40 CFR 260-261 Hazardous waste management system and identification of Hazardous Waste

Since 1980, under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C, USEPA has developed a comprehensive program to ensure that hazardous waste is managed safely from the moment it is generated to its final disposition. The management system is called “Cradle to Grave” and it is the basis for the entire RCRA program. 40 CFR Part 260, Hazardous Waste Management System, provides the outline and definitions used in the Parts and Subparts of the hazardous waste regulations. In addition, 260 defines the certain rulemaking petitions including the basis for hazardous waste recycling, procedures for variances from classification as a hazardous waste, and boiler variances.

40 CFR 261, Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste is the cornerstone of the RCRA program and is essential for its success. Part 261 defines what is a “solid waste”, what is a “hazardous waste,” wastes that are excluded from the definition of “solid wastes”, requirements for recycling, and empty container management.

Part 261 also provides the criteria needed to determine if your waste is hazardous. Part 261 provides the criteria and definition of listed waste (K, P, F, and U) and the criteria for characteristic waste determination. (D001-D043)

Each individual generator of a “Solid Waste” is responsible for the evaluation of his/her own waste for hazardous waste determination. The generator should ask the following questions:

  • Is it a “Solid Waste”?
  • Is it exempt as a “Solid Waste”?
  • Is it a listed waste?
  • Is it characteristically hazardous?

In addition to waste determination Part 261 also contains the following Subparts:



Subpart E

Exclusions/Exemptions (Cathode Ray Tubes)

Subpart H

Financial Requirements for Management of Excluded Hazardous Secondary Materials