Chemical Waste Storage

Chemical waste must be disposed of according to University policy. In general, chemical waste should not be placed in areas accessible to the general public (e.g., hallways, restrooms, stairways, outside buildings, loading docks, parking lots, or open motor vehicles)

In addition, chemical waste must be segregated from chemicals in use in a safe and conspicuous location. Do not place hazardous waste in a location where it could be mistaken for ordinary trash and accidentally disposed of by general service (housekeeper) personnel. 

Chemical waste may not be disposed of in domestic waste containers (dumpsters, trash cans, etc.), evaporated in a fume hood, poured down drains, rinsed down sanitary sewers, or in any other way released to the environment without consulting EHS. 

The improper disposal of chemical waste can result in injuries to employees, damage to the environment, and fines from regulatory agencies. 

Common findings relevant to chemical waste storage:

Waste is not stored at the point of generation: 

All chemical waste must be stored in the laboratory in which it was generated. Taking hazardous waste to central accumulation areas, or consolidating the waste with other laboratories, is not permitted. Do not place chemical waste in hallways, areas accessible to the general public, or where it may be mistaken for general trash. 

Chemical waste is not under the control of the generator: 

Chemical waste must be located in the area it is generated. Chemical waste stored in locations away from where it is generated must be removed immediately, and that practice needs to be discontinued. 

Waste storage exceeds regulatory limits: 

The maximum amount of waste that can be stored in a laboratory is 55 gallons. The exception to this pertains to the generation of acutely hazardous waste (P-listed), for which the limit is 1 quart. 

Empty containers are being disposed of improperly: 

Empty chemical containers may be disposed of in the regular municipal trash or broken glassware boxes, provided they are completely empty and the chemical labels are completely defaced. The container must be triple-rinsed, with the rinsate collected as hazardous waste. The only exceptions are containers previously holding acutely hazardous waste (P-listed), which must be disposed of through EHS as hazardous waste, by submitting a chemical waste pickup request.