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Hazardous Waste Procedures


  • Determine if you can reuse of recycle this waste in your laboratory. If so, there is no need to dispose of the material through the UH Hazardous Waste Program pickup procedures.
  • If you have unopened or uncontaminated containers in a usable form, you should attempt to find another user. This will avoid the cost of disposal, the environmental impact of disposal, and needless cost to another user incurred through the purchase of new chemicals. EHLS operates a chemical exchange program called CHEM-SWAP expressly to aid in the exchange of useable chemicals. For more information contact EHLS.
  • Separate solids and liquids. All liquids must be free of solid material and or sludge to facilitate consolidation, recycling and proper disposal. If solids cannot be separated from liquids, the identification and quantity of the solid component must be listed on the UH Hazardous Waste Pickup Request Form. Every effort should be made to separate solids and liquids.
  • Consolidate similar wastes. Effort should be made by the waste generator to consolidate same-type waste into as few containers as possible.
  • Properly package the waste. Make sure containers are compatible with the material inside and if not, perform a transfer to a new container. Containers must be leak free, have a tight cap, and be clean on the outside. Stoppers and corks are not suitable.  Containers should be no more than 90% full to avoid spills.
  • Label all hazardous waste containers with the hazardous waste labels.  Information on the labels must agree with the information on the UH Hazardous Waste Pickup Request Form.
  • Prepare the waste containers for pick-up and transport. Waste is transported with other waste shipments and so must be protected from the potential hazards of that process. All containers must be visible within the packing, and accessible to EHLS personnel for labeling purposes. Accordingly, do not completely cover waste containers and do not tape boxes shut. Packed boxes must be of a size and weight which one person can carry (50 pounds or less). Five-gallon cans and strong plastic containers need not be boxed. Please note that plastic milk jugs are not acceptable for the transport of hazardous substances.
  • Please be sure that someone is available during the requested pick-up time.  Inaccessible, locked laboratories and rooms interrupt the scheduled pick-ups and create inefficiencies. 


For step-by-step instructions on submitting a waste pickup request form, please visit our tutorial page