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To safely manage hazardous waste, you must know exactly what constitutes a waste, how it will act, and what its properties are. Is the waste extremely toxic? Do workers need special protection? Is the waste corrosive, or will it corrode certain types of containers? Is the waste incompatible with other wastes will it react (explode, catch on fire) if mixed with another waste or with water?
Once a waste is generated, you should characterize the waste before you place it in a container. Waste characterization can be done by either: