Office of Emergency Management
| Environment, Health & Safety
Empty Containers & Chemical Waste Containers
Empty containers may have to be managed as hazardous waste depending on several factors. The Facilities Department can assist you in disposal instructions.
Empty container disposal procedures:
- It is recommended that a container, five gallons or less, should be rinsed, marked as empty, or have the labels defaced before disposal in normal trash or reused to hold waste.
- Depending on the type of chemical the container held, it may need to be rinsed with a solvent to remove residues. All first rinses should be collected as hazardous waste. Further rinsing may be used where appropriate. Collection of additional rinses will depend on the chemicals involved.
- Glass containers should be disposed with the broken glass waste stream.
- Bottles which contained an extremely hazardous waste must be managed as dry hazardous waste through the Facilities Department. Dry hazardous waste is always placed inside of two clear plastic bags with the tag on the outer bag. Each bag should be taped or tied individually.
- Containers larger than five (5) gallons should be managed as hazardous waste.
Chemical Waste Containers
- A suitable container for the collection of hazardous chemical waste must be in good condition, not leaking, and compatible with the waste being stored.
- The container must always be closed during storage, except when it is necessary to add waste.
- Hazardous waste must not be placed in unwashed containers that previously held an incompatible material.
- If a container holding hazardous waste is not in good condition or if it begins to leak, the generator must transfer the waste from this container to a container that is in good condition, overpack the container, or manage the waste in some other way that prevents a potential for a release or contamination.
- Please contact your campus Facilities Department if assistance is needed.
Container Requirements for:
- Containers must be free of exterior contamination.
- Containers must be chemically compatible and the size should be suitable for the material stored.
- Containers must be in good condition with screw tops or sealed lids.
- Containers must not be leaking, rusting, or have any other defects.
- Containers must not be filled to the top. (Leave 10% air space)
- Dry waste must be double-bagged in transparent and sturdy bags
- Bags cannot have sharp or protruding edges.
- Bags must be taped or tied closed.
- Containers must be tightly closed when waste is not being added to them.
- Always store liquid waste containers in secondary containment.
- Inspect containers at least weekly for leaks and deterioration.
- Place broken thermometers in clear bags and double-bag.
- Biohazard materials will not be accepted.
- Put all chemically contaminated sharp objects in a sharps container that is not red and does not contain any biohazard symbols.
- Wastes stored in labware (e.g., test tubes, flasks), waste sealed with corks or parafilm, or containers with exterior contamination require special handling. You must contact the campus Facilities Department for instructions before storage and disposal.