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How to prepare and store your hazardous waste

The Chemical Hygiene Plan fully describes "Hazardous Chemical Waste Management" expectation in Chapter 5.

Chemical Hygiene Plan

UCLA uses the UC system-wide Waste Accumulation Storage Tracking electronically called WASTe. 

You will have 90 day from the time you make the tag to submitted it for disposal to our team.

WASTe Portal 

For information on how to generate a tag visit the following page:

How to generate a WASTe Label 

Labeling steps:
1. Generate Tag label
2. Place label in a clear envelope pouch (you can get some from our team at pick up)
3. Write the date your drop it off  on the outside of clear pouch 

What goes on your label?

  • Lab/ Facility location (dropdown associated with your lab's profile) 
  • Accumulation Start Date- this is the date you plan to start collecting your material
  • Physical State- solid, liquid, or gas. (if your waste has visible liquid select liquid. If you have mixed waste that includes tissues see "Tissue or Specimen in Chemical Fixatives").
  • Container Type- select the container type you use
  • Chemical Constituents- list all the chemicals/material in your container this must equal to 100%. Please be descriptive we need to know the hazard.
  • Hazard Class- select all the hazard class associated with the container
  • Comments- Add any comments we need to know
  • Other ID- this is any ID you may use in your lab to reference
Designate a location in your lab to store your hazardous chemical waste. This location is considered a Satellite Accumulation Area (SAA) by the EPA. Waste can only be stored for 90 days.

Refrain from storing waste under sinks. Limited quantities of waste can be stored in a fume hood as long as it does not impede functionality. Try to collected/stored your waste near the point of generation. Periodically check location(s) for conditions of waste containers for signs of leaks, corrosion or deterioration.

Maximum total amounts (including waste) that can be stored in an SAA:
Amount TyPE Notes
55 gallon regular hazardous chemical waste  submit for disposal within 3 days
1 quart extremely hazardous waste submit for disposal within 3 days.
Container > 4L flammable solvents store within flammable storage cabinet
The amounts listed in table for flammables may vary do to Maximum Allowable Quantities (MAQ) of Hazardous Materials. These limits are established by the California Fire Code (CFC) and are the maximum amount of hazardous materials allowed to be stored or used within a control area in a building.

Your Containers Must Be:

  • Free of exterior contamination
  • Labeled with a WASTe tag at all times
  • Chemically compatible with the material of the storage container  (Chemical Resistance Information For Bottles, Containers & Safety Cans)
  • Stored in container size suitable for the material stored, be mindful of the weight of your material don't use containers that are too big  
  • Closed when not in used

Note: Wastes stored in labware (e.g. test tubes, beakers, and flasks) and sealed with a stopper or parafilm will not be accepted.

What to do with empty chemical containers

All hazardous materials must be managed in a manner that prevents spills and uncontrolled reactions.
Stored chemicals and waste should be segregated by hazard classification. Each hazard class should have a separate secondary container.


  • acids from bases
  • flammables from oxidizers
  • organic acids from inorganic acids
  • oxidizers from organics
  • cyanides from acids

When should you dispose of your hazardous chemical waste?

All containers must be disposed of within90 days no matter how full. 
Frequent disposal will ensure that amounts of waste stored in labs are kept at minimal levels and clear up space in your lab.

You should dispose of your containers when they:

  • when your container is full, (liquids 90% full, sharps 2/3 full)
  • once an experiment or process is completed
  • before it is to heavy to move

Hazardous Waste Pick-up Schedule

Types of Hazardous Chemical Waste 

Hazardous waste is a waste with properties that make it potentially dangerous or harmful to human health or the environment. Hazardous wastes can be liquids, solids, or contained gases. They can be the by-products of manufacturing processes, discarded used materials, or discarded unused commercial products, such as cleaning fluids (solvents) or pesticides. Some chemicals are classified hazardous once they are used in a laboratory setting. If you are not sure emails us for help,

Not All hazardous wastes are handled equally. 

Listed below are varying types of waste collected by the hazardous waste group. This information is only for waste generated at UCLA.

Dry WasteExtremely or Acutely Hazardous ChemicalFluorescent & other lamps (Universal Waste)Cylinders- GasesPaint & Art Supplies (Waste)Reactive & Peroxide Forming ChemicalsSharps Contaminated with ChemicalsTissues or Specimens in Chemical FixativesTrace Chemo and Chemotherapy WasteUnknown Chemicals

Picric acid (also known as trinitrophenol) must be kept hydrated at all times, as it becomes increasingly unstable as it loses water content. 
When dehydrated, it is not only explosive but also sensitive to shock, heat and friction. Picric acid is highly reactive with a wide variety of compounds (including many metals) and is extremely susceptible to the formation of picrate salts.

What to do?

  • Label containers with date received 
  • Monitor the water content every 6 months
  • Add distilled water as needed to maintain a consistent liquid volume

Have an old bottle?
If an old or previously unaccounted for bottle of picric acid is discovered, do not touch the container. Depending on how long the bottle has been abandoned and the state of the product inside, even a minor disturbance could be dangerous.

  • Check it:
    • Visually inspect the contents of the bottle without moving it
    • Evaluate its content and look for signs of crystallization inside the bottle and around the lid.
    • If there is even the slightest indication of crystallization, signs of evaporation, or the formation of solids in the bottle, do not handle the container and contact

     EH&S Hotline at 310-825-9797 or immediately.

  • Secure it
    • Secure the area and restrict access to the container until it can be evaluated by EH&S personnel.