Environmental Health & Safety

Chemical Waste Disposal

Policy

University personnel must manage chemical wastes in accordance with local, state, and federal regulatory requirements. Compliance is necessary to protect the health and safety of University employees, students and visitors and to meet local, state, and federal regulatory requirements.

Legal Requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Washington State Department of Ecology (WDOE) issue regulations implementing federal and state laws. The City of Pullman regulates discharges to the sanitary sewer systems.

Violations

Violations of local, state, or federal law may result in fines and/or imprisonment for University personnel, supervisors, and administrative officers.

Related Procedures

Sections S5.66 and S5.68 provide procedures for the storage, recycling and disposal of chemical wastes.  The procedure to identify if your waste is regulated is found here.

Applicability

Chemical Wastes

Policies and procedures in S5.66 and S5.68 apply only to the management of chemical wastes which are regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Radioactive Wastes

These procedures do not apply to radioactive wastes. The Radiation Safety Office manages radioactive chemicals. Telephone 335-8916 for assistance or refer to S9.60.

Biohazardous Waste

These procedures do not apply to biohazardous wastes. Facilities Operations manages biohazardous waste. Telephone 335-9000 for assistance or refer to S4.24.

Generator Responsibilities

Waste Identification

The waste generator is responsible for determining whether chemical wastes meet Washington's definitions of dangerous waste. Wastes identified as dangerous waste must be packaged, stored, transported, and disposed of in a safe and legal manner.

Generators may identify which wastes must be managed as dangerous waste by referring to this procedure. As an alternative, generators may report all wastes by submitting a Chemical Collection Request Form (see below), and EH&S will determine the proper management method. Examples of dangerous wastes include laboratory chemicals, photographic processing chemicals, leftover paint, automobile fluids, and other maintenance materials.

Storage

Each department is responsible for properly labeling, preparing, and safely storing such chemical wastes they generate. Refer to S5.68 for complete procedures.

Minimizing Waste

Each department is responsible for minimizing chemical waste generation through prudent purchasing practices, product substitution, recycling or reducing the amount of chemicals used by the department.

Providing Hazard Data

To facilitate safe and legal management of hazardous materials, each department is responsible for providing hazard information (i.e., a Material Safety Data Sheet) to Environmental Health and Safety upon request. See also S5.10.

Container Requirements

The waste generator is responsible for properly packaging their chemical waste.

  • Place each chemical waste in a separate, leak-proof container which does not react with the substance.  Usually this is the original container.
  • The generator supplies containers for disposal or recycling of chemical wastes.
  • Do not combine different wastes in the same container.
  • Segregate containers of potentially reactive chemicals (e.g. acids/bases or oxidizers/flammables)
  • Provide secondary containment (e.g., a plastic tub) for any primary container that may leak or rupture. (See S5.62 for chemical spill procedures)

Labeling Requirements

The waste generator is responsible for properly labeling chemical waste containers.

  • Containers must be labeled upon first adding waste
  • Label each container with the name of each constituent, the percentages/amounts of each constituent, the hazards the waste presents (e.g., flammable, corrosive, toxic) and the name of the responsible individual. Print or type the words "DANGEROUS WASTE" in front of the chemical name on the label
  • Account for 100% of the waste constituents on the container label, including water. Do not use chemical formulae or abbreviations.
  • The CCR # can be found in the upper right corner of the Chemical Collection Request Form (see Figure 2)
  •  


    A propoerly completed DW label

     Figure 1 -- A properly completed Dangerous Waste label

Reporting Wastes

Chemical Collection Request Form

Use a Chemical Collection Request Form to report chemicals for disposal or recycling. The form is available here. Hard copies may also be obtained from Environmental Health and Safety by calling 509-335-3041.  Contact EH&S for alternative reporting options if more than 25 forms are required at any one time.

General Instructions for Online CCR form

Complete a separate Chemical Collection Request Form (CCR) for each waste. One form may be used for multiple containers of identical waste (i.e., same waste composition).
When submitting forms online, enter all of the information available, then continue to the next page, where you must review and submit the information. Your browser will then return a Dangerous Waste label and CCR number (described above). You may either print this page and attach it to the waste container(s), or transfer the information to the Dangerous Waste label already on the container.

