing care retirement communities. Not included within the scope of this definition are group homes; independent living communities; assisted living facilities; and the independent and assisted living portions of continuing care retirement communities.
Long report year
"Long report year" refers to odd-numbered report years (e.g. 2019, 2021, etc.) when all sites are required to provide the minimal site activity information collected on the reporting requirements screen, for both the report year and the current year. Large quantity generators (LQGs) and treatment, storage and disposal facilities (TSDs) also complete the identification (IC) form, the fee worksheet (FW) form and the waste generation and management (GM) form. In addition, facilities that received hazardous waste during the report year must complete the waste received from off-site (WR) form. Small quantity generators (SQGs) complete the IC form and the FW form in addition to the reporting requirements screen.
In any year, if a site generated hazardous waste amounts less than the small quantity generator level or did not generate any hazardous waste at all, the web reporting system will direct them to complete and submit the exemption form. The DNR regional staff will evaluate the request and remove them from future annual report mailings, if appropriate.
The U.S. Environmental Protection AGency's hazardous waste manifest system is designed to track hazardous waste from the time it leaves the generator facility where it was produced, until it reaches the off-site waste management facility that will store, treat or dispose of the hazardous waste.
In s. NR 660.10(76), Wis. Adm. Code, "manifest" also means the shipping document EPA Form 8700–22 and, if necessary, EPA Form 8700-22A, or the electronic manifest using the EPA’s e-Manifest system [exit DNR], originated and signed by the generator or offeror according to the instructions in the appendix to 40 CFR part 262 and the applicable requirements of chs. NR 662 to 665, Wis. Adm. Code.
Under s. NR 660.10(77m), Wis. Adm. Code, "mercury-containing equipment" means a device or part of a device (including thermostats, but excluding batteries and lamps) that contains elemental mercury integral to its function. Some commonly recognized mercury-containing devices include thermostats, thermometers, barometers, manometers, flow meters, mercury light switches and sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuffs).
North American Industry Classification System Code
North American Industry Classification System Code industries are identified by a 6-digit code, in contrast to the 4-digit source industrial classification code, or SIC code. The longer code accommodates the larger number of sectors and allows more flexibility in designating subsectors. It also provides for additional detail not necessarily appropriate for all three NAICS countries (United States, Canada and Mexico). The international NAICS agreement fixes only the first five digits of the code. The sixth digit, where used, identifies subdivisions of NAICS industries that accommodate user needs in individual countries. Thus, 6-digit U.S. codes may differ from counterparts in Canada or Mexico, but at the 5-digit level they are standardized.
For more information, visit NAICS [exit DNR].
Non-acute hazardous waste
S. NR 660.10(83t), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "non-acute hazardous waste" as all hazardous wastes that are not acute hazardous waste.
Non-credible hazardous waste pharmaceutical
S. NR 666.500(6), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "non-credible hazardous waste pharmaceutical" as a prescription hazardous waste pharmaceutical that does not have a reasonable expectation to be eligible for manufacturer credit; or a nonprescription hazardous waste pharmaceutical that does not have a reasonable expectation to be legitimately used, reused or reclaimed. This includes investigational drugs; free samples of pharmaceuticals received by healthcare facilities; residues of pharmaceuticals remaining in empty containers; contaminated personal protective equipment; floor sweepings; and clean-up material from the spills of pharmaceuticals.
Non-hazardous waste pharmaceutical
S. NR 666.500(7), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "non-hazardous waste pharmaceutical" as a pharmaceutical that is a solid waste, as defined in s. NR 661.0002, Wis. Adm. Code, and is not listed in subch. D of ch. NR 661, and does not exhibit a characteristic identified in subch. C of ch. NR 661.
NR 670 regulated units
"NR 670 regulated units" are units that treat, store or dispose of hazardous waste and are subject to regulation (i.e., required to have, or be covered by, a license). Excluded are containers and above ground tanks used exclusively for short-term accumulation exempted under ss. NR 662.192 and 662.034(1), Wis. Adm. Code.
NR 660-679, Wis. Adm. Code
Chs. NR 660-679, Wis. Adm. Code, are titled "Hazardous Waste Management" and regulate the generation, transportation, treatment, storage or disposal of hazardous waste. Ch. NR 600 is adopted pursuant to the "Hazardous Waste Management Act" in ss. 291.001 to 291.97, Wis. Stats.
