Chemical Waste Disposal Guidelines


Waste chemicals are picked up from University buildings on a biweekly schedule. The schedule of pickups is every second Friday, starting at 8:30 a.m. and proceeding until completion. In the event of a University holiday falling upon a pickup day, the pickup will be rescheduled for the preceding Wednesday. Notice of rescheduling will be posted at the pickup point.

Waste should be taken to the collection points on the morning of the scheduled pickup. If your building does not have a standard collection point, pickup arrangements can be made by contacting the Environmental Health & Safety Office at 412-624-9505.

Labeling Chemicals for Disposal

  • All chemicals must be identified and labeled.
  • An orange Waste Chemicals label should be filled out completely & placed on the container. Labels should include chemical name, quantity, name of person preparing chemical for disposal, department, telephone extension, and start date for when waste is first added to the container.
  • Common chemical names should be used on labels (no formulas or abbreviations).
  • List all known chemical constituents for each container (do not label as “solvent waste,” halogenated/non halogenated waste, etc.). Estimate concentrations.
  • Labels can be obtained from the Environmental Health & Safety Office at 412-624-9505.

Preparation of Chemicals for Disposal

  • Waste chemicals destined for disposal should be segregated into compatible groups and packaged in a sturdy cardboard box.
  • Consult the Safety Data Sheet for the materials to determine compatible groupings.
  • Five-gallon solvent cans in good condition do not need to be over-packed.
  • Drums greater than five-gallon capacity will not be picked up on regularly scheduled rounds. Arrangements for pickup of drums can be made by contacting the Environmental Health and Safety Office at 412-624-9505.
  • Packaging should be done to minimize the possibility of breakage or leakage during handling (all bottles should be tightly capped to prevent leakage).
  • Containers should be placed upright in the box to prevent spilling of the contents.
  • Bottles should not come in contact with each other, and the space between bottles should be filled with a cushioning material to prevent bottle movement during handling.
  • Bottles of liquid chemicals should be packed with absorbent materials to contain the material in the event of breakage.
  • Do not place any chemical waste in Biological Waste containers (bags, boxes, etc.).
  • Total weight of the box should not exceed 35 pounds.