Chemical Waste Disposal

Dangerous Waste Bottle Labeling

Proper containment, tagging, collection and disposal are essential to the success of the Hazardous Waste Program. The following sections discuss these areas.

Fulmer Dangerous Waste drop-off schedule:

Thursdays Walk-in
Other days by appointment ONLY

Filling Containers

Hazardous waste collection containers must be in good condition, must not leak, must be clean on the outside, must have a “dangerous Waste” label attached, and must be compatible with their hazardous contents (e.g., do not use metal containers for corrosive waste ect.). All containers must have suitable screw caps or other secure means of closure.

If you are reusing a container to accumulate waste, destroy the original product label. The identity of the contents must be labeled before waste goes in and can be updated later, and the words “Dangerous Waste” must be present on the label.

If you are in need of a hazardous waste collection container, we have a supply of them in the storeroom. They are 10L HDPE plastic bottles supplied free of charge by EH&S. They also come with the yellow high volume waste label attached!

Plastic jugs with "Dangerous Waste" label.

Use a new label to identify the hazardous waste

  • Containers larger than four liters (One gallon) must be labelled with the 8.5″ by 11″ Hazardous Waste Label. These are available from the storeroom or EH&S upon request.
  • Never overfill hazardous waste containers (Never go over an 80% full line). Expansion and excess weight can lead to spills, explosion, and extensive environmental exposure.
  • Hazardous waste containers for liquids are generally rated by volume capacity. Allow extra room in liquid containers to allow for expansion of contents.
  • Do not fill jugs or bottles past the shoulder of the container. The shoulder of the container is the place where the container slopes in towards the neck.
  • Fill containers for solids no closer than two inches from the closure.
  • Keep all waste collection containers closed except when adding or removing material.
  • The pictured sticker-style label is only appropriate for waste containers with volume less than or equal to four liters.
Label: Dangerous Waste.
This label is only appropriate for waste containers with volume less than or equal to four liters.

Completing Labels

Follow these guidelines for completing hazardous waste labels:

  • Use full chemical names or common names. CHEMICAL FORMULAS OR ABBREVIATIONS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE
  • List all chemical components in the waste container, including water. Long lists may be continued on a separate label attached to the container. The chemical must be named, no abbreviations, nor chemical notation (e.g. water not H2O, ethanol not ETOH, Tetrahydrofuran, not THF…)
  • Indicate the percent concentration. You have the best knowledge of the contents of the container, and an estimate done by you is much better than anyone else. The percentages must sum to 100%.
  • Indicate concentrations under 1% as 0%, with ALL possible chemical contaminants listed on the hazardous waste label.
  • Indicate the major hazard by checking the appropriate hazard on the label.
  • List the CWAA date as the date you bring the hazardous waste to the storeroom.
  • Place additional hazard information on a separate label.
  • Print research lab name/building and room number and a contact phone number on the tag.

To make calculating percent concentration easier, we recommend maintaining an Excel sheet for complicated labels and checking the total percentage with the Sum() function. It is preferable to use weight percent if possible.

If feasible, separate halogenated solvents from non-halogenated.

Collection and Disposal

Containers with improper caps, leaks, outside contamination, or improper labeling will not be accepted until these problems have been corrected.

Improper disposal methods for hazardous chemical waste include the following:

  • Disposal down the drain
  • Intentional evaporation in a fume hood
  • Disposal in the regular trash

The storeroom will refuse hazardous waste containers with improper labels, containment, leaks, or improper caps. Do not send hazardous waste in the dumbwaiter.

Disposing of Empty Containers

What do I do with empty chemical containers? How do I get rid of them? Can they be placed in the trash dumpster? These are questions frequently asked by department personnel.

EPA regulations stipulate that empty containers must meet the following requirements:

  • Containers must be triple rinsed.(For Acutely Hazardous chemicals (list found in the SPPM Sections S70.42.5-8) this rinsate must be disposed of as dangerous waste-contact Gary about what chemicals are on this restricted list.)
  • Product labels must be defaced or removed.
  • Container lids or caps must be removed.
  • However empty containers, with lids, may be returned to the store room once they have been rinsed. These containers are useful for waste disposal by others.
  • Metal containers can be given to the storeroom for disposal. In the past such containers were recycled, but removing the solvent can lids (necessary to turn cans in to Pullman Recycling) has become infeasible due to high volume.
  • Containers that do not meet the requirements mentioned here must be treated as hazardous waste.

Information on Recycling or Disposal of Chemical Wastes can also be found in