NR 670 Hazardous Waste Facility License
"NR 670 Hazardous Waste Facility License" is a license issued under ch. NR 670, Wis. Adm. Code, that allows hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities to operate.
S. NR 660.10(85), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "on-site" as the same or geographically contiguous property which may be divided by public or private right-of-way, provided the entrance and exit between the properties is at a cross-roads intersection, and access is by crossing as opposed to going along, the right-of-way. Non-contiguous properties owned by the same person but connected by a right-of-way which the owner controls and to which the public does not have access, is also considered on-site property.
S. NR 600.10(87), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "operator" as the person responsible for the overall operation of the site.
S. NR 660.10(90), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "person" as an individual; trust; firm; joint stock company; limited liability company; federal agency; corporation, including a government corporation; partnership; association; state; municipality; commission; political subdivision of a state; or any interstate body.
S. NR 666.500(9), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "pharmaceutical" as any drug or dietary supplement for use by humans or other animals; any electronic nicotine delivery system; or any liquid nicotine, or e-liquid, packaged for retail sale for use in electronic nicotine delivery systems.
This definition includes:
- dietary supplements, as defined by the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act;
- prescription drugs, as defined by 21 CFR 203.3(y);
- over-the-counter drugs;
- homeopathic drugs;
- compounded drugs;
- investigational new drugs;
- pharmaceuticals remaining in non-empty containers;
- personal protective equipment contaminated with pharmaceuticals; and
- clean-up material from spills of pharmaceuticals.
This definition does not include dental amalgam or sharps.
Planned episodic event
S. NR 662.231(2), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "planned episodic events" as activities generators plan and prepare for, such as tank cleanouts; short-term construction projects; short-term site remediation; equipment maintenance during plant shutdowns; and removal of excess chemical inventories (e.g., lab cleanouts). It does not include long-term demolition, remediation projects or increased production of hazardous waste due to an increased rate of production.
Potentially creditable hazardous waste pharmaceutical
S. NR 666.500(10), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "potentially creditable hazardous waste pharmaceuticals" as prescription hazardous waste pharmaceuticals that meet all of the following criteria:
- Has a reasonable expectation to receive manufacturer credit.
- Is in original manufacturer packaging, except pharmaceuticals that were subject to a recall.
- Is undispensed.
- Is unexpired or less than one year past expiration date.
- The term does not include evaluated hazardous waste pharmaceuticals or nonprescription pharmaceuticals including over-the-counter drugs, homeopathic drugs, and dietary supplements.
Processed scrap metal
S. NR 661.0001(3)(j), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "processed scrap metal" as scrap metal that has been manually or physically altered to either separate it into distinct materials to enhance economic value or to improve the handling of materials. Processed scrap metal includes scrap metal that has been baled, shredded, sheared, chopped, crushed, flattened, cut, melted, or separated by metal type; and, fines, drosses and related materials that have been agglomerated.
Shredded circuit boards being sent for recycling are not considered processed scrap metal. They are covered under the exclusion from the definition of solid waste for shredded circuit boards being recycled under s. NR 661.0004(1)(n).
Prompt scrap metal
S. NR 661.0001(3)(L), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "prompt scrap metal" as scrap metal generated by the metal working and fabrication industries and includes such scrap metal as turnings, cuttings, punchings and borings. Prompt scrap is also known as industrial or new scrap metal.
Publicly owned treatment works
S. NR 660.10(96), Wis. Adm. Code defines "publicly owned treatment works (POTW)" as a municipal sewage or liquid industrial waste treatment device or system owned by the state or a municipality.
Under s. NR 661.0001(3)(d), Wis. Adm. Code, "reclaimed" means a material that has been processed to recover a usable product or that has been regenerated. Examples of reclaimed materials include recovery of lead values from spent batteries and regeneration of spent solvents.
Under s. NR 661.0001(3)(g), Wis. Adm. Code, "recycled" means a material that is used, reused or reclaimed.
"Recycling" is the beneficial use, reuse or legitimate recovery or reclamation of a hazardous waste. Recycling also includes the recovery of energy from hazardous waste. Recycling can be performed on-site or off-site, after the waste has been generated.
S. NR 660.10(97t), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "remanufacturing" as processing a higher-value hazardous secondary material in order to manufacture a product that serves a similar functional purpose as the original commercial-grade material. For the purpose of this definition, a hazardous secondary material is considered higher-value if it was generated from the use of a commercial-grade material in a manufacturing process and can be remanufactured into a similar commercial-grade material.
