Managing hazardous chemical waste
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Managing Hazardous Chemical Waste. What is Hazardous Waste. EPA Definition:

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What is hazardous waste
What is Hazardous Waste

EPA Definition:

A material is a hazardous waste if due to its quantity, concentration, physical, chemical or infectious characteristics it possesses a substantial present, or potential hazard to human health and the environment and has no known use.

What chemical waste must be managed
What chemical waste must be managed?

Wastes that meet any of the following characteristics.

  • Ignitable – Flashpoint of ≤ 140°F

  • Corrosive – pH ≤2 or ≥ 12.5

  • Toxic – LD-50 < 5000 mg/kg

  • Reactive – Reacts with anything

Hazardous waste must not be disposed of on site
Hazardous waste must not be disposed of on site.

This includes Storm

or Sewer Drains

…The Trash Can

Hazardous waste must not be disposed of on site1
Hazardous waste must not be disposed of on site.


Through Waste Treatment!!

Satellite accumulation
Satellite Accumulation

These are areas on Campus that generate small quantities of Hazardous Waste. This would include laboratories.

Definition: An Area that within 9 months accumulates-

  • No more than 55 gallons of any hazardous waste stream.

  • No more than 1 quart of any acutely or extremely hazardous waste stream.

Hazardous waste storage
Hazardous Waste Storage

This open waste containers needs a cap

Poor waste labeling here as well

A funnel is not a cap

Good Secondary Containment

Waste containers must be kept

closed/capped unless waste is being

added or removed!

Hazardous waste storage1
Hazardous Waste Storage

  • Containers must have closable/sealable lids or covers.

  • Containers must be in good condition: no holes, creases, cracks, rust.

  • They must be compatible to the waste stored in it.

Container open with no label

Hazardous waste storage2
Hazardous Waste Storage

  • No Food or Beverage Containers is to ever to be used!

Waste labeling
Waste Labeling

Label must have the words:

  • “Hazardous Waste”

  • The name and address of the generator (SDSU)

  • The waste composition and physical state

  • Percent volume

  • Type of Hazard, ie. Flammable, Corrosive, Toxic

  • The accumulation start date (Month, Day, Year)

Incomplete waste label

-Component label smeared

-No percent volume

-No hazards checked

Waste labeling1
Waste Labeling

In other words, fill out the entire hazardous waste label!!

Empty containers
“Empty” Containers

  • > 5 gallons in size which previously held hazardous materials must be managed.

  • < 5 gallons don’t need to be managed as hazardous waste.

  • Empty containers that previously held Highly toxic materials must be handled as hazardous waste, ie. “Sodium azide”.

California empty
“California Empty”

  • Collect:

    • Collect in a safe location

  • Invert to dry:

    • Invert bottle over paper towels and shake to dry. (Do not air dry in fume hoods or by leaving the lid off)

  • Deface:

    • Thoroughly deface the chemical label and mark as empty

  • Dispose:

    • To dispose of the bottle call EH&S

Waste minimization
Waste Minimization

Key methods for waste minimization

  • Reduce

    • Purchase only what you need

    • Set up experiments so that less solvent or chemicals are needed

  • Reuse

    • Reuse empty containers to collect waste

    • Reuse a solvents if purity is not an issue

  • Recycle

    • Some waste oils can be recycled

    • Some metal cables and tubing can be recycled

Waste container removal
Waste Container Removal

  • Call EH&S Department at x46778 or x46098.

  • Never allow more than the maximum amounts to be accumulated.

  • Satellite containers will be removed within seven working days.

Chemical spills
Chemical Spills

Have a Spill Kit Ready

  • Set-up kit for your specific needs

  • Take inventory of the kit frequently

  • Quickly replace used of missing items

Spill response
Spill Response

For Small Spills:

  • Spills one gallon or less, clean the spill using the material in your spill kit.

  • Don your proper protective equipment (PPE).

  • Place contaminated material into your spill bag, seal, and attach a hazardous waste label.

  • Request a waste pick up of the material from EH&S.


Spill response1
Spill Response

For Larger Spills:

  • Contain the spill if possible, notify others in the area, and evacuate the area.

  • Notify your safety officer or EH&S and the supervisor of the area.

  • If after business hours, notify Public Safety (X41991/911 for campus phones).

  • Do not call Off-campus emergency services. This can lead to longer response time!!

Finally if all else fails
Finally, If All Else Fails…

Consult the Hazardous Materials and Hazardous Waste Management Practices Booklet provided by EH&S.

Frequently asked questions
Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How do I know if my waste product is actually hazardous?

  • A: Other than going though a long and costly waste determination process, give the material to EH&S and let them make that determination.

Frequently asked questions1
Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How do I know if a chemical is acutely hazardous waste?

  • A: Acutely hazardous waste is given something called a P-code by the EPA and can be found at the following link:

    • and click on The P-list and the U-list.

    • Or go to 40 CFR 261.33(e)

Frequently asked questions2
Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Do I need the exact percentage on the hazardous waste label?

  • A: No, they can be done in percent ranges like 10-30%. If there are too many components and there is not enough room to list them, then list the three major components or any acute hazardous waste, no matter the amount.