Frequent Questions

What is the maximum concentration of hazardous waste contaminants that may be present in or on debris in order for a generator to take advantage of the land disposal restrictions (LDR) alternative debris standards?

There is no maximum contaminant level that hazardous waste debris must meet to be eligible for the LDR alternative debris standards. In order to take advantage of the alternative debris standards, the hazardous waste must meet the definition of debris. Debris means a solid material exceeding a sixty mm particle size that is intended for disposal and that is a manufactured object, plant or animal matter, or natural geologic material. The following materials are not debris: any material for which a specific treatment standard is provided in 40 CFR Subpart D, Part 268, namely lead acid batteries, cadmium batteries, and radioactive lead solids; process residuals such as smelter slag and residues from the treatment of waste, wastewater, sludge, or air emission residues; and intact containers of hazardous waste that are not ruptured and that retain at least seventy-five percent of their original volume. A mixture of debris that has not been treated to the standards provided in §268.45 and other material is subject to regulation as debris if the mixture is comprised primarily of debris, by volume, based on visual inspection (§268.2(g)). In addition, when performing the alternative debris standards, a hazardous waste must meet the contaminant restrictions, performance and/or design and operating standards, and treatment technology (§268.45, Table 1). 

The following guidance documents provide additional information on the LDR alternative debris standards: 

Memo, Fields and Herman to Regions; October 14, 1998 (RCRA Online 14291
Memo, Cotsworth to Sharp; October 3, 1997 (RCRA Online 14241
Memo, Shapiro to Humphrey; October 6, 1994 (RCRA Online 13705
Memo, Shapiro to Deitchman; June 23, 1994 (RCRA Online 13681
Memo, Shapiro to Dolce; March 1, 1994 (RCRA Online 11815
Memo, Weddle to Colamarino; November 18, 1993 (RCRA Online 13640
Memo, Lowrance to Rankin; November 5, 1992 (RCRA Online 13575

These guidance documents are available in the RCRA Online database available at the following URL:

In addition, it is important to note that most states are authorized to implement the federal regulations. We recommend that you contact your state's implementing agency to determine if your state has additional requirements. The Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR) has compiled a complete list of waste program Web sites maintained by EPA Regional offices and state environmental agencies to help users locate the appropriate agency within their states.

Have more questions? Submit a request