S. NR 660.10(101), Wis. Adm. Code, defines a "representative sample" as a subset of a universe or whole (e.g., waste pile, lagoon, ground water) which can be expected to exhibit the average properties of the universe or whole. In other words, every individual in the population has an equal chance of being sampled (i.e. sampling off the top of a drum or pile is not representative sampling as the population in the middle or bottom have no chance of being sampled). Incremental sampling method is used to meet this requirement. For more information on incremental sampling, go to Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council [exit DNR]
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act is the federal law that creates the framework for the proper management of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste. The term RCRA is often used interchangeably to refer to the law and regulations.
S. NR 666.500(11), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "reverse distributor" as any person that receives and accumulates prescription pharmaceuticals that are potentially creditable hazardous waste pharmaceuticals for the purpose of facilitating or verifying manufacturer credit. Any person, including forward distributors, third-party logistics providers, and pharmaceutical manufacturers, that processes prescription pharmaceuticals for the facilitation or verification of manufacturer credit is considered a reverse distributor.
A "sanitary sewer" is a channel or conduit that carries household, commercial and industrial wastewater from the source to a treatment plant.
S. NR 661.0001(3)(f), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "scrap metal" as bits and pieces of metal parts, such as bars; turnings; rods; sheets; wire; or metal pieces that may be combined together with bolts or soldering, such as radiators, scrap automobiles or railroad box cars, which when work or superfluous, can be recycled.
A "short-term generator" is an entity that is not normally a generator of hazardous waste, but has a one-time, non-recurring, temporary event that is not related to normal operational processes or activities. Short-term generators produce hazardous waste from a particular activity for a limited time and then cease conducting that activity. Examples of short-term generation include:
- one-time highway bridge waste generation;
- underground storage tank removals;
- generation of off-specification or expired chemicals at a site that normally doesn’t generate hazardous waste;
- remediation of spill clean-up at sites with no previous U.S.EPA identification number or at sites not owned by the business that cause the spill, such as a transportation-related spill; or
- site or production process decommissions by a new operator.
Short-term generators are not considered episodic generators because they do not generate hazardous waste as part of their regular facility operations.
Short report year
"Short report year" refers to even-numbered report years (e.g. 2020, 2022, etc.) when all sites are required to provide the minimal site activity information collected on the reporting requirements screen, for both the report year and the current year. Large quantity generators (LQGs); small quantity generators (SQGs); permanent collection facilities; and treatment, storage and disposal facilities (TSDs) also complete the identification (IC) form and the fee worksheet (FW) form. Publicly owned (wastewater) treatment works (POTWs) complete only the IC form in addition to the reporting requirements screen.
In any year, if a site generated hazardous waste amounts less than the small quantity generator level or did not generate any hazardous waste at all, the web reporting system will direct them to complete and submit the exemption form. The DNR regional staff will evaluate the request and remove them from future annual report mailings if appropriate.
"Site" refers to any holder of an EPA identification number. A site may be a generator; a facility or TSDR facility; or both; or a non-regulated facility that has conservatively requested and received an EPA ID number.
Sections NR 660.10(105) and NR 661.0001(3)(b), Wis. Adm. Code, define "sludge" as any solid, semisolid or liquid waste generated from a municipal, commercial or industrial wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant or air pollution control facility, exclusive of any of the treated effluent from a wastewater treatment plant.
Small quantity generator
Under s. NR 660.10(107), Wis. Adm. Code, a small quantity generator (SQG) generates, in one or more months during the calendar year, any of the following amounts:
- More than 220 pounds (100 kilograms) but less than 2,205 pounds (1,000 kilograms) of non-acute hazardous waste.
- 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) or less of acute hazardous waste.
- 220 pounds (100 kilograms) or less of acute hazardous waste spill cleanup material.
Additionally, the SQG can accumulate at any time during the calendar year, no more than:
- 13,230 pounds (6,000 kilograms) of non-acute hazardous waste.
- 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) or less of acute hazardous waste.
- 220 pounds (100 kilograms) or less of acute hazardous waste spill cleanup material.
To estimate the weight of hazardous waste generated, a general rule of thumb is half a 55-gallon drum of liquid waste weighs approximately 220 pounds. This means that accumulating more than five drums of liquid hazardous waste could exceed the monthly limit of 2,205 pounds.
