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Environmental Health and Safety

How to Dispose of Chemical Waste

How to Dispose of Chemical Waste

Chemical waste is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). It cannot be disposed of in regular trash or in the sewer system. Most chemical wastes must be disposed of through the EHS Hazardous Waste Program. To have hazardous waste removed from your laboratory, do the following:

  1. Store chemical wastes in appropriate containers; plastic bottles are preferred over glass for storing hazardous waste when compatibility is not an issue. Segregate chemical waste by compatibility, and not alphabetically.
  2. Chemical waste containers must be labeled with the following information:
    • Full chemical name and quantity of the waste. For mixtures, each chemical must be listed. Abbreviations, acronyms and ditto marks ("") to replace words are not allowed, as this does not comply with The Hazard Communication Standard;
    • Date of waste generation;
    • Place of origin (department, room number);
    • PI's name and telephone number;
    • Bottle number assigned on corresponding waste sheet; and
    • The tag or label must have the words: "Hazardous Waste."
  3. A completed Hazardous Waste Information Form must be submitted to the EHS office (Instructions are on the back of the form). On this form, please include:
    • Full chemical name and quantity of the waste. For mixtures, each chemical and its volume or weight must listed. Abbreviations, acronyms and ditto marks ("") to replace words are not allowed, as this does not comply with The Hazard Communication Standard;
    • Date of waste generation;
    • Place of origin (department, room number);
    • PI's name and telephone number;
    • A contact name is required to answer any questions or open the door;
    • Bottle number (in numerical order) assigned on bottle; and
    • A speedtype or account number.
  4. Send the completed form to the Environmental Health and Safety Office, Service Building, 1st floor, Location Code 7227. The form must be received by EHS by Tuesday at noon. Chemical waste removal will then happen on Thursday of that week. Each container must be listed separately, tagged and sealed. Leaking or open containers will not be removed.
  5. The disposal of chemicals by sanitary sewer is only possible with written permission from EHS. Contact the Director or Chemical Waste Manager for more information.
    • Submit a complete list of all chemicals to be disposed of to EHS.
    • EHS will review and provide written approval on a case by case basis.
    • Any change in formulation (volume of chemical, new chemical), will require a fresh review by EHS.
    • Disposal of any chemical into the solid waste disposal system is not allowed.