Skip Navigation

Division of Solid Waste Services

home icon

OPERATING STATUS: Recycling/trash collection - normal schedule ∣ Transfer Station recycling/trash drop-offs - normal hours

ECOWISE

The ECOWISE program provides Montgomery County businesses, or Small Quantity Generators (SQG), who generate less than 220 pounds (or 100 kg) of hazardous waste an inexpensive and convenient way of disposing of their hazardous material.

A SQG must also generate less than 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of acute hazardous waste per month.

Acute hazardous waste is defined under Code of Maryland Regulations, Title 26, Subtitle 13, Section 02.09 (26.13.02.09) Article A(2) as: "a solid waste that has been found to be fatal to humans in low doses or…is otherwise capable of causing or significantly contributing to an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible, illness." Refer to Code of Maryland Regulations 26.13.02.09 for a complete description of acute hazardous waste.

What is a Small Quantity Generator?

In the State of Maryland, a "Small Quantity Generator" or SQG is a non-residential (business or non-profit organization) entity that generates less than 220 pounds (100 kg) of hazardous waste per calendar month.  A "Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator" (CESQG) is the Federal equivalent term. BOTH terms mean you produce less than 220 pounds or 100 kg per calendar month. A SQG must also generate less than 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of acute hazardous waste per month.

The Federal government defines a "Small Quantity Generator" (SQG) as producing between 220 pounds (100 kg) and 2,200 pounds (1000 kg) per year. The ECOWISE program is not open to businesses that are federally defined as SQGs, since they produce more than the program allows.

I don't produce as much as a State of Maryland defined SQG in a single month. Do I still qualify to participate?

Absolutely! The ECOWISE program does not require a minimum quantity, nor does it obligate you to participate every month.

What are the benefits of the program?

  • No complicated paper work or manifesting is required.
  • Businesses save up to 75% of costs to dispose of hazardous material compared to having a conventional pickup and disposal hazardous waste company come to your business or organization.
  • No pre-registration fee
  • No contractual obligation
  • No minimum amount

What hazardous materials does ECOWISE accept?

Basically, hazardous materials have any of these properties:

  • reactive
  • ignitable
  • combustible
  • toxic, and/or
  • corrosive.

Businesses cannot bring more than 220 pounds of hazardous waste to the ECOWISE program. ECOWISE also accepts liquid latex paint -- but this is not considered a hazardous waste.

For chemicals and items not listed and for a price per pound, call 240-777-6587.

Accepted materials include

  • Acids (organic or inorganic)
  • Alkaline button batteries
  • Bases (organic or inorganic)
  • Fluorescent bulbs
  • Fuels, pourable
  • Gel cell batteries
  • Heavy Metals
  • Herbicides
  • Hydraulic fluid
  • Lead acid batteries
  • Lithium batteries
  • Mercury or mercury containing products
  • Ni-Cd batteries
  • Oil-Based Paints
  • Oxidizers
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Ballasts
  • Pesticides
  • Photographic chemicals
  • Reactive materials
  • Solvents, both pourable and non-pourable

 

What materials does ECOWISE not accept?

ECOWISE does not accept certain categories of hazardous materials because they contain certain reactive, ignitable, combustible, toxic, corrosive properies and/or health and safety dangers.

Examples include:

  • Explosives
  • Asbestos
  • Radioactive materials
  • Medical waste

What are the costs, and how do I pay?

We now offer free mercury thermostat disposal! Fees are assessed on a per pound basis weighed at the point of collection.

Pay your ECOWISE fees with business checks made out to Clean Harbors Environmental Services, the County's current contractor for ECOWISE.

We do not accept cash payments.

Pricing Schedule

Prices effective March 9, 2011.

What is the program location and schedule?

ECOWISE collections are held on the second Wednesday of every month from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Shady Grove Transfer Station, provided the Transfer Station is not closed due to weather or other emergencies. You do not need an appointment.

Enter the Transfer Station via the Truck Entrance on Shady Grove Road. This is located 1/10 of a mile east of Route 355.

How do I register?

Registration is free! Once you receive your packet of information, do a "Haz Waste audit" as described in your booklet. If your audit shows you generate less than 220 pounds per calendar month, you may join the ECOWISE program.

Return completed and signed Form and Affidavit to:

Jeffrey A. Camera
ECOWISE Program
Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services
16101 Frederick Rd
Derwood, MD 20855-2223