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Know Toxics

What are Toxics / Universal Wastes?

'Toxics' refer to universal wastes and other common materials that should be treated as hazardous, such as electronic equipment. Universal wastes are hazardous materials that are commonly produced, and therefore fall under less stringent regulations than hazardous waste (federal Universal Waste Rule).* These materials are hazardous to human health, the environment, and can cause significant property damage if improperly handled. Businesses that produce any amount are subject to penalties and liability for improperly handling hazardous wastes.

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Do I Need to Specially Handle this Waste?


Universal wastes and electronic equipment are hazardous and pose serious threats to anyone who handles them.

Chemically powerful reactions can take place causing toxic health hazards, ignitions, human injury and property damage, and harm the environment.

These materials can be safely broken down into recyclable components that can go back into economic use.

Understanding universal waste is a business opportunity. You can minimize hazard risk and liability while gaining competitive advantage by reassuring your customers that you are a safe and responsible business.

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Improve Safety and Reduce Liability, KnoToxics Training

Since 2013, the Know Toxics program has coordinated annual training sessions for employees in related industries throughout the region. Aimed at property, waste and facilities management staff, this SWANA certified program covers:
  • Laws
  • Categories
  • Handling and Disposal Requirements
  • Transportation
  • Vendor Selection
  • Best Management Practice
  • Stormwater Impacts
  • Optional:  Used/Waste Oil Session

Do you know what Toxics exist at work?

Learn more about common items which can be harmful to humans and the environment if thrown in the trash
*External link. The Northern Virginia Regional Commission does not author third party sites and their reference is for educational purposes only. 

View the 2016 Know Toxics Workplace Poster
View the 2015 Training Manual
View the 2015 Training Presentation Slides


Contact Debbie Spiliotopoulos to be put on a mailing list for the next KnowToxics training.    

    Photos from June 7, 2016 Know Toxics Training

    Know Toxics, A Project of the Northern Virginia Waste Management Board, C/O Northern Virginia Regional Commission
    3040 Williams Drive, Suite 200  Fairfax, VA 22031  703-642-0700 (Voice)  Email Us