Chemical Waste

Hazardous Waste Determination

  • Liquids
    • Sanitary Sewer Disposal
    • Used Oil
    • Elemental Mercury
  • Solids
    • Trash Disposal
    • Silica Gel
    • Mercury Containing Devices
    • Computers and Electronic Devices
    • Batteries

Chemical Waste Management Accumulation

Place chemical waste in sealable containers compatible with the waste. Waste containers should be filled, when possible, leaving headspace for expansion of the contents. The original container of the virgin material is acceptable.

Bulking routinely generated waste streams is encouraged; 5 gallon carboys provided by ERM are the preferred waste storage container. Similar wastes may be mixed if they are compatible (e.g. non-halogenated solvents).

Keep containers closed except when filling. Do not leave a hazardous waste container with a funnel in it.

Label waste containers as soon as they contain waste. Containers holding hazardous waste must be labeled with the words HAZARDOUS WASTE and with the names of the principal chemical constituents and the approximate percentage.

  • ERM recommends the use of our preprinted labels. Contact ERM for waste labels.
  • Use IUPAC or full chemical names (in English); no abbreviations, symbols, structural diagrams or product trade names.
  • Labels must be legible and should include contact information of the generator.


Containers of hazardous waste may be stored in an area of a laboratory or facilities operation near the point of generation. This area must be controlled by the principal investigator or workers generating the waste. SUU and EPA require the following:​

  • Be sure that containers do not leak. Use secondary containment near sinks and floor drains.
  • No more than one quart of an acutely hazardous waste (P-listed wastes) or 55 gallons of other hazardous wastes may be stored (per waste stream) in the accumulation area. If this threshold quantity is reached, the worker must transfer the waste to a 90-day storage area. Contact ERM immediately.
  • Segregate incompatible wastes.


Responsibility for classifying waste as hazardous waste rests with the generator. The federally established scheme for this determination is described below in Hazardous Waste Determination. ERM can assist in making the determination.

The costs of chemical waste disposal are charged back to generators. The costs associated with characterizing mismanaged materials and for disposing of improperly stored materials (e.g., outdated peroxidizable ethers, dry picric acid, deteriorated or unlabeled containers) are borne by the generator’s department by ERM discretion.

See Waste Removal and Pick-up for more information.

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