The Mixed Waste Web Site

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What is Mixed Waste?

In the waste disposal industry and in regulatory parlance, the term "mixed waste" refers specifically to waste which is regulated as both radioactive and hazardous waste. It exists throughout the commercial, industrial and government sectors. Mixed waste falls into two basic waste forms: liquids and solids. These forms require one or more of the following basic types of treatment prior to disposal: stabilization, neutralization, cleaning and chemical or thermal destruction.

For more: Mixed Waste Overview from the US EPA's Mixed Waste Team

Management Considerations

The hazardous component of mixed waste presents the major regulatory treatment challenge in meeting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulations for land disposal. The radioactive component of mixed waste, while posing a challenge from a health, safety, and environmental protection standpoint, is usually not the controlling factor for treatment.

Because these tend to be difficult waste streams to manage and facilities with the proper technology and permits are not ubiquitous, the technology required to process the waste is the most influential factor in deciding where the waste will be sent for treatment, storage and disposal. Transportation costs are a minimal factor when selecting treatment options.


Mixed wastes are dually regulated for their radioactive materials and hazardous waste constituents. The radioactive materials are regulated by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) or an Agreement State (states which have entered into an Agreement with the USNRC to regulate facilities, other than Federal facilities and nuclear power plants) under the Atomic Energy Act (AEA); and the hazardous wastes are regulated by the the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) or an Authorized State (a state authorized by the USEPA to regulate those portions of the Federal act) under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

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