Are All Pesticides Universal Waste Under RCRA?
The RCRA hazardous waste regulations define pesticide as follows:
“Any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest, or intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant…”Note: There are explicit exceptions to this definition of pesticides—mainly for animal drugs.
[See 40 CFR 273.9]
How Do Pesticides Become Wastes?Only unwanted, unused pesticides are disposed of or recycled. Once a pesticide is used, we don’t collect the substance back to dispose of it—it’s gone for good, from a waste management standpoint.
A pesticide becomes a waste when:
- A facility participates in a recall of the pesticide; or
- a facility decides to discard it.
Are All Pesticides Hazardous Waste?No. A pesticide is a hazardous waste only when:
- Its sole active ingredient is found on the P or U list (40 CFR 261.33); or
- it exhibits a hazardous waste characteristic (i.e., ignitable, corrosive, reactive, or toxic).
Are All Hazardous Waste Pesticides Universal Waste?No. Review the scope of the universal waste standards in 40 CFR 273.1 and you will find that only very specific types of pesticides are considered universal waste. Listed with certain batteries, lamps, aerosol cans, and mercury-containing equipment, we find that “pesticides as described at 273.3” may be managed as universal waste.fun
40 CFR 273.3 describes two types of pesticides:
1. Recalled pesticides. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) authorizes EPA to recall pesticides for a variety of reasons. Recalls are one of the major ways pesticides become a waste. This includes stocks of suspended or canceled pesticides that are part of voluntary or mandatory recall initiated under FIFRA Section 19(b), including:
- Pesticides owned by the registrant responsible for conducting the recall,
- Stocks of a superseded or canceled pesticides, and
- Noncompliant pesticides subject to voluntary recall.
2. Stocks of other unused pesticide products collected as part of a waste pesticide collection program. Many states oversee pesticide disposal programs for farmers and commercial users, often called “Clean Sweep” programs.
Hazardous waste pesticides that do not meet the criteria as universal waste must be managed according to the RCRA standards applicable to the facility’s generator status or category.
Facilities that generate hazardous waste must comply with stringent management standards such as obtaining an EPA ID number, contingency planning, regular inspections, reporting and recordkeeping, personnel training, and more.
About 1 in 10 RCRA hazardous waste violations involves universal waste.
Check out the 4 Common Universal Waste Mistakes report to identify and avoid the most common errors and ensure compliance with the universal waste standards for covered aerosol cans, batteries, lamps, mercury-containing equipment, and pesticides.
RCRA Hazardous Waste Training
US EPA requires annual RCRA training for hazardous waste personnel at large quantity generator facilities. Lion makes it easy to meet your RCRA training mandate in a variety of formats—nationwide public workshops, convenient online courses, live webinars, and on-site training.
Browse RCRA training options and find the course that fits your needs, your schedule, and your learning style.
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The instructor made the class very enjoyable and catered to the needs of our group.
Lion is easily and consistently the best option for compliance training. I've learned new information from every instructor I've had.
Very witty instructor, made the long times sitting bearable. One of the few training courses I can say I actually enjoyed.
Senior EHS Engineer
The instructor was probably the best I ever had! He made the class enjoyable, was humorous at times, and very knowledgeable.
Mary Sue Michon
Attending Lion Technology classes should be mandatory for every facility that ships or stores hazmat.
Well designed and thorough program. Excellent summary of requirements with references. Inclusion of regulations in hard copy form, as well as full electronic with state pertinent regulations included is a great bonus!
This was the 1st instructor that has made the topic actually enjoyable and easy to follow and understand. Far better than the "other" training providers our company has attended!
Process & Resource Administrator
The price was reasonable, the time to complete the course was manageable, and the flexibility the online training allowed made it easy to complete.
Hazmat Shipping Professional
Having the tutorial buttons for additional information was extremely beneficial.
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