Hazardous Waste Management Mini-Guide


The purpose of this guide is to provide the necessary information to employees to properly process and dispose of all hazardous chemical wastes. Information is provided on how to segregate, package, and label waste for pick-up and transportation to the campus Hazardous Waste Storage Building.

Scope and Purpose of the Hazardous Waste System

Risk Management and Safety provides a service of collection, transportation, storing and proper disposal of hazardous chemical wastes generated on campus. The system is designed primarily to collect small quantities of hazardous chemical wastes generated in the university's academic laboratories, studio and shops.

The management system was established to protect the health and safety of employees, students and the citizens of Whitewater. Also to comply with hazardous waste laws, regulations and to minimize the quantity of chemical hazardous waste and associated disposal costs.

Definitions of Hazardous Waste

Detailed definitions and lists of substances that are considered hazardous chemicals are contained in U.S. EPA regulations, Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations Part 261 and Wisconsin DNR Regulations NR 181 Wisconsin Administration Code. In general, however, a chemical is considered a hazardous chemical waste if it is ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic. This covers a VERY wide range of chemicals; therefore it is prudent to consider any chemical waste as hazardous until it is proven to be non-hazardous. Also any substance which is radioactive would be considered a hazardous substance.

Assistance in the identification and classification of chemical wastes may be obtained from the office of Risk Management and Safety by calling 1856.

Safety and Health Precautions

Precautions should be taken when handling hazardous waste. Hazardous chemical waste must be properly labeled with a clear identification of the contents including the type of hazard i.e. flammable, corrosive, poison, oxidizer etc. When handling hazardous waste, appropriate protective equipment should be used depending on the nature of the waste and type of hazard. Protective equipment most commonly needed are safety goggles, face shields, gloves and aprons or lab coats. When processing or filling containers with hazardous chemical waste, it may be necessary to perform the operation in a fume hood.

Preparation of Hazardous Chemical Waste for Removal

In order to provide for the safe and efficient removal of hazardous chemical waste from campus they must be properly prepared and packaged by the generator. Requirements for chemical waste pick-up are listed as follows:


The following procedures are REQUIRED for having wastes collected by Risk Management and Safety:

  1. Label the containers with hazardous waste labels (available from Risk Management and Safety or may be copied), providing all information requested on the label as illustrated in Figure 1. Unused discarded chemicals in their ORIGINAL CONTAINERS with INTACT labels do not need the hazardous waste labels. These chemicals will be reviewed for possible recycling in another campus department before disposal. Improperly labeled containers may not be collected for safety reasons.

  2. Complete the appropriate form and call for a pick-up (1856) or mail the pick-up request to Risk Management and Safety (Hyer 332).

  3. Segregate the waste if your worksite generates several types of hazardous waste. Use separate containers for each type of waste generated unless specifically approved by Risk Management and Safety. This allows use of the best disposal options and prevents potential hazards due to chemical incompatibilities on mixing. When in doubt segregate or call ext. 1856 for advise.

  4. Use proper containers for hazardous waste. Wastes collected by Risk Management and Safety may be transported on public roads, and thus must be packaged in shipping containers which are legal for the chemicals being transported. Acceptable containers for common classes of chemicals are as follows:

    1. Solvents:      Original 4 liter glass solvent bottles, one gallon metal cans, and any original solvent container.

    2. Strong acids/Bases:      Original 2 liter glass bottles for corrosive liquids, any original container for the waste chemical being generated, and equivalent approved plastic container.

    3. Miscellaneous Organic/Inorganic Reagents:      Original containers or equivalent.

    4. All Chemical Containers:
      • Must have tight sealing caps
      • Must not leak
      • No more than approximately 90% full

Containers larger than 5 gallons may be used only with prior arrangements with Risk Management and Safety. Wastes which are not packaged according to these specifications, must be re-packaged prior to pickup.

They will not be collected if the container is determined to be unsafe for transport! Re-packing will be required before transport will be done. Call Risk Management and Safety if you need help in determining the appropriate type of container for your waste.



The success of the Hazardous Waste Management Program on the campus depends on the conscientious efforts of each University Employee. You are the one handling hazardous substances, it is important that you follow the steps in the following guide.

Duties of Employees:

  1. Dispose of unwanted hazardous chemicals, and waste solvents according to the procedures in this guide, or the original container label or Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

  2. Help identify your unknown chemicals.

  3. Package and label chemicals according to instructions in this disposal guide.

  4. Ask for help in order to properly handle and dispose of hazardous chemicals generated in your work area.

  5. Acid base neutralization:
    Record keeping requirements for acid base elementary neutralization
    1. List of chemicals neutralized
    2. Amounts neutralized
    3. Location where chemicals were discharged to the public sewer
    4. Signature of chemist doing the acid/base neutralization procedure
    5. Verification of NO HEAVY METALS present in neutralized chemical

    The records generated must be sent to Risk Management and Safety for inclusion in the hazardous waste disposal annual report required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. (Figure 2)

  6. Intermediate storage of hazardous waste.
    When containers at your work areas are full and need pick-up, tag your waste and call Risk Management and Safety for a pick-up. Pick-up will occur at your lab, shop, or studio location. Avoid intermediate storage of chemicals when possible. 

Figure 1

 Hazardous Waste Label
















Figure 2

UW- Whitewater
Acid/Base Neutralization Log for Laboratories and Studios
Date Volume Source Chemical Name Initial PH Final PH Final Disposition Verification: No Heavy Metals Department Chemist Neutralizing