S. NR 661.0002, Wis. Adm. Code, contains a specific definition of solid waste which can differ in application from the NR 500 series solid waste regulatory definition of solid waste. Solid waste means any discarded material that is not excluded under s. NR 661.0004(1) or that is not excluded by a variance granted under ss. NR 660.30 and 660.31 or that is not excluded by a non-waste determination under ss. NR 660.30 and 660.34.
A "solvent" is a substance (usually liquid) capable of dissolving or dispersing one or more other substances. Solvents include, but are not limited to, the spent materials listed in waste codes F001 through F005.
"Source code" refers to a code used during hazardous waste reporting that describes the type of process or activity (i.e. source) from which a hazardous waste was generated.
"Source reduction" is the reduction or elimination of waste at the source, usually within a process. Source reduction measures include process modification; feedstock substitutions; improvements in feedstock purity; housekeeping and management practices; increases in the efficiency of machinery; and recycling within a process.
S. NR 661.0001(3)(a), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "spent material" as any material that has been used and, as a result of contamination, can no longer serve the purpose for which it was produced without processing.
S. NR 660.10(112), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "storage" as temporary holding of waste pending treatment or disposal. Storage methods include containers, tanks, waste piles and surface impoundments.
Subchapter P SQG or Subchapter P VSQG
According to s. NR 662.013(3)(i), Wis. Adm. Code, a healthcare facility does not have to count its hazardous waste pharmaceuticals being managed in accordance with Subchapter P when determining its generator category. In some cases, facilities will drop to lesser generator categories, resulting in reduced regulation.
If a facility drops from a large quantity generator to a small quantity generator when they stop counting hazardous waste pharmaceuticals in their overall generation, they are referred to as a “Subchapter P SQG.” They must operate under all hazardous waste SQG requirements.
If a large quantity generator or small quantity generator drops to a very small quantity generator when they stop counting hazardous waste pharmaceuticals in their overall generation, they are referred to as a “Subchapter P VSQG.” These facilities must still notify the department and operate under Subchapter P requirements, even though they have dropped to VSQG status overall.
This label identifies that the healthcare facility has gained the lower generator category solely as a result of operating under the Subchapter P standards.
"System" can refer to one or more processes used together to treat, recycle or dispose of a hazardous waste.
S. NR 660.10(116), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "tank" as a stationary device, designed to contain an accumulation of hazardous waste which is constructed primarily of non-earthen materials (e.g, wood, concrete, steel, plastic).
TDR means treatment, disposal or recycling.
Totally enclosed treatment facility
Under s. NR 660.10(121), Wis. Adm. Code, "totally enclosed treatment facility" means a facility for the treatment of hazardous waste which is directly connected to an industrial production process and which is constructed and operated in a manner which prevents the release of any hazardous waste or any constituent thereof into the environment during treatment. An example is a pipe in which waste acid is neutralized.
S. NR 660.10(122), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "transfer facility" as any transportation-related facility, including loading docks, parking areas, storage areas and other similar areas where shipments of hazardous waste or hazardous secondary material are held during the normal course of transportation.
S. NR 660.10(125), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "transporter" as an owner or operator of a service engaged in the off-site transportation of hazardous waste by air, rail, road or water.
S. NR 660.10(127), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "treatment" as any method, technique or process, including neutralization, which follows generation and which is designed to change the physical, chemical or biological character or composition of any hazardous waste so as to neutralize the hazardous waste; or so as to recover energy or material resources from the waste; or so as to render the waste non-hazardous for transport amenable for recovery, amenable for storage or reduced in volume. Treatment includes incineration.
TRI stands for toxic chemical release inventory, a data collection system for toxic chemical releases under the federal Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, Title III, Section 313.
The DNR no longer has an active TRI program. TRI data is collected by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For more information, visit EPA TRI [exit DNR].
"TRI constituent" is the specific toxic chemical(s), identified by a CAS number, which was reported on the TRI report (Form R[s]).
TSDF means treatment, storage and disposal facility.
TSDR means treatment, storage and disposal or recycling.
Uniform hazardous waste manifest
The "uniform hazardous waste manifest" is a shipping document (EPA forms 8700-22 or 8700-22a) that pertains to hazardous waste and that originates with and is signed by the generator.
Under s. NR 660.10(133), Wis. Adm. Code, the following hazardous wastes that are managed under the universal waste requirements of ch. NR 673, Wis. Adm. Code can be classified as universal waste:
- Batteries, as described in s. NR 673.02.
- Pesticides, as described in s. NR 673.03.
- Thermostats and mercury−containing equipment, as described in s. NR 673.04.
