Chemical Waste Management Reference Guide


The collection, transportation and characterization of hazardous chemical waste at the Ohio State University falls under the direction of the Environmental Affairs program. In accordance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) the program encourages generators to utilize various chemical minimization methods to reuse, reduce the quantity and toxicity of chemical waste. 

What is hazardous waste?

Hazardous Waste is anything defined by one or more characteristics: Ignitability, Corrosivity, Reactivity, Toxicity and a Listed Waste. 

What is listed waste?

Listed waste is considered anything listed as: F Waste (hazardous waste from non-specific sources [solvent can waste]), K Waste (hazardous waste from specific sources [distillation bottoms]), and P and U waste (discarded commercial chemical products, off spec products, container residues, and spill residues [generally discarded chemicals]). 

Generator Responsibilities

  • Follow all procedures for labeling, storing and disposing of hazardous waste
  • Minimize the amount of waste which is generated
  • Recycle unused chemicals via the EHS Chemical Redistribution Program 

Waste Collection

  • Use containers which are compatible with the chemical waste
  • For large or bulk quantities, EHS can provide containers if necessary.
  • Containers should always be labeled, capped and stored in a safe location in the laboratory -Do not store incompatible chemicals containers together
  • Do not combine incompatible chemicals together in the same waste container
  • Chemicals cannot be evaporated in the fume hood
  • Spent solvent waste must have a pH>5 and <9
  • Waste chemicals should be packaged according to hazard class 

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Chemical waste is picked up by the Environmental Health and Safety by submitting an online hazardous waste pickup request. No chemicals can be disposed of in the sanitary sewer system.

Information required:

  • Name
  • Phone number -Building
  • Room number
  • Chemical name(s)
  • Container amount(s)
  • Number of containers 

What should I do with unwanted chemicals?

If you are a Principal Investigator (PI) and you are planning to leave the university begin by contacting your department, safety coordinator or Environmental Affairs for assistance.

For unwanted chemicals:

  • First consider redistribution of surplus chemicals to other campus laboratories. Contact EHS for details.
  • Identify and appropriately label all containers
  • Stabilize and place chemicals in sealed containers
  • Compile a list to be submitted to EHS prior to moving 

How do I dispose of unwanted chemical bottles?

Most empty chemical bottles can be triple rinsed prior to disposal.

Triple rinsing involves:

  • rinse the bottle three times with clean water, be sure to collect the rinsate each time
  • label the empty bottle as “triple rinsed”
  • follow the glassware disposal chart for proper disposal methods