Chemical Waste Disposal
EH&S is responsible for the collection of hazardous chemical waste for the University, including all campuses and off-site locations. Hazardous chemical waste is defined as any liquid, gaseous, or solid chemical that is ignitable, corrosive, reactive, toxic, or persistent, and is no longer useful or wanted.
According to Administrative Policy Statement 11.2, organizational units and departments cannot contract with an outside vendor to collect hazardous waste.
There is no charge for hazardous chemical waste collection, except for unknowns and unstable peroxide forming chemicals.
Read the instructions How to Label Chemical Waste Containers to find out how to comply with hazardous waste labeling requirements.
Set up a new routine chemical waste collection
If you generate waste on a regular basis, consider setting up a routine pickup.
- To set up a routine pickup, fill out a New Routine Chemical Waste Collection Request.
- Your chemical waste will be assigned a routine number that will be linked to the waste composition and the pickup location.
- If you have questions about whether a waste qualifies for routine collection, email email@example.com or call 206.616.5835.
What you need to know
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Inventory owners and area contacts can generate chemical waste disposal requests in MyChem. You can:
- Select chemicals from your inventory
- Add chemicals to the waste list that were not in your inventory
- Add process waste or a mixture of chemicals in a carboy or drum
- Add spill debris or other mixtures of debris and chemical
1. From the inventory page, select the Waste Collection button. You'll see your inventory appear.
2. If the items for disposal are in your chemical inventory, select them using the checkboxes and then Save List. The next page is a list of the chemicals you want collected. Edit the list as needed. You can remove or add additional chemical waste before submitting the final list to EH&S via the Submit Report to EH&S button.
3. If the items are not in your inventory or not yet on your waste list, use the Add New Waste Chemical button to make additions to the list of waste. You will go through the process of searching for each chemical in the container, indicating a percentage of each. When all chemicals in the container add up to 100%, you will be asked for container information including type and volume/weight information. Save to get the new waste container added to your list. The next page displays the list of waste that you want collected. Edit and add to the list before submitting the report to EH&S.
3. The Add Comment button allows you to add a note about the specific location of the waste or access to the area. Do this step before submitting the report to EH&S.
4. Once a report has been submitted, use the View Past Reports button to view it. If the waste is consistently generated, consider naming the report, so you easily reuse it for future waste collection requests. Use the Recreate List button to call-up a previously submitted waste list for edits and re-submission.
You must place a UW Hazardous Waste Label on the container, unless the material is still in its original manufactured container and the container is four liters or smaller in size. (See instructions below for containers larger than four liters).
All other containers used to accumulate hazardous waste or universal waste must have a completed UW Hazardous Waste Label. Containers must be labeled as soon as waste begins to be accumulated in them.
- Hazardous Waste - CORROSIVE
- Hazardous Waste - FLAMMABLE
- Hazardous Waste - REACTIVE
- Hazardous Waste - TOXIC
UW Hazardous Waste Labels are available at no charge at the following locations on campus. These labels come in a booklets of 20 and are self-adhesive.
J014 Health Sciences Building
Monday - Friday
Last day of the month
Chemistry Department Research Stockroom
036 Bagley Hall
Monday - Friday
Closed on UW employee holidays
Contact Environmental Programs at 206.616.5835 if you would like us to send you some of these labels via campus mail.
You may also print out your own UW Hazardous Waste Labels, either by printing the labels and filling them out, or by filling out the labels first and then printing.
- Hazardous Waste Labels: Four different labels
- Hazardous Waste Labels: Four identical labels
- Universal Waste Labels: Four different
- Universal Waste Labels: Four identical
For more information about labeling hazardous waste containers, see the instructions How to Label Chemical Waste Containers.
Before they become “waste-like.” "Waste-like" chemicals are items with faded labels, deteriorating containers, leaks and/or other obvious signs that the chemicals are not being used. Waste-like chemicals are not likely to be used in the future.
You can request collection of "waste-like" chemicals as hazardous waste. Regulatory staff conduct periodic inspections of laboratories and may assess fines for the presence of "waste-like" chemicals. These chemicals present an unreasonable risk of spills and exposures.
Legacy chemicals are unwanted chemicals left behind by a previous occupant of your laboratory space. Occupants moving out of a space have the responsibility of cleaning out the space, but unfortunately this doesn't always happen. You can request collection of legacy chemicals as hazardous waste. There is no charge for waste collection except for unknowns and unstable peroxide formers. See the EH&S Guidelines for Peroxide Forming Chemicals for more information.
If contents of the chemical container you want to get rid of are unknown to you, you can still request its disposal using our online system. Just list it as an “unknown.” We charge $75 per container to cover some of the cost of handling and disposing of these chemicals. Please include a budget name and number in the notes section of the collection request form.
If we can get enough knowledge about the generator, we may not have to charge for this waste. With that in mind, we will contact you requesting as much information as possible. We may ask you such things as what you think it might be, where the container was found, what kind of work the lab did; we may also ask you to take a picture and send it to us.
If you are relocating or cleaning out your workplace and have a large volume of chemical waste, here are some guidelines.
If you will have more than 100 containers of waste, call 206.616.5835 to arrange for a cleanout appointment at least one month in advance of your move.
Any waste not in its original container must have a completed UW Hazardous Waste label. We will pick up the waste in two to four weeks after you request collection.
Finally, remember to update your chemical inventory with MyChem.