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Last Edited: 9/6/2002

What is a hazardous waste?

A hazardous waste is a material defined in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 to be in solid, liquid, semisolid, or gaseous form, that "may... (a) cause or significantly contribute to an in increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible, illness; or (b) pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or to the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of, or otherwise managed." The USEPA has promulgated criteria for identifying hazardous waste based on ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, and toxicity.