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. 


Step-By-Step Instructions

Complete each of the sections of the waste form with the information requested.

  • Waste Labeled and Properly Package - Must check "Yes" box or request will not be submitted.
  • Requestor - Enter the name of the person submitting the waste pick up request
  • Extension (EXT) - This is the extension or telephone number of the requestor.
  • Building - Type the building name. Example: Fleming Building or the building number 564.
  • Lab/Room number - The lab or room number where the waste is stored at the time the pickup request is submitted.
  • PI/Supervisor - The name of the principal Investigator for laboratory generated wastes or the name of the supervisor for wastes generated in other areas (for example Paint Shop)
  • Department - Indicate the department where the principal investigator works or indicate the department generating the waste.
  • Waste Category - Check one box only and use a separate pickup request form for chemical waste, biological waste, and radioactive waste.
  • Identification/Description of Waste -
        • State whether the waste is a mixture and list all waste components using their specific, non-abbreviated, chemical name
        • Estimate and indicate the volume (liquids) or weight (solids) each represents in the container.
        • The identification and quantity of any solids present in liquid waste must also be listed if such solids/sludge cannot be separated.

    Note: The identification/Description of Waste section of the form is expandable.  Please give as much detail as required to describe the waste and potential hazards in handling the waste such as highly caustic (for example pH = 2) 

  • Solid Liquid Gas - Check the appropriate letter to indicate the present physical state of the waste. Choose "S" for solid, "L" for liquid, and "G" for Gas or "LSV" for Liquid Scintillation Vials if the waste pertains to radiation.
  • Number, Size, & Type of Container(s)

    Identify the number, size and type of containers. 

    Example 1: If you had 20 containers of waste Hexane in 4 liter bottles, your entry would be: 20 x 4 liter bottles.

    Example 2: If you had 5 gallons of Methylene chloride and 10 gallons of a mixture of Trichloroethane and Acetone, both in 5-gallon metal cans, your entry would be separate for each chemical or mixture. For the Methylene chloride you would enter: 1 x 5 gal. For the mixture of Trichloroethane and Acetone you would enter in the next box down: 2 x 5 gal cans.

    Example 3: If you had 3 separate containers of Sodium hydroxide, each of a different size or type, they should be listed on separate lines of the form. For example the first box might read, 1 x 4 L bottle. The second box would read, 1 x 100 g can, and the third would read, 1 x 500 ml bottle.

    Example 4: If you have broken thermometers collected in a 4 liter bottle or any other unusual item or container, list the number, size and type of container and make a special note of the unusual item or container in the box below under Waste Notes and/or Handling Instructions.

  • Volume or Weight per Container

    Indicate the total volume or weight of each container. Differing sizes of containers should be listed on separate lines of the form.

    Example 5: If you had 2 bottles of solid Barium chloride, one containing 100 grams and the other containing 500 grams, they would be listed in separate boxes. The first box would read, 100 g. The second box would read, 500 g.

    Example 6: If you had two containers of Calcium hydroxide, one liquid and one solid, they would be listed in separate boxes also.

     If you have a container with liquid and solids in it, every effort should be made to separate the two. If this cannot be done, list the amount of solid and volume of liquid in the same box for that particular container.

  • Waste Notes and/or Special Handling Instructions - Note any location access restrictions or any special hazards associated with the wastes.
  • RAD Waste Replacements - Indicate the number of Radiation Bags, Carboys and Sharp Tubes needed for replacement.
  • Biological Waste Bag Replacement - Indicate the number of Biological Waste Bags needed for replacement.
  • Preferred Pickup Day - Currently EHLS is performing waste pickups from 8 a.m. - 12 noon, Tuesday through Friday weather permitting.  Allow a minimum of 24 hours after submitting a pick-up request form for EHLS personnel to attempt the waste pick-up.
  • Submit the Waste Pick up Request - After completing the required fields hit the "submit" button at the bottom of the form.



After submitting the request, you should then see a message on the screen that reads,

"You have successfully submitted a waste pick up request!"

 Reference #: XXXX (system generated number)


If you do not see this message, then resubmit the request.  Contact EHLS if you have continued difficulty in submitting a request.