Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Procedures

Disposal of Unknown Chemical Waste

Research, Environmental Health and Safety   |   Approved May 14, 2015


Dispose of waste classified as unknown substance at University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).


Laboratory personnel at UMB seeking chemical disposal when any waste that is not properly labeled. 

Faculty and Staff must make every effort to provide an accurate description of all chemical waste. Unknown chemical waste presents a serious problem for the University. Without an accurate description, chemicals can not be disposed of in a safe manner. Disposal companies will not accept chemical waste without an accurate description and analysis of unknowns can be an expensive.

The segregation of waste chemicals should be managed according to the EHS’s Segregation of Waste Chemicals website and other best practices.  For more information on chemical waste see EHS’s What is a Hazardous Chemical Waste? and Additional Chemical Waste Categories website.


  1. If a laboratory determines there is chemical waste material that it cannot identify, contact EHS at 6-7055.
    • EHS will assist you in making a proper identification of the chemical.
  2. In cases where together EHS cannot identify the chemical, a sample of the unknown will be sent to an analytical laboratory for identification.
  3. Due to the high cost of analysis, now EHS reserves the right to bill the associated laboratory project for any charges associated with the analysis.
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