Things You Need to Know

If you operate a small business that generates hazardous waste or waste oil, here are some important things you need to know.

  • You must register with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to obtain a permanent identification number (ID) for legally generating and accumulating waste. Always use this number on manifests to ensure proper recycling, treatment, and disposal.
  • If you are a Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG; less than 27 gallons per month) of either hazardous waste or waste oil, or a Small Quantity Generator (SQG; between 27 and 270 gallons per month) of waste oil, use a MassDEP Generator Registration Form to assign yourself a permanent ID (the prefix "MV" + your telephone number with area code).
  • If you are a SQG of hazardous waste or a Large Quantity Generator (LQG; more than 270 gallons per month) of hazardous waste or waste oil, contact MassDEP for instructions on how to obtain an ID number.
  • If your business registered in the past but has moved to a new location, you need to submit another Generator Registration Form to MassDEP.
  • Generating and accumulating hazardous waste or waste oil without a valid ID carries fines of up to $1,000 per day.  If you do not use a valid ID on a manifest, you will be making a false statement, which can result in additional fines of up to $1,000 per day.  A "temporary" ID is not acceptable.
  • If you generate or accumulate hazardous waste without an ID, you may be operating an unlicensed treatment, storage, or disposal facility - a violation that carries fines of up to $25,000 per day.
  • Your hazardous waste transporter has the authority to refuse your shipments if you do not have your own valid ID, and might report you to MassDEP.
  • Your insurance company may ask you to prove that you have a valid ID before issuing or renewing your property and/or casualty policy.

How to Comply With State Rules

Hazardous Waste Management Compliance Tips

To avoid MassDEP citations and penalties:

  • Keep Copy 3 of every hazardous waste manifest for at least three years.
  • Be sure that your containers and tanks are: closed when you are not adding waste to them, labeled with the required information, and stored on or above a crack-free surface in a separate, designated indoor storage area marked "HAZARDOUS WASTE" or "WASTE OIL."
  • Take steps to prevent spills onto the ground, or into drains or catch basins.
  • Restrict storage area access to authorized staff only.

For more compliance information see the Small Quantity Generator (SQG) of Hazardous Waste Guidance pdf format of Summary of Small Quantity Generator (SQG) Requirements doc format of Summary of Small Quantity Generator (SQG) Requirements .