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If you generate hazardous waste in Minnesota, you need to determine if the kind of waste you create is subject to fee, reporting, and licensing requirements. The amount of hazardous waste you generate will dictate your waste generator status for the year as a minimal-, very small-, small-, or large-quantity generator, or a one-time generator. Your licensing requirements are based on these categories.

A hazardous waste ID number (HWID, also called an EPA ID number) is assigned to a physical location where hazardous waste is generated or handled and the operator of that site. The ID is assigned to the site, so if your business moves, you'll need to get an new ID number. Obtain a HWID through MPCA's e-Service.

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Annual licensing, fees, and reporting

Each year, hazardous waste generators that create 100 pounds or more per year of reportable hazardous wastes must:

  • submit a license application for the previous year.
  • report on hazardous wastes generated in the previous calendar year.
  • pay a fee.

Use MPCA Online Services to submit your application between January 1 and August 15. As part of your application, you'll report all hazardous waste generated during the previous calendar year, including spill debris and clean-outs. MPCA Online Services can also be used to make a change to your license.

If you are required to pay a fee, you will be sent an invoice after you submit your license application. Annual fees for hazardous waste generators are based on the amount of waste you reported for the previous calendar year and how those wastes were managed. Minimal-quantity generators are exempt from annual license fees. Unpaid fees will accrue late charges and interest, and may be sent to collections. The MPCA will not issue new licenses to generators with unpaid fees, and you could be cited for generating hazardous waste without a license.

About two weeks after you pay your fee, your license will be available for printing through this license search tool.

This electronic database provides access to information reported by hazardous waste generators to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) or the applicable metro county.

Administrative changes

To change information related to your hazardous waste license (ownership, address, contacts, quantities, etc.) use MPCA Online Services.

Federal reporting

Large quantity generators and facilities permitted under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act must complete and submit a biennial report to U.S. EPA via the RCRAInfo module:

Closed sites

If your site has closed, you must still submit a license application to report any hazardous waste generated during the previous year. Be sure to also submit the notification of regulated waste activity via e-Services to ensure you are not held responsible for any future hazardous waste generated on the site. Report hazardous waste generated at the location before you deactivate its hazardous waste identification number.

Recycling and reuse

Many recycled, reclaimed, or reused hazardous wastes are eligible for exemptions from the full hazardous waste requirements. To claim exemptions, you must document that your recycled or reused wastes met the eligibility conditions for each exemption. Learn more:

Minimal-quantity generators

Businesses that generate less than 10 gallons or 100 pounds of hazardous waste per year are known as minimal quantity generators. They must complete their hazardous waste license application every three years.

As the group creating the lowest amount of hazardous waste, minimal-quantity generators are perhaps in the best position to consider how to eliminate their hazardous waste altogether. Many generators have successfully reduced or lessened their "hassle factor" with specific types of waste:

Paint and thinner. If you use oil- or solvent-based paints, can you switch to non-hazardous latex or UV-cured paints? Minimal-quantity generators can bring oil and latex paint waste to a PaintCare site for easy, free disposal.

Parts washer solvent. Can you change your process so you don’t need to clean parts? If you use your parts washer infrequently, could you use water-based cleaners in spray bottles instead?

If you use your parts washer frequently, can you switch a water-based parts washer? You can often recover the costs of switching in less than two years and it’s better for your employees’ health. If you are unable to switch to a water-based solvent, consider purchasing an on-site recycler. Visit the MnTAP web site to learn how they've worked with businesses to find alternative products.

Acids/bases and corrosives. Corrosive wastes are often found in lab wastes at schools and health care facilities. If you often dispose of unused product, try ordering smaller containers of those materials. Rotate stock and track your inventory so you don’t need to dispose of expired, unused materials. Research non-hazardous alternatives; ask colleagues at other labs if they've found less-hazardous substitutes.

Use greener cleaners, such as products recommended by EPA’s Safer Choice and EcoLogo. MnTAP has ideas on how to find less hazardous sterilizers.