4 Characteristics of Every Hazardous Waste

4 characteristics of hazardous waste

People often hear the term hazardous waste and understand that it means dangerous waste. However, they might not know or understand the characteristics of every hazardous waste. Keep reading to learn about the four characteristics hazardous waste can have.


Ignitability is a fancy word for waste that could cause a fire, especially when transported. Solid, liquid, and compressed gas waste can be ignitable under the right circumstances. The most common cause is temperature change, especially through friction. This is why proper waste transportation is so important for ignitable waste.


Describing water as aggressive may sound strange, but corrosion is considered an aggressive process. Corrosion occurs when lead and copper rust and break down. Steel is also corrosive under certain circumstances, and the government has a specific test for that.

All liquid waste with a pH of less than or equal to two or greater than or equal to 12.5 is potentially hazardous because of its corrosive abilities. Even liquids that don’t fall under these pH categories can cause corrosion and should be tested to discover if they are hazardous waste.


In science, reactivity describes the release of energy during a chemical reaction. The same definition applies to reactivity as a hazardous waste characteristic. If a waste in any form might become unstable or release energy if its temperature is changed or it’s mixed with water, then it might be reactive. This instability or energy release could be small, but depending on the power of the reaction, it could also be dangerously big. There are no testing methods for reactivity due to the high risk, which is why safely disposing of your hazardous or potentially hazardous waste is so important.


Toxicity refers to poisonous waste. If the waste could cause harm if ingested or absorbed into a living thing being, then it’s toxic. The government is especially concerned with toxic waste poisoning groundwater, which is possible if waste leaks. Proper waste storage is essential for preventing this dangerous problem.

Every hazardous waste presents potential problems for the people involved with storing and disposing of that waste, no matter what characteristics it shows. If you need specialized waste removal because your waste has one or more of these characteristics, we can help. Clean Management Environment Group is experienced, has liability protection, and is here to serve you.

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