Managing Hazardous Waste
A waste is a hazardous waste if it is a listed waste, characteristic waste, used oil and mixed wastes. Specific procedures determine how waste is identified, classified, listed, and delisted. For more information, download our Defining Hazardous Waste web page.
Learn about permits, generators, and transport, storage, and disposal facilities; our emergency response, enforcement, and investigation work; and hazardous waste in the home, office, and marketplace. Get help from DTSC’s Regulatory Assistance Office.
CUPA is a consolidation of six environmental programs at the local level. DTSC’s Enforcement & Emergency Response Unit administers the technical implementation of the program and conduct reviews.
Computers, TVs, phones, electronic toys and similar items often contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. These products must be disposed of properly when they reach the end of their useful life.
DTSC’s Emergency Response Unit responds anywhere in the state to actual and potential releases of hazardous substances that pose an acute threat to public health and/or the environment.
A generator is any person who produces a hazardous waste, or whose act first causes a hazardous waste to become subject to regulation. Generators must properly characterize (or identify) all their hazardous wastes.
A hazardous waste manifest must accompany most hazardous waste that is shipped off site. The manifest is the shipping document that travels with hazardous waste from the point of generation to the final steps.
The Community Protection and Haz-Waste Reduction Initiative is to select up to three pilot scale projects which have the potential to identify and reduce hazardous wastes in California.
The Hazardous Waste Tracking System (HWTS) is the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s data repository for hazardous waste Identification (ID) numbers and manifest information.
Hazardous waste laws and regulations that generally apply to facilities engaged in scrap metal recycling are provided. Scrap metal recycling facilities include feeder yards, dismantlers, and facilities with a metal crusher, baler, or shredder.
The Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) is staffed with sworn peace officers with the powers of arrest, search and seizure. In addition, OCI has Hazardous Substances Scientists that work together hand-in-hand with the investigators.
DTSC’s Permitting Unit protects Californians and the environment from toxic harm by making timely, enforceable, and protective permit decisions for the operation of hazardous waste facilities in accordance with all applicable laws and sound science.
DTSC’s Regulatory Assistance Program provides regulatory compliance assistance, information, and research services to the generators, transporters, and facilities managing hazardous waste.
Similar to wastes generated by manufacturing and industrial processes, wastes generated by retail companies that sell consumer products may also be subject to hazardous waste laws and regulations.
A transporter is a person engaged in the offsite transportation of hazardous waste by air, rail, highway or water. Hazardous waste regulations apply to carriers transporting hazardous waste when that waste is subject to the manifesting requirements.
Universal waste comes from products containing mercury, lead, cadmium and other substances that are hazardous to human health and the environment. These items cannot be discarded in household trash nor disposed of in landfills.
Violations Scoring Procedure applies to all operating permitted Treatment Storage Disposal Facilities, except those facilities solely authorized under a post-closure permit or order, or a permit or permit modification for closure only.