What It Is:
The Pinellas County SQG Program inspects businesses and helps them make sure that their hazardous waste is handled according to federal and state regulations. The SQG Program partners with the Compliance Assistance Program Sector of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), specifically focusing on businesses that are Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQGs) and Small Quantity Generators of hazardous waste. Large Quantity Generators should contact FDEP for assistance with hazardous waste disposal.
- Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQGs) generate less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste per month and less than 2.2 pounds of acute hazardous waste (such as some pesticides, toxins or arsenic and cyanide compounds) per month.
- Small Quantity Generators (SQGs) generate 220-2,200 pounds of hazardous waste per month
- Large Quantity Generators (LQGs) generate 2,200 pounds or more of hazardous waste per month or 2.2 pounds or more of acute hazardous waste per month.
What It Means to You:
As a business owner/operator, it is your responsibility to ensure that all waste generated by your operations is disposed of in compliance with the Federal and State solid and hazardous waste regulations.
What Is Hazardous Waste:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines hazardous waste as waste that is dangerous or potentially harmful to our health or the environment. Hazardous waste can be liquid, solid, gas, or sludge. Hazardous waste can be discarded commercial products, like cleaning fluids or pesticides, or by-products of a manufacturing process. Specifically, hazardous waste is considered to be any waste that is listed in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 261, or is flammable, corrosive, reactive or toxic.
Examples of Commonly Generated Commercial Hazardous Waste:
- Aerosol Can Management
- Commercial Wastewater Disposal
- Dental Waste Management
- E-Cigarette Disposal
- Electroplating Waste Management
- Managing Marine Flares
- Managing Shop Rags
- Managing Spent Lamps
- Managing Used Oil
- Recognizing Hazardous Waste
- Secondary Containment of Used Oil
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Why is the county conducting these assessments?
Florida Statute 403.7225 & 403.7234 requires Local/County governments to conduct SQG Assessments and Verification/Notification visits at each SQG site a minimum of once every five years, for a total of 20% of the SQG classified sites in the County each year. Currently, there are approximately 5,500 sites in Pinellas County that are potential hazardous waste generators.
- What is the purpose of these assessments and verification/notification visits?
The purpose of these visits is to determine if a business has hazardous waste, how their waste is managed and disposed of, and most importantly, to inform businesses of current Florida Rules and Regulations regarding hazardous waste generators. The SQG Program will assist businesses in complying with State/Federal laws to protect the surface and ground waters of Pinellas County.
- Can I dispose of my solvent-contaminated wipes in the regular trash?
If your solvent-contaminated wipes meet the conditions of the exclusion (See the FDEP Guidance on “Management Practices for Wipes, Rags and Shop Towels,” dated January 31, 2014, for the definitions of solvent-contaminated wipes and the conditions of the exclusion), they can be delivered to Pinellas County Solid Waste for disposal by appointment (call 727-464-7500). The solvent-contaminated wipes must be stored in a clear, 6-Mil or thicker sealed plastic bag, labeled with the words “Excluded Solvent-Contaminated Wipes” and the bag may not contain any free liquids. To determine whether or not you can dispose of your solvent-contaminated wipes in your dumpster, contact your trash hauler.
- Can I throw my used oil filters in the regular trash?
No. By state law, oil filters cannot be landfilled – and some regular trash in Pinellas County is sometimes landfilled. Oil filters must be specially identified and incinerated. Businesses may dispose of motor oil filters at Pinellas County Solid Waste ($37.50/ton or flat rate for qualifying vehicles) by appointment only (call 727-464-7500). Filters must be drained and crushed. All loads will be inspected.
- I use green tip "environmentally friendly" fluorescent bulbs, can they be put in the regular trash?
Most businesses believe that the mercury content in these types of lamps is low enough to allow disposal of the lamps in the general trash. This assumption, if not confirmed through proper analysis or records, is incorrect. You should not regard green-tipped lamps as non-hazardous waste unless you have properly evaluated them. Pinellas County encourages the recycling of all mercury-containing lamps, regardless of the mercury content.
For questions about the SQG program, call (727) 464-7518
or email firstname.lastname@example.org