Hazardous Waste Disposal for Business


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Minnesota business owners are proactive partners in the preservation of public health and the environment. Businesses have several options for hazardous waste disposal. Many commercial hazardous waste haulers serve the northeast region; however, businesses that produce a very small amount of hazardous waste may find cost and availability of services to be an obstacle.

Businesses that produce 220 lbs. of hazardous waste a month or less are eligible for the Clean Shop program.

Eligible businesses disposing of rechargeable batteries of any kind, medical sharps, fluorescent lamps, non-pcb ballasts, pesticides or mercury containing devices may do so without an application, appointment, or shipping papers. The law allows these “Universal Wastes” to be transported by businesses at any time and are accepted by WLSSD’s Clean Shop program during all open hours.  Other wastes require an application, appointment, and shipping papers.

Clean Shop customers pay for services with an administrative fee of $25 plus waste disposal fees as noted in the Clean Shop Price List (usually charged by the pound, depending on waste). Customers disposing of only Universal Wastes do not pay an administrative fee.

Using Clean Shop Services

  1. Call Clean Shop staff at (218) 726-1602 to confirm eligibility, or email clean.shop@wlssd.com.
  2. If you are a new business customer and do not have a Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG) license number issued by the State of Minnesota, consult the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Hazardous Waste License Application guide. You will utilize the MPCA’s e-Service to apply for a license number.
  3. If you are a returning business customer or already have a VSQG license number, please complete the Clean Shop Application and submit it using email or fax numbers listed on the application. You must complete the application each time you bring in waste.
  4. Staff will contact you to arrange an appointment to accept your business waste.
  5. Staff will provide all shipping papers and labels required for business customers to be able to legally transport hazardous waste.
  6. At a scheduled date and time, staff will accept waste and payment, and provide the business customer with a receipt indicating the waste was properly disposed of in accordance to all applicable laws.

If you simply need to dispose of 5 gallons or less of paint, PaintCare disposal services at a local retail store may be an option for you.  Learn more about eligible products at PaintCare.

Clean Shop Frequently Asked Questions

How do I determine whether something is hazardous, or if I’m doing the right thing?

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency provides helpful fact sheets that describe requirements for business compliance with hazardous waste regulations. When in doubt, just give us a call at (218) 726-1602. Staff will return your call as soon as possible and are glad you are taking the time to ask!

Why are businesses charged fees and households are not?

Property owners pay a solid waste management fee that is collected via county property taxes; revenues from this fee contribute to services offered at WLSSD’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility and are collected whether or not the service is used by the household. Businesses are not subject to this fee but instead pay on a fee-for-service basis.

WLSSD Solid Waste Management Fact Sheet 2015

Why do I need to “apply” each time I want to get rid of some hazardous waste?

Businesses must apply each time so that staff is aware of the waste that is to be received and can send the business customer the documentation required for transportation. Customers can be assured that staff is up-to-date on regulatory and safety concerns and is prepared for each load.

What is a “Universal” or RCRA waste?

Universal Waste  is a designation given by the US Environmental Protection Agency to commonly generated hazardous wastes. Regulations have been eased on these very common items to make it easier for businesses to properly dispose of them. Application, appointment and shipping papers are not required for these wastes.

Why does Clean Shop limit how much waste a business can dispose of through the program?

The Clean Shop program is available to VSQGs (Very Small Quantity Generators) because commercial hauling options are often too costly for such a small amount of waste. The State recognizes that even these small amounts can cause huge problems when not managed properly. Clean Shop is meant to close the gap between what is required by law and the availability/affordability of commercial services. The Clean Shop does not compete with commercial hauling businesses but offers a service to an under-served sector.

Clean Shop services are also available to businesses in need of a one-time clean out of fewer than 2,000 lbs of hazardous waste.

What types of payment will you accept?

The Clean Shop can accept cash, check or credit card, or will prepare an invoice for payment within 30 days for returning customers.

Does my small business need to follow other environmental rules? Do I need permits?

The MPCA’s Small Business Environmental Assistance Program is free and confidential and provides assistance via phone or can even make site visits upon request.