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March 3, 2020

Whether for delivery or disposal, there are strict labeling and storage requirements for the transportation of hazardous materials by plane, truck, train, or boat. Among them is classification.

Classification is important because it informs transporters about what procedures to follow and precautions to take for a particular kind of hazmat in transit.

And in case of an accident, clear classification and labeling ensure that emergency personnel know what they’re dealing with.

There are nine categories of hazmat classification. The first eight are:

  1. Explosives
  2. Gases
  3. Flammable liquids
  4. Flammable solids
  5. Oxidizing substances, organic peroxides
  6. Toxic or infectious substances
  7. Radioactive material
  8. Corrosives

And so one might reasonably wonder, what’s the ninth? Well, since you’ve asked…

You could say that Class 9 Miscellaneous Hazardous Waste is the government’s metaphorical junk drawer.

In this case, the “government” is the U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT), which under 49 CFR requires you to sort anything that might be a hazardous waste into one of the eight aforementioned categories.

(You might also be interested in knowing that “49 CFR” refers to one of the 50 “titles” that comprise the U. S. Code of Federal Regulations. The penultimate 49th has to do with transportation, which informs the conversation here.)

What exactly goes into Class 9?

Whatever doesn’t fit into one of Classes 1 thru 8 lands into Class 9. What could be simpler? Well, not so fast…


E-cigarettes have three main components: a cartridge that holds the nicotine-flavored solution, a heating element, and a lithium ion battery, each of which, in quantity, requires hazardous waste management.

On the consumer level, many e-cigarette manufacturers and vendors offer recycling programs, with the incentive of discounted or free products.

On the commercial side, various jurisdictions stipulate that waste containing any amount of nicotine requires hazardous waste management. This can include:

  • Vaping liquid itself
  • Shipping or storage containers for e-cigarette cartridges
  • Used e-cigarette cartridges that have not been triple-rinsed
  • Wastewater from triple-rinsing e-cigarette cartridges
  • E-cigarettes themselves

As to lithium ion batteries

For retail consumers, the EPA doesn’t regulate the disposal of batteries in small quantities, although local jurisdictions might have specific rules.

For commercial users, recycling large quantities of batteries is regulated under the Universal Rules of Hazardous Waste, which are imprecise enough to require careful interpretation and expert advice.

Hazardous Waste Experts provides e-cigarette recycling and waste disposal services. Call (888) 681-8923.

While Classes 1-thru-8 have specific definitions vis-à-vis the hazards they present (for example: flash points, rates of corrosion, lethal dosages, etc.), Class 9 parameters are purposefully nebulous—and thereby potentially applicable to many materials that might not normally be subject to the embarrassing wealth of hazmat regulations we otherwise enjoy.

We should also mention here that there’s no such thing as a hazardous waste that can be properly categorized as Class 9 and at the same time be at home in any one of Classes 1-thru-8. Interesting paradox?

Do you have a Class 9 hazardous waste onsite?

The usual suspects are materials that have anesthetic, noxious, or a “similar” quality that could cause “extreme annoyance or discomfort” to nearby persons—especially the airplane pilots, truckdrivers, trainmen, or sailors transporting the stuff.

Included are hazardous substances and wastes; marine pollutants; and “elevated-temperature materials,” the last of which are things that have to be transported at a high temperature (think: asphalt, roofing tar, your world-famous BBQ sauce, etc.).

Typical examples of Class 9 Miscellaneous Hazard Wastes include but are not limited to:

  • Acetaldehyde ammonia
  • Ammonium nitrate fertilizers
  • Asbestos
  • Aviation regulated liquid
  • Automobile airbags
  • Battery-powered equipment
  • Battery-powered vehicle
  • Benzaldehyde
  • Chemical kits
  • First aid kits
  • Lithium batteries
  • Magnetized materials
  • Plastic molding compound
  • Self-inflating life vests
  • Sulfur

Disposal of Class 9 materials

To ensure that a hazardous material is properly managed and/or disposed of, it’s essential that it’s classified properly. Of course, this gets thorny in the case of Class 9 hazardous materials, in that their main delimiting feature is a robust defiance to categorization.

Thereby, the experience, knowledge, and technical resources of a reputable hazardous waste management company are essential to keeping you safe and legal; which brings us to the place where we always advise our readers to get expert advice before proceeding.

Remember, you are responsible for a hazardous waste “from cradle to grave” in EPA parlance, which means that selecting a transportation and/or treatment company that meets EPA muster is your responsibility.

Hire the wrong company, and you can be on the hook—big time.

For affordable nationwide hazardous waste disposal services call Hazardous Waste Experts at (888) 681-8923 or click here to get a quote by email.

The featured image used in this blog post is courtesy of Airman st Class Ryan CallaghanReleased VIRIN: 141028-F-NI493-015.JPG

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