Hazardous Waste Program

"Hazardous waste" means waste, or combination of wastes, which because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics may cause, or significantly contribute to, an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible illness or incapacitating reversible illness or pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise managed.

Implementation of Tennessee's hazardous waste program began in October 1980. The Division of Solid Waste Management (DSWM) regulates hazardous waste generation, transportation, storage, treatment, and disposal.  Regulation of hazardous waste is also a federal responsibility under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Tennessee has been authorized by EPA to administer the majority of the federal program and receives a grant in support of this effort. (Other funding for this program is obtained through a fee collection system.) DSWM's Hazardous Waste Management Program has authority over facilities subject to EPA RCRA Subtitle C, under the oversight of EPA Region 4.  The Hazardous Waste Management Program operates under the authority of the Hazardous Waste Management Act of 1977 (T.C.A. §68-212-101 et seq.) and various Hazardous Waste Management rules.

The Memorandum of Agreement between the State of Tennessee and EPA, Region 4 was signed January 2017.

The coordinated state and federal program regulates activities such as:

  • the permitting and inspection of hazardous waste storage, recycling, treatment, and disposal facilities
  • the management of hazardous waste from generators (primarily manufacturing industry) through the required Waste Stream Notifications, Annual Reports, and Waste Reduction Reports
  • the annual registration of hazardous waste transporters
  • the regulation of used oil

Household Hazardous Waste

Many of the cleaners, pesticides, and paint thinners used at home are hazardous materials. Do you know what these are and what to do with them?

Universal Waste

Universal waste includes certain types of batteries, lightbulbs, pesticides, and mercury-containing equipment. 

Healthcare Facility Hazardous Waste

Healthcare facilities may have special concerns for instance regarding their pharmaceutical waste or development of a viable environmental plan. 

Hazardous Waste Generators

Does your business generate hazardous waste? Learn about the requirements for registering with the state and reporting annual generation.

Hazardous Waste Forms

Required forms for Hazardous Waste Generators, Transporters, Treatment-Storage-Disposal (TSD) Facilities, and Transfer Facilities, Used Oil Transporters, Transfer Facilities, and Processors / Re-Refiners, and Universal Waste Destination Facilities.

Hazardous Waste Transportation

When hazardous waste, including used oil, is moved from the generator, special requirements apply.

RCRA Corrective Action

Some hazardous waste generators or management facilities have contaminated areas. The Corrective Action Program ensures that cleanups occur.

Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities

Facilities that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous wastes must obtain a RCRA permit.

Hazardous Waste Inspection Training

DSWM is expanding our Hazardous Waste Inspector Training program to the public!

Revised Definition of Solid Waste

The U.S. EPA has adopted a new Definition of Solid Waste - here's what Tennessee is doing in response.

Regulations and Policies/Guidance

The Secretary of State site hosts the effective regulations governing our programs. Policies & guidance documents are also linked.

Hazardous Waste Legislative Reports

TDEC updates the legislature about hazardous waste permitting activities every January for the prior Reporting Year.

Hazardous Waste Determination Matrix

A person who generates a solid waste must determine if that waste is a hazardous waste. The Hazardous Waste Determination Matrix is a tool to assist generators with the hazardous waste determination process.

HSM Recycling Legitimacy

Under the Revised Definition of Solid Waste, facilities that recycle or reclaim hazardous secondary materials must document the legitimacy of these activities under the Generator-Controlled Exclusion.