Hazardous Waste Storage & Labeling

haz waste drums

The actions described below are designed to minimize the seriousness of a hazardous materials incident, should one occur on your premises. These requirements apply to all generators of hazardous waste with some exceptions. Small Quantity Generators of less than 1000 kg of hazardous waste per month may, in some cases, store their hazardous waste longer than 90 days.

 Storage Requirements

 At a minimum, you will need to ensure that hazardous wastes are:

  • Stored in structurally sound tanks or containers in good condition with tight-fitting lids.
  • Are kept closed when wastes are not being added or removed.
  • Accurately labeled with water-proof stickers. Labels must specify the words "Hazardous Waste"; the composition and physical state of the waste; the hazardous properties of the waste (e.g., flammable, reactive, etc.); and the name and address of the generator.
  • Labeled with the date that the waste accumulation began on each tank or container. This date is the date waste is first placed into the container or tank.
  • Handled in tanks or containers in good repair. These tanks and containers must be regularly inspected for deterioration, damage or leaks.
  • Managed in a way that minimizes the possibility of spills and escape of waste into the environment.
  • Incompatible waste: not stored in a common storage area without proper separation. Used oil may not be mixed with any other hazardous waste (e.g., solvents).
  • Ignitable or reactive waste: Stored at least 15 meters (50 ft.) from property lines (this only applies to large quantity generators of hazardous waste). Ignitable waste must be grounded when material is being added or removed. Contact the fire department in your jurisdiction to learn about their local requirements regarding handling of flammable wastes.
  • Stored onsite according to storage time limits prescribed in the regulations. Storage times vary depending on the monthly generation rate of hazardous waste throughout the entire facility. Generators may store hazardous wastes onsite for 90 or 180 days depending on the volume of waste produced. In some cases the wastes may be stored for up to 270 days if the offsite treatment, disposal, or storage facility is more than 200 miles away.
  • Contact the HMD for additional guidance on hazardous waste storage times.
  • Generators of hazardous waste who will exceed the storage maximum must apply for permit from the State Department of Toxic Substances Control (714) 484-5300. Additional conditions and requirements apply to those storage facilities.
  • Generators, which generate no more than 100 kg exclusively of silver-only hazardous waste shall comply with the federal Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) requirements.
 Hazardous Waste Labeling

Generators that accumulate and store hazardous waste on-site must comply with the following labeling requirements. The containers, including portable tanks, must be properly labeled with the information listed below:

  • The words: "HAZARDOUS WASTE"
  • Name and address of the facility generating the waste
  • Waste accumulation start date (when the waste started to collect in the container?)
  • Physical state (solid or liquid?)
  • Composition (what is it?)
  • Hazard Classification (e.g. flammable, toxic, corrosive, reactive, etc)


 Sample Labels