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Northeast District - Waste Management Programs


What is a solid waste? Put simply, a solid waste is any solid, semisolid, liquid, or contained gaseous material that is discarded (i.e. not immediately recaptured for reuse onsite). Obviously something that is thrown into a dumpster is a solid waste. However, material that is dumped onto the ground, abandoned, stored, accumulated, or treated in lieu of being disposed of is also a solid waste.


Once a waste has been determined to be a solid waste, it must then be checked to see if it is a hazardous waste. Tools that can be used include product labels, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) and lab test results.

Even if the waste is not on one of the EPA lists (a listed waste - see Step 1 below), that waste must still be checked to see if it exhibits one of the four characteristics of hazardous wastes (a characteristic waste - see Step 2 below).


A solid waste is a hazardous waste if it is listed as such on any of the three EPA hazardous waste lists located in 40 CRF 261 Subpart D (F, K, P, & U listed wastes)

  1. Specific Sources K001 to K148: These are hazardous wastes produced by a particular industrial activity.  
    Examples: K016 distillation residue from carbon tetrachloride production, K061 emission control dust.
  2. Nonspecific Sources F001 to F039 These are generic hazardous wastes produced by general industry, manufacturing, & maintenance operations.
  • F001: Spent halogenated solvents used in degreasing -  > 10% concentrations of any of the following (before use): Tetrachloroethylene; trichloroethylene; methylene chloride; 1,1,1-trichlorethane; carbon tetrachloride; chlorinated fluorocarbons.   
    Examples: solvent degreasers, vapor degreasers.
  • F002: Spent halogenated solvents - >10% concentration of any of the following (before use): tetrachloroethylene; trichloroethylene; methylene chloride; 1,1,1-trichloroethane; 1,1,2-trichloro-1; chlorobenzene;  1,2,2-trifluoroethane; ortho-dichlorobenzene; trichlorofluoromethane; 1,1,2-trichloroethane.  
    Examples: dry cleaning solvents (perc) , brake cleaners (perc, trichloroehylene)
  • F003: Spent Non-halogenated solvents - xylene; acetone; ethyl acetate; ethyl benzene; ethyl ether; methyl isobutyl ketone; n-butyl alcohol; cyclohexane; methanol.  
    Examples: acetone, paint thinners, xylene.
  • F004: Spent Non-halogenated solvents: >10% concentration of any of the following (before use): cresols; cresylic acid; nitrobenzene.
    Examples: Carburetor dip cleaner (cresylic acid).
  • F005: Spent Non-halogenated solvents: >10% concentration of any of the following (before use): toluene; methyl ethyl ketone; carbon disulfide; isobutanol; pyridine; benzene; 2-ethoxyethanol; 2-nitropropane.
    Examples: Lacquer thinners, (toluene, methyl ethyl ketone).
  • F006 to F039: Other wastes.
    Examples: F006 electroplating sludge, F035 preservativedrainage from wood preserving.
  1. Commercial Chemical Products that have not been used but have become wastes.
  • U001 to U249 toxic material -  Examples: U002 acetone, U165 naphthalene, U220 toluene, U239 xylene.
  • P023 to P122 wastes are very toxic and small amounts (1 Kg or less per month) make a facility qualify for Large Quantity Generator status. 
    Examples: P042 epinephrine, P075 nicotine, P089 parathion, P108 strychnine, some pharmaceutical wastes, some chemotherapy wastes.

Note: A non-listed waste or a non-hazardous waste that comes into contact with a listed waste becomes a listed waste.  
Examples: solvent contaminated cleaning rags, still bottoms, kitty litter used to clean up a spill, contaminated soil or debris.  


Even if the waste is not on one of the EPA lists  (a listed waste), that waste must still be checked to see if it exhibits one of the four characteristics of hazardous wastes (a characteristic waste):

  1. Ignitable D001 - A liquid with a flash point less than 140F. 
    Examples: liquids that contain >24% alcohol, oil based paints, mineral spirits, fuels.
  2. Corrosivity D002 - A liquid that has a pH of less than or equal to 2; or greater than or equal to12.5. 
    Examples: muriatic acid, sulfuric acid, solutions of sodium hydroxide.
  3. Reactivity D003 - A waste is very unstable and readily undergoes violent change without detonating, reacts violently, forms a potentially explosive mixture, or generates a toxic gas when mixed with water. 
    Examples: fireworks, gunpowder.

  4. Toxicity D004 to D043 - The extracts from a representative sample are tested and are found to contain certain contaminates in greater concentrations than permissible as listed in Table 1 of 40 CFR 261. 
    Examples: paints containing heavy metals, sand blast grit, thermometers.

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Last updated: March 06, 2009
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