Small Quantity vs Large Quantity: What are the designations?

When it comes to hazardous materials handling, the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) has outlined three types of generators. Hazardous waste generators produce waste in three categories that are determined by the amount of waste generated per calendar month. 

There are three categories of generators and three very frequently used acronyms:

  • VSQG: Very small quantity generators
  • SQG: Small quantity generators
  • LQG: Large quantity generators

Each group has a very different set of rules and regulations, so it’s important to 

  1. Learn which group of hazardous waste generator your company belongs to
  2. Follow those rules and regulations as set forth by the CFR and EPA

Very Small Quantity Generator 

VSQGs must identify all waste generated, have a limit of 1,000 kg of hazardous waste at any time, and get the hazardous waste delivered to a person or facility who is authorized to handle these materials. 

Small Quantity Generator

SQGs generate more than 1000 kilograms of hazardous waste per month. They may accumulate hazardous waste on site for 180 days without a permit, but on-site waste must never exceed 6,000 kilograms. 

They must comply with the hazardous waste manifest requirements outlined by the CFR and EPA: 

  • Manage hazardous waste in containers
  • Preparedness and prevention requirements 
  • Company must designate an emergency coordinator
  • Coordinator must always be on hand to respond to an emergency 

Large Quantity Generator

LQGs generate more than 1000 kilograms of hazardous waste per month or more, and they may accumulate hazardous waste on site for 90 days – certain exceptions apply. 

While LQGs do not have a limit on the amount of hazardous waste accumulated on-site, hazardous waste generated must be managed in approved tanks, containers, drip pads, or containment buildings. 

LQGs must comply with

  • Hazardous waste manifest requirements
  • Preparedness, prevention and emergency procedure requirements
    • Land disposal restriction requirements
  • Reporting procedures 
    • Biennial hazardous waste report to the EPA

State vs Federal Categories

State generator categories may be different from federal categories. As a hazardous waste generator, you are responsible for adhering to both federal and state regulations. 

The EPA maintains a list of state agencies that can be found here

HWH Environmental

To ensure that your generator status remains the same and your company follows all of the outlined guidelines, considering hiring a company that works full time in hazardous waste management across the country. 

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