Safety Policies and Procedures Manual
Recycling or Disposal of Chemical Wastes
For more information contact:
Environmental Health and Safety
University personnel must manage chemical waste 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.
WSU must comply with federal, state, and local hazardous waste laws and regulations.
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the Washington State Department of Ecology (WDOE), and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency issue regulations implementing federal and state laws.
- Local governments regulate discharges to the sanitary sewer systems.
Violations of federal, state, or local law may result in fines and/or imprisonment for University personnel, supervisors, and administrative officers.
Section SPPM 5.68 provides procedures for identification and storage of chemical wastes.
Policies and procedures in this section (SPPM 5.66) and SPPM 5.68 apply only to the management of chemical wastes which are regulated by the Washington State Department of Ecology, United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
These procedures do not apply to radioactive wastes. The Radiation Safety Office (RSO) manages radioactive substances. Telephone 509-335-8916 for assistance or refer to SPPM 9.70.
These procedures do not apply to biohazardous wastes. Refer to SPPM 4.24 regarding options for biohazardous waste treatment and disposal. Contact the WSU Biosafety Officer; telephone 509-335-1585; or Facilities Services–Operations; telephone 509-335-4530 for questions regarding biohazards.
Campus EH&S/Facilities Responsibilities
The campus Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) offices assist departments by collecting, designating, recycling, and disposing of hazardous chemical wastes. Note: At WSU Everett, the Facilities department performs this function.
The campus EH&S or Facilities offices provide departments with information about waste minimization and with directions for preparing hazardous chemical wastes for recycling or disposal.
Contact applicable campus EH&S or Facilities support personnel for assistance in managing chemical wastes:
- WSU Pullman EH&S: telephone 509-335-3041
- WSU Spokane EH&S: telephone 509-358-7621
WSU Spokane EH&S also provides information and assistance to WSU Health Sciences—Yakima (which includes College of Nursing—Yakima and College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences—Yakima).
- WSU Tri-Cities EH&S: telephone 509-372-7163
- WSU Vancouver EH&S: telephone 360-546-9706
- WSU Everett Facilities: telephone 425-405-1566
Personnel at WSU locations not listed above may contact WSU Pullman EH&S for assistance.
A waste generator is a person who creates chemical wastes.
Note: By definition, a satellite accumulation area (e.g., laboratory, department) is not a waste generator, but must be controlled by one. (See SPPM 5.68.)
The waste generator is responsible for determining whether chemical wastes meet federal, state, and/or local government definitions of dangerous wastes.
Identify which wastes must be managed as dangerous waste (see Applicability). Wastes defined as dangerous wastes must be packaged, accumulated, transported, and disposed of in a safe and legal manner.
Examples of dangerous wastes include laboratory chemicals, photographic processing chemicals, leftover paint, automobile fluids, and other maintenance materials.
As an alternative, report all wastes by submitting a Chemical Collection Request to the applicable EH&S or Facilities department (see Reporting Wastes below). The applicable campus EH&S or Facilities department determines the proper management method.
WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, WSU Vancouver, and WSU Everett Departments
For identification and management guidance, WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, WSU Vancouver, and WSU Everett departments use the applicable campus chemical collection or chemical reporting form to report wastes to the campus EH&S or Facilities office (see Chemical Collection Request/Chemical Manifest below regarding reporting and requests for pick-up).
Aerosol Containers, Batteries, and Light Bulbs
Most batteries, many lightbulbs, and many pressurized aerosol containers (even when empty), are considered to be regulated waste and must not be disposed of in trash cans, dumpsters, or any other uncontrolled waste receptacle.
The battery leads on all lithium batteries and 9-volt alkaline batteries must be taped with nonconductive tape or placed in an individual nonconductive container to minimize the potential for fire.
WSU Pullman and WSU Vancouver
The campus EH&S departments at WSU Pullman and WSU Vancouver provide labeled containers in waste accumulation areas at various campus locations for waste items such as pressurized containers, batteries, and light bulbs. Contact WSU Pullman or WSU Vancouver EH&S support personnel for the locations of the waste accumulation areas or to arrange waste pickup.