Name

Enter the name of the responsible person who can answer questions about the waste.

Mailstop

Enter your department mailstop number. Check with your department office if you do not know this number.

Phone

Enter the number at which the responsible person can be reached.

Building and Room

Specify the building name and room number where the waste is to be collected.

Constituents and %

Enter the complete chemical name (IUPAC) for each of the waste constituents. Do not use chemical formulae or abbreviations. Also record the percentages of each constituent. Be sure that listed constituents account for 100% of the container contents (including water).

Unknown Chemicals

If chemical wastes cannot be identified, fill out a Chemical Collection Request Form as completely as possible. Write the term "Unknown" in the Constituents section of the form and add any information available concerning the waste (i.e., known constituents, manufacturer's name and address, physical appearance). Generators of unknowns should make every effort, including contacting departed faculty or staff, to determine a container's contents.

Properties

Indicate liquid, solid, and/or gas. If it is a combination of physical states, mark each physical state present in the container.

Number of Containers

Indicate the number of containers.

Size

Indicate the size of the container(s), e.g., 4 liters, 250 milligrams.

General Instructions for traditional (paper) CCR form

All information on the paper form is the same as that on the online form. Detailed instructions for filling out the paper CCR are provided on the back of the form. When filling out the CCR, write information only in the unshaded areas. Type or clearly print all information requested on the form.

Figure 2 -- A properly completed Chemical Collection Request Form

Form Distribution

  • Enter the CCR# on the Dangerous Waste label
  • Place the yellow copy of the form in the files of the generating department/laboratory.
  • Send the white copy to EHS at mail stop 1172.

EH&S Responsibilities

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) assists departments by collecting, designating, recycling, and disposing of chemical wastes.

EH&S provides departments with information on waste minimization and with directions for preparing chemical wastes for recycling or disposal.

Contact EH&S at 335-3041 for assistance in managing chemical wastes.

Collection

After receiving the completed form, EH&S personnel determine the appropriate management method, and assign all applicable waste codes. EH&S collects chemical wastes, and coordinates and contracts for transportation, recycling or disposal of waste chemicals.

NOTE: EH&S response to departmental requests for disposal of certain uncommon chemicals may be delayed until a disposal facility is found to accept the wastes.

Recycling

EH&S reviews all wastes for recycling alternatives. A stock of unused chemicals available for recycling to University personnel is maintained on campus. The list of chemicals appears on the EH&S Chemical Recycling Website. To request free delivery of a chemical on the recycling database, e-mail EH&S from the website or call 335-3041.

If you have surplus chemicals in your lab or work area that you would like to have recycled to another user, submit them to EH&S using the waste reporting process described above. EH&S will collect these chemicals and determine whether they are acceptable for recycling.

Inappropriate Disposal Methods

Drains, Trash, Evaporation

Disposal of chemical wastes by drain-dumping, evaporation, or by placement in the regular trash system is a serious violation of local, state, and federal law, punishable by fines and imprisonment. When a generator of dangerous wastes illegally or inappropriately dumps such waste in the trash contaminating common refuse (trash, paper, etc.), the entire mixture may become a "dangerous waste." This practice may result in very costly disposal. The University may require generators who create these disposal problems to pay for disposal.

DO NOT DISPOSE OF CHEMICALS IN DRAINS, TRASH, OR BY EVAPORATION WITHOUT PRIOR EH&S APPROVAL

Dilution

A hazardous chemical waste cannot be rendered nonhazardous by dilution with water or solvent.
Exceptions

Under unusual circumstances, and with prior approval, disposal by one of the above methods may be legal and appropriate. Contact EH&S at 335-3041 for more information.

Chemical Spills

Laboratory Spills

If a spill occurs in a laboratory, refer to the WSU Laboratory Safety Manual and your lab's spill response and emergency plan for spill management directions.

Refer to S5.62 for chemical spill management procedures.

Non-laboratory Spills

Refer to S5.62 for chemical spill management procedures.

Assistance

Call 911 if involved personnel are uncertain about the nature of the spill or require assistance with spill management.

Environmental Health & Safety, PO Box 641172, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-1172, 509-335-3041, Contact Us