Auto Repair Shop Waste

Auto Repair Shops generate hazardous waste that must be managed in accordance with Delaware’s Regulations Governing Hazardous Waste. Hazardous waste mismanagement adversely impacts human health and the environment.

Improper disposal of hazardous waste, such as introduction to the municipal wastewater stream or putting hazardous waste in the municipal trash, is dangerous and against the law. Before discarding any waste, it is your shop’s responsibility to make a proper hazardous waste determination and to manage the waste accordingly.

This information is intended to serve as a guide to responsible waste management for auto repair shops. It is meant for Very Small Quantity Generators (VSQG) of hazardous waste and does not supersede Delaware’s Regulations Governing Hazardous Waste (7 DE Admin. Code 1302).

Best Practices

When handling these hazardous wastes, it is important to follow best practices:

Appropriately label waste containers (e.g., “Hazardous Waste”).

Keep containers closed, except when adding or removing waste.

Where possible, use detergent or water-based cleaners.

Do not mix used oil with hazardous waste.

Do not treat waste on site without a permit (e.g., air dry).

When possible, recycle or reclaim items for re-use.

Store flammable, reactive, and combustible materials in a fireproof container.

Block off or close floor drains to prevent releases.

When working with liquids, use a drain pan to capture spills and drained fluids.

Store waste in well maintained containers, compatible with the waste.

Avoid accumulating more than 1,000 kilograms (≈2,200 pounds) of hazardous waste or 1 kilogram (≈2.2 pounds) of acute hazardous waste.

The lists below identify some, but not all, of the items that should be evaluated prior to disposal.

Hazardous Waste

Find guidance and regulatory information for these items on the Hazardous Waste page.

  • Antifreeze
  • Cold Tank (carburetor cleaner)
  • Floor Cleaning Wastewater
  • Freon (CFCs)
  • Fuel Filters
  • Hot Tank Solution
  • Paint Spray Booth Filters
  • Parts Washers
  • Shop Towels
  • Solvent Tanks and Other Solvents
  • Spray Cabinet Wash Water and Sludge
  • Sump Sludges
  • Waste Paint and Paint Solvents

Used Oil

Find guidance and regulatory information for these items on the Used Oil page.

  • Brake Fluid
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Semi-solid gear, chain, and ball bearing lubricants
  • Transmission Filters
  • Transmission Fluid

Universal Waste

Find guidance and regulatory information for these items on the Universal Waste page and in the Mercury Switch Fact Sheet.

  • Aerosol Spray Cans
  • Fluorescent Lamps
  • Lead Acid Batteries
  • Mercury Switches