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Hazardous Waste Labeling and Marking 101

September 9, 2014

If you are a small quantity generator (SQG) or large quantity generator (LQG) of hazardous waste, you will need to comply with container requirements—and an integral step in that process is ensuring that you properly mark and label all containers.

There is no standardized hazardous waste marking format, but the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provide specific regulatory guidelines on this issue.

Hazardous waste labeling and marking isn’t as complex as it sounds. According to regulations, generators must simply place and – keep in good condition – the following information on each container from the moment waste is introduced:

Hazardous Waste Labeling

Labels are the diamond-shaped warning placards meant to convey the associated hazard of the contained waste by the DOT. Examples include “flammable liquid”, “poison”, and “corrosive”.

(Learn more about Hazmat Placards)

Each label needs to be:

  • at least 4” x 4”,
  • the appropriate print style, color, and border, and
  • entirely visible (never partially hidden by another object or sign, or placed on parts of a container not easily seen).

If more than one label is necessary, the labels should be placed next to each other (with six inches of space in between), and the label describing the primary hazard should be placed above and to the left of the labels describing subsidiary hazards.

hazardous waste labeling example

Hazardous Waste Marking

Each container needs to be labeled with the words “HAZARDOUS WASTE”, as well as the Accumulation Date (the date the waste was generated). Because this date allows regulatory agencies to verify you aren’t storing waste longer than you’re allowed, not including it leaves you subject to violations. Include Generator’s Name and Address information, and Manifest Document Number when the waste is intended for off-site shipment.

example of hazardous waste marking

It’s a good idea to inspect containers periodically. Use these inspections to verify that labels are:

  • legible,
  • in good shape,
  • inclusive of all necessary information,
  • displayed in obvious locations for workers and inspectors alike, and that
  • old labels have been removed or painted over if you are reusing containers.

If you would like assistance with the labeling and marking of your hazardous waste, or need more information on container requirements, call Hazardous Waste Experts today at 800-936-2311 or click here to email us.

Disposal of hazardous waste doesn’t have to be painful.