Instructions for
Hazardous Waste Disposal

Proper disposal of chemical wastes is required by federal and state laws. To make this process as easy as possible, the Risk Mangement Department has established the Hazardous Waste Disposal program. For waste generators, this system requires three steps: packaging the waste correctly, filling out the hazardous waste tag and sending the tag to us. There is no charge for this service.

Please note that we commonly have problems with the tags being improperly completed. We have described the most common problems below.


Packaging the Waste

Package the waste in a leakproof container with a screw-top lid or other secure closure. Snap caps, such as those found on milk bottles, mis-sized caps, parafilm, or other loose fitting lids are not acceptable.

Solid debris can be packaged into sealed plastic bags. Do not use biohazard bags for chemically hazardous waste.

Clean visible contamination from the outside of the container.


Labelling the Waste

Obtain and complete a hazardous waste tag from the Environmental Safety Facility. Call us at 656-5400, or we can be reached through campus mail at ESF, 655 Spear Street, or via e-mail

Completing the Tag.
Fill out the following information legibly:
Investigator/generator: This is the person we contact if we have questions about the waste. He or she should be knowledgeable about the chemical characteristics of the waste and the processes used to generate the waste.

Department: Departments are not charged for waste disposal. However, we need to track who generates UVM's chemical waste to help in pollution prevention planning.

Date: State and federal law allows us to store waste on campus for no more than 90 days. If the container was used to accumulate waste, the date should give the last day waste was added.

Phone number: List the number where the generator can be reached.

Building and Room: Please list the building and room where the waste will be located when we arrive to pick it up, not your office.

Amount: Indicate the amount of waste in the container, not the size of the container, using one of the following units of measure: liter (including mL, etc.), gallon, gram (including Kg, etc.), pound. For example, two liters of waste in a four liter container should be entered as two liters.

Waste Classification: Using the waste classification system helps us determine which wastes are compatible for packaging or consolidating.

Chemical and %: List all constituents in the container, including solvents and water, by full name, not by abbreviation, initials or chemical formula. Include their approximate proportions, which should add up to 100%. If the proportions are unknown, indicate that the container holds a mixture and identify the components as well as you can.

Also, please check to be sure that every tag you use has a serial number in the upper left corner. These are critical to our database which tracks the location of the wastes on campus. We are required by EPA regulation to be able to produce an inventory of the location of wastes on campus at any time.


Arranging for Waste Pickup

Send the white copy of the completed tag to the ESF at 655 Spear Street. Attach the remaining copies of the tag to the waste container. We will pick-up the waste within a week of receiving the tag.

Leave the tagged containers in a visible place in the room noted on the tag.


Bad Tags

While most hazardous waste tags we receive are usable, there are some common problems that create bad tags. And then there are some unusually ugly tags. Some common mistakes found on tags include:

  • Putting initials or the name of a lab in the sec tion designated for the investigator/generator. We need to have an individual to contact if we have questions regarding the waste.

  • Failure to list the building and room where the waste can be located.

  • Failure to identify 100% of the chemical constituents.

  • Failure to identify any of the constituents at all. Disposing of unknown chemicals is extremely expensive!


  • Using chemical formulas to identify the chemical constituents in the waste. For clear communication and to comply with the applicable laws and regulations, the names of chemical constituents must be written out completely!

  • Using trade names, abbreviations, or "waste" in stead of listing chemical constituents. Refer to the MSDS for the chemical constituents, or attach a copy of the MSDS with the waste.


    Ugly Tags

    We often receive tags that are contaminated with chemicals. Please keep in mind that we have to handle the tags when entering the data and creating packing lists. Chemically contaminated tags spread chemicals wherever they go. Additionally, these chemicals can obscure or erase the tag's serial number.
    Do not overfill containers. Prevent leakage by leaving empty space at the top of the containers. Wipe off dirty containers before affixing tags. If a container leaks, put the leaker in another container, or transfer the waste to an intact one. If you need containers suitable for waste transport, contact us - we may be able to help.

    If you need tags or have questions about how to use them, call us at the ESF, extension 6-5400 or contact us by e-mail. Help us by sending in good tags, we'll take care of the rest!

    Document information:
    http://esf.uvm.edu/offsafety/offsafety.html Version 0.97
    HTML written by Ralph Stuart Last updated: July 2, 1996
    The UVM Safety Information home page is found at: http://esf.uvm.edu