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University of Colorado Denver

Environmental Health and Safety, University of Colorado Denver

Managing Hazardous Chemical Waste

How to Prepare for Proper Hazardous Chemical Waste Management

SAA log, hazardous waste stickers, and properly labeled bottle

Before generating hazardous waste, you are required to complete basic chemical waste management trainining.  Additionally, the area (lab, shop, classroom) where waste will be managed must also be registered with EHS.  Use the guidance provided below for additional information about what constitutes a hazardous waste, how to arrange for a waste pick up, and more.  If your questions are not adequately answered below, please contact EHS at 4-0345.

Waste Determination

With few exceptions, most unwanted or spent chemicals in your lab or shop will need to be disposed of as chemical waste through EHS, unless another use or user is identified for the material. Consider the following when making a waste determination:

  • The chemical is past its expiration date and you can no longer use it in your research
  • The experiment that uses the chemical is over and you can not find another use for it in your lab
  • You recieved the wrong chemical from your vendor and they can not take it back
  • The chemical was spilled and you or EHS cleaned up the spill (both the spill clean up material and the remaining chemical would be waste)
  • The material is hazardous (EHS can help you make this determination). If you do not have information to the contrary, consider all chemical wastes to be hazardous.
You can not dispose of chemicals in the trash or sanitary sewer without express written approval from EHS.

Inspecting and Documenting Your Inspection Results

Remember that you must register your waste accumulation area (also known as a satellite accumulation area [SAA]) and complete the required training. You also have to conduct weekly inspections of the SAA and waste containers stored there using the EHS SAA weekly inspection logs. The inspection log documents your weekly inspection of the condition of the SAA and waste containers. Don't simply fill out the log without conducting an inspection of the waste. The logs as well as the conditions of your SAA are inspected by regulatory agencies and EHS to confirm compliance with State and Federal regulations. Keep these records for 3 years to show to an inspector during an audit.

For weeks where your SAA does not contain chemical waste, make a note on the inpsection log (when the waste is picked up or the next time you store waste). You do not have to inpsect empty locations, but you must account for periods of inactivity so it does not look like you did not conduct inspections weekly.

Labeling Requirements for Your Chemical Waste Containers

Once you've made the determination that you no longer have a legitimate use for a chemical in your inventory, you need to either: place it in an outer container that is labeled with a hazardous waste sticker in your SAA area or label each individual container with a hazardous waste label before putting it in your SAA. Just as with your chemical products always observe all chemical compatibility rules.

Blank hazardous waste labels can be obtained by emailing the request to or by calling 303-724-0345.

When You Are Finally Ready to Request a Chemical Waste Pickup

When the time comes (after you have taken the required training, registered your lab, conducted any needed weekly inspections and properly labeled your waste) to dispose of your chemical waste, download a request for a chemical waste pick up form, fill it out completely and return it to EHS. Your waste will be picked up within 2 weeks of EHS receiving your waste pickup request.

Chemical waste pickup requests can be submitted to EHS using any of the following methods:

At the Anschutz Medical Campus:

At the Denver Campus:

Hazardous waste is scheduled for pick up on the following months: March, June, September, and December.  Actual dates will be provided by EHS on the first business day of these months along with the waste disposal request form.

For either campus, download the appropriate Chemical Waste Pick Up Request Form for your location (AMC, DDC, or satellite UCD location).

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