Hazardous Waste

This section will provide an introduction to proper disposal of expended or unwanted chemicals in your research laboratory, hazardous waste labeling, segregation and secondary containment.

For hazardous waste bottle pickup, please contact Tina Le at 924-4920.

Hazardous Waste Labeling

SJSU has its own hazardous waste label which must be affixed to each waste container at the time when waste is first accumulated. This label is very important in helping Risk Management/ Environmental Health & Safety determine which method of disposal is appropriate. No unlabeled containers will be accepted for disposal.

The following information is required on all labels:

  1. Generator Information: the Department's container ID number, the name of a contact person, a phone number for that person, the location of the waste, and the accumulation start date.
  2. General Description/Contents: specific chemical name(s) (a must), concentration, and approximate percentage (if part of a mixture).
  3. Physical State:, i.e. liquid or solid.
  4. pH number (if known and/or applicable).
  5. Physical Properties which might help characterize the waste, e.g. flammable, corrosive, toxic, etc.

Segregation & Secondary Containment

Generally, separate liquids from solids.

Use Compatibility Rules:

  1. Separate acidic chemicals from basic chemicals according to pH.
  2. Separate oxidizers from organic chemicals and inorganic reducing agents. (Remember the Fire Triangle).
  3. Separate water reactive chemicals from aqueous solutions.
  4. Separate chemicals with multiple hazards from all other chemicals.

Try to keep all liquid chemicals in secondary containment when not in use.

When transporting chemicals from one room to another PLEASE use a chemical safety bucket.

Waste Program Q & A

Q:How should I obtain the chemicals that I need for my project?
A
: If they are not available in your lab, submit a chemical request to the Biology Service Center (4-4920). If small quantities are needed, provide suitable containerswith appropriate labels.

Q:Once I have obtained the chemicals I need, how should they be stored?
A
: According to a few simple rules of chemical compatibility, with proper documentation for the sake of others in your facility.

  1. Separate acidic chemicals from basic chemicals (segregation according to pH).
  2. Separate Oxidizers from organic chemicals and inorganic reducing agents (Remember the Fire Triangle).
  3. Separate water reactive chemicals from aqueous solutions.
  4. Separate chemicals with multiple hazards from all other chemicals.

Q: What documentation do I need?
A:
Post a list of the materials that you use and have in storage on or near the shelves and cupboards assigned to you. Or, if you share chemicals in a lab with others, update the lab's chemical inventory list when you add new chemicals.

Q: What do I do in an emergency or chemical spill situation?
A
:

  1. Know who to call in an emergency: Instructor or trained personnel in the College (924-4875, 924-5004 or 924-4920). In a medical emergency, fire or other life-threatening situation, call 911.
  2. Avoid accidents by using proper procedures and guidelines.
  3. Become familiar with the emergency and protective equipment available in your laboratory before you begin your project.

Q:What do I do when I'm finished with a chemical, have an empty container or need to dispose of waste?
A
: Return, Rinse/Reuse, and Dispose

  1. RETURN unused or unusable chemicals.
  2. RINSE and REUSE empty containers.
  3. Proper WASTE DISPOSAL.
    • Obtain a suitable container and attach a label.
    • Learn what chemicals MUST be disposed of in a waste container.
    • Write down the name of the chemical(s), the volume and the concentration(s) each time you add a chemical to the waste bottle.
    • Use the compatibility rules to ensure that you add only compatible chemicals to the same bottle!
    • Start a new bottle each time you discard a new compatibility group or when a bottle is 90% filled.