Hazardous Waste Generator Program

Hazardous waste is a waste with properties that make it potentially dangerous or harmful to human health or the environment. Hazardous wastes can be liquids, solids, or contained gases. They can be the by-products of manufacturing processes, discarded used materials, or discarded unused commercial products, such as cleaning fluids (solvents) or pesticides. 

The State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control authorizes us to inspect and regulate non-permitted hazardous waste generators in San Mateo County based on the Hazardous Waste Control Law found in the California Health and Safety Code Division 20, Chapter 6.5 and regulations found in the California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 4.5. These regulations require businesses generating any amount of hazardous waste as defined by regulation to properly store, manage and dispose of hazardous waste. Our staff conducts annual inspections at businesses to assess compliance with state law and regulations.

Treatment of Hazardous Waste—Tiered Permitting Program

Treatment means any method, technique or process that changes the physical, chemical or biological character or composition of a hazardous waste, or removes or reduces its harmful properties or characteristics.

The State of California established a five-tiered program for authorizing the treatment and storage of hazardous waste at many businesses required to have State authorization, but not federal authorization (i.e., authorization under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act or RCRA). The Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) regulates Full and Standardized Permitted facilities; and San Mateo County Environmental Health Department regulates facilities in the lower tiers: Permit by Rule (PBR), Conditionally Authorized (CA) and Conditionally Exempt (CE).

Businesses planning to treat hazardous waste on-site must notify the CUPA by submitting a notification through CERS or the County Portal; and obtaining authorization from the CUPA.  

For more information about the Tiered Permitting Program go to DTSC’s website  or call us at (650) 372-6200.

Universal Waste Requirements

California’s Universal Waste Rule allows individuals and businesses to transport, handle and recycle certain common hazardous wastes, termed universal wastes (electronic devices, batteries, electric lamps, mercury-containing equipment, CRTs, and non-empty aerosol cans), in a manner that differs from the requirements for most hazardous wastes. Click here for more information.

Free Hazardous Waste Training (English and Spanish)

San Mateo County Environmental Health provides free training to regulated facilities that generate less than 1000 kg of hazardous waste per month (Small Quantity Generators).

This training will cover the basics of identifying hazardous waste, proper labeling and accumulation requirements for hazardous waste and record-keeping requirements. The training will focus on the most common types of waste streams including used oil, oily debris, antifreeze, paints, batteries and light bulbs. Participants will receive a comprehensive course manual and a certificate of completion. Dates and times are listed below:

English: December 8, 8 am - 10 am
Atrium Room, 2000 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

Spanish: December 8, 10 am - 12 pm
Atrium Room, 2000 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

Please contact the registrar at (800) 637-2384, or fax the registration form to (916) 353-2375 to reserve your spot, space is limited.  

Additional Resources