Electronic waste, including monitors, televisions, CPUs, printers, and keyboards, is regulated waste and must not be disposed of in trash cans, dumpsters, or any other uncontrolled waste receptacle.
Departments are to dispose of electronic waste by submitting an online Surplus Disposal Request (SDR) to Facilities Services—Surplus Stores (see BPPM 20.76.) Surplus Stores collects unwanted electronics upon receipt of the SDR.
Note: WSU Vancouver departments must follow the surplus disposal procedures (see “WSU Vancouver Department Procedures” in BPPM 20.76).
Chemicals identified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as controlled substances must be handled in accordance with the requirements of BPPM 45.75.
Each department is responsible for properly labeling, preparing, and safely accumulating all chemical wastes generated. Refer to SPPM 5.68 for chemical waste storage procedures.
Each generator 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 Safety Data Sheet) to the applicable EH&S or Facilities department upon request (see also SPPM 5.10).
The waste generator is responsible for properly collecting chemical wastes in the following manner:
- Place each chemical waste in a separate, leak-proof container that does not react with the substance. Usually this is the original container. The generator is responsible for supplying the waste containers.
- Securely attach a proper lid on each container when not adding waste.
- Do not combine different waste streams in the same container without permission from the applicable campus EH&S or Facilities departments.
Segregate containers of potentially reactive chemicals (e.g. acids/bases or oxidizers/flammables) in order to prevent reactions prior to or during accumulation or collection. See SPPM 5.68 for chemical waste storage procedures.
- Provide secondary containment, e.g., a plastic tub, for any primary container that may leak or rupture. See SPPM 5.62 for chemical spill procedures.
WSU Vancouver waste generators must contact the campus EH&S office to obtain containers in which to store generated wastes; telephone 360-546-9706.
The waste generator is responsible for properly labeling chemical waste containers.
Place a dangerous waste label on each container when waste is first added.
Each self-created dangerous waste label must contain all of the following information:
- Name of each constituent. Do not use chemical formulae or abbreviations.
- Percentages/amounts of each constituent. Account for 100% of the waste constituents on the container label, including water, towel wipes, and other materials used in waste generation.
- Hazards the waste presents (e.g., flammable, corrosive, toxic).
- The words “Dangerous Waste.”
- Chemical Collection Request (CCR) number or Chemical Manifest number (see Chemical Collection Request/Chemical Manifest).
Note: WSU Vancouver waste generators must also place two hazard category stickers on opposing sides of each container (never on the top of the container) to ensure the labeling is clearly visible.
Required Text Size
If the container’s capacity is greater than one gallon, the hazard information and words “Dangerous Waste” must be printed in at least ½” high lettering. Labels meeting these requirements are available from the campus EH&S department.
Obtaining Dangerous Waste Label
Obtain a dangerous waste label using one of the following methods:
WSU Pullman and Other WSU Locations Not Listed Below
- Print a Dangerous Waste Label from the EH&S website.
- Order a Dangerous Waste Label from EH&S; telephone 509-335-3041.
Print a Dangerous Waste Label for use by waste generators at WSU Spokane from the Hazardous Waste area of the WSU Spokane EH&S website.
Print a Dangerous Waste Label for use by waste generators at WSU Tri-Cities from the WSU Tri-Cities EH&S Hazardous Waste Accumulation, Storage, and Labeling webpage.
- Obtain a Dangerous Waste Label for use by waste generators at WSU Vancouver from the campus EH&S Coordinator.
- Obtain hazard category stickers (e.g., toxic, corrosive, flammable, etc.) from WSU Vancouver EH&S.
Note: One Dangerous Waste Label is required per waste container, but two hazard category stickers (each on opposite sides of the container) must be placed and clearly identified.
Provide a description of the chemicals to be collected or recycled in an online WSU Everett Facilities Request.
WSUE Facilities creates the labels as needed.
University personnel who generate surplus hazardous chemicals or chemical waste are responsible for reporting those chemicals to the applicable campus EH&S or Facilities department for subsequent recycling or disposal. (See also SPPM 5.68.)
Waste generators at WSU Vancouver must contact WSU Vancouver EH&S for pickup of surplus hazardous chemicals or chemical waste and complete the applicable collection request documentation and labeling. See WSU Vancouver (Chemical Manifest), Labeling Requirements, and All Departments.
