Hazardous Waste FAQs and Resources for the Concerned Citizen

Hazardous Waste FAQs and Resources for the Concerned Citizen

hazardous waste landfill questions and answersEPA's Office of Solid Waste provides information on solid and hazardous waste issues. If you have specific questions about solid waste management in your community, contact the RCRA Hotline (1-800-424-9346), your EPA regional office, or your state agency.

Basic Facts about Waste Educate yourself about waste from households, businesses, and industrial and manufacturing processes. Learn how these wastes are managed to protect human health and the environment.

Around Your Home Learn how you can reduce, reuse, and recycle materials and consequently decrease the amount and toxicity of the waste produced in and around your home.

Around Your Community Learn about waste management programs and opportunities to help you get involved and make a difference in your community.

Hazardous was FAQs - frequently asked questions about Hazardous Waste and Nonhazardous Waste (a.k.a. "Solid" Waste)

Around Your Home

  • Collecting Used Oil for Recycling/Reuse: Tips for Consumers Who Change Their Own Motor Oil and Oil Filters
    Adobe Acrobat PDF File || en Español || About...
    Provides step-by-step instructions for changing motor oil, recycling used oil, and changing and recycling used oil filters. Lists uses for recycled oil.
  • (The) Consumer's Handbook for Reducing Solid Waste
    Describes how consumers can reduce their garbage by making environmentally aware decisions about the products and packaging they purchase, use, and ultimately dispose of. Suggestions follow four basic principles: reduce, reuse, recycle, and respond.

  • Disposal Tips for Home Health Care (Patient Flyer)
    Adobe Acrobat PDF File || About...
    Provides tips for preventing injury, illness, and pollution when disposing of sharp objects and contaminated materials used in administering home health care. Describes simple steps to safely dispose of needles, syringes, lancets, and other sharp objects.

  • Environmental Fact Sheet: Yard Waste Composting
    Adobe Acrobat PDF File || ASCII Text File || About...
    Explains how composting is sensible from an environmental perspective and effectively converts yard wastes into a useful soil additive or mulch.
  • Handle with Care: How To Throw Out Used Insulin Syringes and Lancets at Home: A Booklet for Young People with Diabetes and Their Families
    Adobe Acrobat PDF File || ASCII Text File
    Offers easy directions and illustrations on how to protect family members and waste handlers from injury, while keeping the environment clean and safe.
  • Recycle: You Can Make a Ton of Difference - April 1992
    Adobe Acrobat PDF File || About...
    Introduces the national recycling campaign by providing an overview of solid waste problems and recycling solutions.
  • Recycling Grass Clippings - July 1992
    Adobe Acrobat PDF File || About...
    Recommends leaving grass clippings on lawns. Explains that this practice is environmentally desirable and good for lawns.

  • Recycling Used Oil: What Can You Do?

    Briefly describes the process for setting up a used oil recycling program. Contains an order form for EPA/530-SW-89-039A, How to Setup a Local Program to Recycle Used Oil.

    The electronic version of these documents is not yet available. Order paper copies directly from the OSW Catalog. The document number is EPA/530-SW-89-039B and it can be ordered using the OSW Order Form [Adobe Acrobat PDF file].

Around Your Community

This CD-ROM contains scores of publications developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Office of Solid Waste (OSW). OSW is committed to providing you with many options for accessing the information you need.

Addresses the donation of surplus food as part of a waste reduction program. Discusses traditional food banks; prepared and perishable food programs; food program services; donor responsibilities; and common concerns.

This environmental fact sheet responds to concerns raised in the American Pacific Northwest regarding waste-derived fertilizers. It reviews current uses of hazardous waste in fertilizers; summarizes current federal and state regulations on hazardous waste used in fertilizers; and discusses current actions being taken by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Helps consumers decide about the environmental claims of products. Cautions against vague claims, claims of biodegradability, and claims that products are ozone-friendly.

(The) Hazardous Waste Facility Permitting Process
en Español
A Citizens Guide to Facility Permitting - June 1996

Briefly defines hazardous wastes and hazardous waste management facilities in nontechnical terms. Lists laws and regulations governing treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs). Describes permitting requirements, steps in the permitting process, and public participation.

Helps communities plan for one-day, drop-off HHW collection programs. Provides community leaders with guidance on all aspects of planning, organizing, and publicizing a HHW collection program.

  • How To Set Up a Local Program to Recycle Used Oil

Explains the organization, design, implementation, and promotion of a used oil program, as well as administrative issues. Appendices include sample brochures and letters.

The electronic version of this document is not yet available. The document number is EPA/530-SW-89-039A and it can be ordered using the OSW Order Form (Adobe Acrobat PDF file).

Provides basic information on establishing recycling collection programs in any setting but focuses on collection in offices. Discusses what materials are recyclable, starting a collection program, finding a market, information needed to sell collected materials, collecting and storing recyclables, educating and motivating employees, and monitoring and evaluating the collection program.