- Lamps, as described in s. NR 673.05.
- Antifreeze, when recycled and managed as a universal waste.
Unplanned episodic event
S. NR 662.231(3), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "unplanned episodic event" as an episodic event that the generator did not plan or reasonably did not expect to occur, including production process upsets, product recalls, accidental spills, or acts of nature.
Used or reused material
In s. NR 661.0001(3)(e), Wis. Adm. Code, "used or reused material" is a material that is one of the following:
- Employed as an ingredient, including use as an intermediate, in an industrial process to make a product, such as distillation bottoms from one process used as feedstock in another process. However, a material will not satisfy this condition if distinct components of the material are recovered as separate end products, as when metals are recovered from metal-containing secondary material. or
- Employed in a particular function or application as an effective substitute for a commercial product, such as spent pickle liquor used as phosphorous precipitant and sludge conditioner in wastewater treatment.
S. NR 660.10(138), Wis. Adm. Code, defines "used oil" as oil that has been refined from crude oil, or any synthetic oil, that has been used and as a result of the use is contaminated by physical or chemical impurities.
User of the electronic manifest system
Under s. NR 660.10(138m), Wis. Adm. Code, "user of the electronic manifest system" can be a hazardous waste generator; a hazardous waste transporter; an owner or operator of a hazardous waste treatment, storage, recycling, or disposal facility; or any other person that does any of the following:
- Required to use a manifest to comply with one of the following:
- Any federal or state requirement to track the shipment, transportation, and receipt of hazardous waste or other waste material that is shipped from the site of generation to an off-site designated facility for treatment, storage, recycling, or disposal.
- Any federal or state requirement to track the shipment, transportation, and receipt of rejected wastes or regulated container residues that are shipped from a designated facility to an alternative facility or returned to the generator.
- Elects to use the system to obtain, complete and transmit an electronic manifest format supplied by the EPA electronic manifest system.
- Elects to use the paper manifest form and submits to the system for data processing purposes a paper copy of the manifest, or data from the paper copy, in accordance with ss. NR 664.0071(1)(b)5 or 665.0071(1)(b)5, Wis. Adm. Code. These paper copies are submitted for data exchange purposes only and are not the official copies of record for legal purposes.
Very small quantity generator
In s. NR 660.10(139), Wis. Adm. Code, a very small quantity generator (VSQG) generates in one or more months during the calendar year, any of the following:
- 220 pounds (100 kilograms) or less of non-hazardous waste.
- 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) or less of acute hazardous waste.
- 220 pounds (100 pounds) or less of acute hazardous waste spill cleanup material.
Additionally, VSQG can accumulate at any time during the calendar year, no more than:
- 2,205 pounds (1,000 kilograms) or less of non-acute hazardous waste.
- 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) or less of acute hazardous waste.
- 220 pounds (100 kilograms) or less of acute hazardous waste spill cleanup material.
To estimate the weight of hazardous waste generated, a general rule of thumb is half a 55-gallon drum of liquid waste weighs approximately 220 pounds. This means that accumulating more than 5 drums of liquid hazardous waste at one time, could exceed the less than 2,205 pounds limit.
Waste codes are identifiers, used during annual reporting, that consist of one letter (D, F, K, P, and U) and three numbers. Pull-down menus are available in the online report where waste codes are needed.
"Waste minimization" means the reduction, to the extent feasible, of hazardous waste that is generated and subsequently treated, stored or disposed of. It includes any source reduction or recycling activity undertaken by a generator that results in:
- The reduction of total volume or quantity of hazardous waste;
- The reduction of toxicity of hazardous waste; or
- Both, as long as the reduction is consistent with the goal of minimizing present and future threats to human health and the environment.
Wastewater treatment unit
Under s. NR 660.10(141), Wis. Adm. Code, a wastewater treatment unit means a device which is all of the following:
- Part of a wastewater treatment facility with a discharge that is subject to state pretreatment requirements or WPDES permitting;
- Receives and treats or stores an influent wastewater that is a hazardous waste, generates and accumulates a wastewater treatment sludge that is a hazardous waste, or treats or stores a wastewater treatment sludge that is a hazardous waste;
- Is stationary, designed to contain an accumulation of hazardous waste, and is constructed primarily of nonearthen materials that provide structural support.
"WDNR" refers to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) is a provision of ch. 283, Wis. Stats. [PDF exit DNR] which prohibits discharge of pollutants into waters of the state unless a special permit is issued by the DNR or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.