Use the applicable reporting request form (Chemical Collection Request (CCR) form or Chemical Manifest) to report chemicals for disposal or recycling. The forms may be obtained using one of the following methods, as applicable to each campus.
WSU Pullman and Other WSU Locations Not Listed Below
- Complete an online CCR from the EH&S website.
Refer to the website for step-by-step instructions.
- Order paper copies of the CCR from EH&S; telephone 509-335-3041.
Refer to the back of the paper form for detailed instructions for filling out and submitting the completed CCR.
Complete an online Chemical Collection Request (CCR) for use by waste generators at WSU Spokane available on the Hazardous Waste area of the WSU Spokane EH&S website.
Complete an online Chemical Collection Request (CCR) for use by waste generators at WSU Tri-Cities.
Note: After submitting the WSU Tri-Cities CCR, the confirmation page may be printed and used as the container label.
Contact WSU Vancouver EH&S to obtain a digital copy of a Chemical Manifest, which WSU Vancouver waste generators use in place of a CCR.
WSU Vancouver departments and laboratories must assign a unique number for the invoice on the Chemical Manifest. Do not use calendar dates or times as manifest numbers, to avoid duplication among wastes submitted by other generators.
Complete an online WSU Everett Facilities Request to report chemicals for collection or recycling.
After completing the CCR or Chemical Manifest, enter the CCR or manifest number onto the Dangerous Waste label attached to the waste container (see Labeling Requirements). The CCR/manifest number and the number on the applicable label must match.
After receiving the completed chemical collection request or manifest form, campus EH&S or Facilities personnel determine the appropriate management method and assign all applicable waste designation codes.
The applicable campus EH&S and Facilities departments collect the chemicals and coordinate and contract for transportation, recycling, or disposal of waste chemicals.
Note: Campus EH&S or Facilities may not respond to departmental requests for disposal of certain chemicals until a disposal facility is found to accept the wastes.
Campus EH&S or Facilities departments, as applicable, review all wastes for recycling alternatives.
To recycle surplus chemicals from a laboratory or work area, submit the chemicals to the applicable campus EH&S or Facilities department using the waste reporting procedure described under Reporting Wastes. The campus EH&S or Facilities department determines whether the chemicals are acceptable for recycling.
EH&S maintains a stock of unused chemicals at the Pullman campus only, which are available for recycling to University personnel. The list of chemicals appears on the EH&S website.
To request free delivery of a chemical on the recycling database, WSU Pullman departments e-mail EH&S from the website or call 509-335-3041.
Inappropriate Disposal Methods
Drains, Trash, Evaporation
Disposal of chemical wastes in drains, by evaporation, or by placement in the regular trash system without approval from the applicable campus EH&S or Facilities department 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 costly disposal.
The University may require generators who create such disposal problems to pay for disposal.
Important: Do not dispose of chemicals in drains, trash, or by evaporation without prior approval from the applicable campus EH&S or Facilities department.
A hazardous chemical waste cannot be rendered nonhazardous by dilution with water or solvent.
Under unusual circumstances, and with prior campus EH&S or Facilities approval, disposal by one of the above methods may be legal and appropriate. Contact the applicable campus EH&S or Facilities department for more information. See Campus Contacts.
If a chemical spill occurs in a laboratory, refer to the following resources:
- The WSU Laboratory Safety Manual
- The lab’s spill response and emergency plan
- SPPM 5.62 for chemical spill management procedures
Refer to SPPM 5.62 for chemical spill management procedures.
Call the applicable campus EH&S or Facilities department if involved personnel are uncertain about the nature of the spill or require assistance with spill management procedures. (See Campus Contacts.)
Call 911 if there are injuries, risk of fire, or release to the environment.
Revisions: Apr. 2021 (Rev. 129); July 2016 (Rev. 106); Aug. 2004 (Rev. 55); Feb. 2002 (Rev. 43); Mar. 2000 (Rev. 30); May 1993 (Rev. 11); Oct. 1991 (Rev. 9); Sept. 1987 (Rev. 4); Sept. 1986 (Rev. 2).