Provides an outline to assist professionals in planning environmentally aware events. Includes profiles of successful events that have been held, and step by step procedures for coordinating events using a planning checklist.

Presents an introduction to regionalization, the process whereby neighboring cities, towns, and counties pool resources to address local municipal solid waste (MSW) challenges.

Summarizes EPA's used oil management standards for businesses such as service stations, fleet maintenance facilities, and "quick lube" shops that generate and handle used oil. oil. Explains standards businesses should observe when handling used oil and oil filters. Recommends cleanup practices.

Comprehensive electronic reference manual presenting key data related to municipal solid waste (MSW) and its management. Contains national and international data on waste prevention, recycling, waste-to-energy combustion, and land disposal, as well as extensive data on state solid waste management programs.

Defines pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) programs (charging households for waste collection based on the amount of trash they throw away). Discusses the benefits of and potential barriers to PAYT programs.

Describes steps a community can take to prepare for managing the waste created by natural disasters and to speed recovery after such disasters. Discusses ways communities can reduce the burden on their municipal solid waste management systems in the event of a natural disaster. Presents federal, state, and local resources available to help.

  • Puzzled About Recycling's Value?
    Look Beyond the Bin - January 1998

ASCII Text File [24K] || Adobe Acrobat PDF File [800K] || About...

This 12-page booklet educates municipal solid waste managers, state solid waste officials, elected officials, and the waste management industry about the benefits of recycling.

Describes EPA's expanded public participation rule to empower communities to become more actively involved in local hazardous waste management by involving the public earlier in the permitting process, providing more opportunities for public participation, expanding public access to information, and offering guidance on how facilities can improve public participation.

  • RCRA in Focus: Photo Processing - March, 1999
Adobe Acrobat PDF File (697K) || About...(3K)

This booklet provides an overview of the federal regulations members of the photo processing industry are required to follow and lists the photo processing industry wastes that are likely to be hazardous.

Provides a brief overview of the national RCRA program and the role of the states. Defines RCRA hazardous waste and how the RCRA regulations apply to generators, transporters, and TSDFs. Describes the waste minimization program. Addresses municipal and industrial solid waste. Contains a section on other environmental laws related to hazardous substances. Includes a glossary and guide to the RCRA section of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Describes several ways to participate in each facet of recycling: collection, manufacture, and purchase. Addresses setting up a recycling program, creating recycling jobs, and establishing a buy-recycled program.

Discusses barriers that must be addressed in shifting to an environmentally responsible manufacturing economy that conserves natural resources, energy, and disposal capacity.

  • Recycling Works! State and Local Solutions to Solid Waste Management Problems

Examines the economic and environmental necessity for recovering, reusing, and recycling materials from MSW. Examples of state and municipal recycling programs are described.

The electronic version of this document is not yet available. Order paper copies directly from the OSW Catalog. The document number is EPA/530-89-014 and it can be ordered using the OSW Order Form (Adobe Acrobat PDF file).

Presents background information to assist print and broadcast media in understanding municipal solid waste (MSW) issues. Examines the role of federal, state, and local governments in MSW management; options for solid waste management (source reduction, recycling, incineration, and landfilling); and regulations for solid waste landfills.

  • Resources on Waste for your Home and Community

Adobe Acrobat PDF File [710 K] || ASCII Text File [46 K] || About . . .

Describes OSW publications for consumers, neighborhood and community groups, parents and teachers, community leaders, and others on topics such as recycling, composting, and environmental education, as well as non-technical information on regulatory requirements. Titles are listed alphabetically by subject area. Information about how to order or view the documents via mail, Internet, phone, and e-mail is provided. Includes an order form.

Newsletter describing EPA's and others' efforts to safely and effectively manage garbage - reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Safer Disposal for Solid Waste: The Federal Regulations for Landfills Summarizes the federal regulations covering landfill location, operation, design, groundwater monitoring and corrective action, closure and post-closure care, and financial assurance.

  • Sensitive Environments and the Siting of Hazardous Waste
Adobe Acrobat PDF File || en Español || About.. .

Discusses sensitive types of environments that pose special challenges to the siting, expansion, and operation of RCRA hazardous waste management facilities. Defines floodplains, wetlands, ground water, earthquake zones, karst soils, unstable terrain, unfavorable weather locations, and incompatible land use.

This booklet describes how students across the country are gaining hands-on awareness of waste reduction, recycling, and composting, through solid waste service-learning projects. Service-learning, an educational experience that combines knowledge with service and personal reflection, is teaching kindergarten through 12th-grade students various aspects of safe solid waste management, such as reducing household hazardous waste and buying recycled-content products. This booklet contains 19 profiles of school-based and community projects organized by grade level. Contacts and additional resources are also included to provide information on how to start a solid waste service-learning program.

  • Sites for Our Solid Waste: A Guidebook for Effective Public Involvement

Adobe Acrobat PDF File || About...

Provides information for public officials, citizens, and industry professionals to help them find waste sites that are both technically sound and socially acceptable. Encourages public involvement.