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Hazardous Chemical Waste

Hazardous Chemical Waste

What is Hazardous Waste?

Hazardous waste management is the collection, transport, processing, recycling, or disposal of waste materials. Our Waste Management program supports the campus in responsibly managing hazardous waste. We help guide you through waste disposal procedures ranging from Hazardous Materials, Batteries, Gas Cylinders, Glass, and Sharps. We provide Waste Pickup Services where you can request pickup of hazardous waste online. 

Note: If unsure how to dispose of waste, please contact EHS at (909) 537-5179, complete a service request form, or refer to the Safety Data Sheets for more information on how to dispose of products. Strict regulations governing the disposal of hazardous wastes have been promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Cal/EPA, and San Bernardino County Department of Health. Infractions of these regulations can lead to the civil and criminal prosecution and/ or fines. Therefore, it is imperative that these materials be disposed of in a responsible manner that aligns with regulatory standards.  

Hazardous wastes — either byproducts or chemical stock no longer in use — MUST BE collected by EH&S for disposal, provided they are properly packaged and labeled. EH&S will then ensure that the waste materials are disposed of in an approved manner and that the documentation of the disposal is maintained. Follow these procedures when preparing wastes for collection: 

  1. Ensure that individual containers are labeled in accordance with the identification requirements prior to adding waste. 

  2. Make sure hazardous waste containers are appropriate, sealed, and in good condition. 

  3. Segregate hazardous waste from incompatible materials through distance or physical barriers such as placing the container in a secondary containment. 

  4. Submit an EH&S Service Request (link to service request form) for hazardous waste pickup and removal. 

Hazardous Waste Labels 

Hazardous wastes are defined as materials that are no longer of use, shall be labeled with an approved hazardous waste label. For reference, below is a properly filled Hazardous Waste label: 

Hazardous Waste Label
EH&S Approved Hazardous Waste Label

Labeling Hazardous Chemical Waste 

Hazardous waste containers must be labeled when waste starts accumulating (i.e. as soon as the first drop of waste is put in the container), not when the container becomes full.  All chemical waste containers MUST BE labeled with the following information:  

  1. Accumulation start date: when the first drop of waste is placed into the container. 
  2. Name, extension, and room number of lab supervisor and/or principal investigator (PI) 
  3. List all constituents, including water and estimate the concentration of each constituent  
  4. Do not use abbreviations or chemical formulas 
  5. Complete the physical state of the waste (Solid, Liquid, Gas) 
  6. Add the appropriate hazards and hazard class to the labels. Consult with the material's SDS to decide of the appropriate hazards.
  7. Do not combine incompatible waste.  

In addition, the following precautions must be observed:

  • DO NOT store incompatible waste containers in the same areas. (e.g. if you have two different waste streams that are incompatible with each other store they in different areas away from each other).  
  • DO NOT use incompatible containers for waste.  
    • Example: Accumulating a mineral acid in a hydrogen peroxide container or acids in a metal container.  

The Timeframe for Accumulation of Hazardous Waste  

The university has 90 days to have hazardous waste properly disposed of. Please consult with EH&S before creating waste or if you are unsure how to properly label containers. Please submit an EH&S Service request (link to EH&S Service Request) for a consultation or hazardous waste disposal request as soon as your container is full.  

Schedule for upcoming waste disposal days. (link to the scheduled time of disposal)  

How do I dispose of empty hazardous containers?  

Containers are considered empty when no material can be poured or scraped from it. The container must be California empty before disposing of it as regular waste.  

Empty hazardous chemical containers may be disposed of as regular waste and must meet the following criteria.  

To dispose of empty liquid hazardous material containers:   

  • No liquid can drain from the container when tilted in any direction  
  • Collect any liquid in a separate container for proper hazardous waste management  
  • Invert container on a gray spill pad to collect any residual liquid. Dispose of the gray spill pad as hazardous waste  
  • Deface all labels with a dark pen or place a label around the container stating that EMPTY and the date it is emptied.  
  • When triple rinsing containers collect all the resulting liquid as waste.  
  • Containers can be recycled when completely dried and all labels are defaced. 
  • 5-gallon containers must be disposed of by Environmental Health and Safety 

To dispose of empty solid hazardous waste container:  

  • There is no solid hazardous material remaining that can feasibly be removed  
  • The walls have no coated material on them, a thin layer of dried material is acceptable  
  • Collect all solid waste in a separate container for proper disposal 
  • Deface all labels with a dark pen or place a label around the container stating that EMPTY and the date it is emptied.  
  • A container can be recycled after removing, drying out, and defacing the labels  

Segregating Hazardous Materials 

Segregate chemicals by hazard class. Common examples of proper segregation are but not limited to:  

  • Segregate acids from bases  
  • Segregate oxidizers from organic solvents 
  • Segregate cyanides from acids 
  • Segregate flammable liquids from acids, bases, oxidizers  
  • Segregate flammable solids from acids and oxidizers  
  • Segregate corrosives acids from flammable liquids, flammable solids, bases, oxidizers 
  • Segregate corrosive bases from oxidizers and acids 
  • Segregate water-reactive from aqueous solutions and oxidizers 

For more information on how-to segregate chemicals the CSUSB Chemical Segregation Table (link to table) or please submit an EH&S Service Request for a hazardous waste consultation (link to service request form). 

Requirements for Storing Hazardous Waste  

All hazardous materials should be properly stored and transported to prevent spills and uncontrolled reactions. All hazardous waste should be segregated by hazard class. In addition, the following requirements must be met when accumulating waste: 

  • A complete hazardous waste label affixed to container before adding any hazardous waste.  

  • DO NOT accumulate hazardous waste in the lab for more than 90 days.  

  • Always keep containers tightly closed, except when adding waste. If using a funnel, it must be removed and replaced with a tight-fitting lid as soon as you have finished adding the hazardous waste.  

  • If the funnel can be closed tightly, it can be left on the container.  

  • Hazardous Waste containers must be chemically compatible with the waste 

  • Example: DO NOT use an empty sulfuric acid container to accumulate potassium hydroxide waste. These are incompatible and may react with each other.  

  • All waste containers should be contained in a secondary container while in storage and accumulation.