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Air Indoor Resources - Hazardous Waste Management

Proper Storage and Accumulation of Hazardous Waste

Containers holding hazardous waste must remain closed while in storage, except to add and remove waste. Containers holding free liquid must be placed on a surface that is impermeable to the waste stored. Storage areas should be regularly checked for leaking containers and proper labeling. Small Quantity Generators are required to document weekly inspections of hazardous waste storage areas. Store all used sorbents and shop towels in a closed fireproof container for proper disposal.

Mixing incompatible wastes may result in fire, heat generation, toxic gases, and/or explosions. For more chemical compatibility information Harvard University has an excellent web site with a number of resources.

Identify all chemical reaction hazards; understand protocol to reduce the severity of potential chemical reactions; and eliminate circumstances that may cause dangerous incidents through process changes, safe storage practices, and proper handing.

Typically, secondary containment should hold 110% of the volume of the largest container in the storage area. Ignitable or reactive wastes must be stored 50 feet away from the property line. Aisle space in the storage area must be maintained to ensure the unobstructed movement of personnel and equipment in the event of an emergency. A weekly inspection of the hazardous waste storage area(s) to detect leaks is required.

Wastes may only be stored on-site in limited quantities for a limited period of time depending on generator size. Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQGs) that generate less than 220 pounds of waste per month can store on-site indefinitely for quantities of waste under 2,200 pounds or 1,000 kilograms at any one time.

Because SQGs have 180 days’ storage time limit, it is wise to prepare in advance the pickup time for the waste so you do not exceed the 180-day time limit. Although the EPA rules allow 270 days if waste is to be transported over 200 miles from its ultimate disposal site, the State of Florida DEP hazardous waste rules mandate only 180-day storage for SQGs. SQGs must not accumulate more than 13,228 pounds or 6,000 kg of hazardous waste on-site at any one time.

Outdoor storage areas must be protected from unauthorized access and inadvertent damage from vehicles and equipment. Containers in outdoor storage areas holding used oil must be placed in a curbed and impermeable surface compatible with the waste. Waste stored in an outdoor area should not be in direct sunlight or exposed to moisture, and therefore must be stored with overhead roofing, typically a three-sided structure that does not obstruct the visibility of the labels, with a structure label displaying the words “Hazardous Waste Storage Area.”

“Satellite Accumulation” is one or more waste streams that accumulate so slowly that you cannot comply with the time limit restrictions for storage. In these cases, there are provisions to allow the generator of the waste to completely fill the container at or near the generation site before the storage time-limit clock begins. This means the SQGs have 180 days from the date the container became full to ship the waste off-site. However, once the drum is full it is required to be moved to a permanent hazardous waste storage area within three days after the accumulation started date is filled in.

The 2007 State Requirement for Educational Facilities (SREF), Chapter 5, has the following storage requirements:

  • Storage
    1. General Storage.  General storage areas are kept separated from mechanical spaces and are equipped with shelving, racks, bins, or other devices necessary to protect the stored materials, supplies, equipment, and books.
    2. Rooms and cabinets used for the storage, handling, and disposal of chemicals and hazardous materials shall be:
      1. Lockable.
      2. Vented to the exterior.
      3. Kept at the manufacturer’s recommended temperatures for the materials stored therein.
      4. Well illuminated.
    3. Buildings and rooms used for the storage, handling, and disposal of poisonous or hazardous materials or liquids, and equipment powered by internal combustion engines and their fuels, shall be kept in a safe, secure, and orderly condition at all times.
    4. A separate storage space shall be provided for all material that is poisonous or hazardous, and all equipment powered by internal combustion engines and fuels. These separate storage spaces shall be enclosed and shall open only to the exterior.
    5. Custodial Storage and Work Areas. Custodial storage and work areas for custodial supplies, cleaning, and sanitation materials include appropriate shelving for storage of materials and are kept in a safe, secure, and orderly condition at all times.
    6. Custodial Closets and Storage. Custodial closets are kept in a safe, secure, and orderly condition at all times.
    7. Lockers and Personal Storage. Corridors and lobbies are free of any storage of clothing or personal effects, except where provided for in metal lockers.
    8. Storage Shelving. Shelving is free of any sharp corners, splinters, or any construction feature that would be hazardous to the occupants, and is constructed to carry the loads imposed.
      1. Shelving in science rooms, laboratories, shop storage rooms, and other places that contain hazardous materials has a one-half (½) inch lip on the front edge of each shelf and is constructed of non-corrosive material.
      2. Custodial, maintenance, and paint storage areas have shelves constructed of non-corrosive and non-combustible materials.

Buildings and rooms used for chemical storage are required to follow NFPA Standards.

Contact Information

Wendy Murphy
325 West Gaines Street
Suite, 1054
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Phone: (850) 245-9295