Chemical Waste Disposal


Hazardous waste regulations are stringent and penalties for violations can be severe. Santa Barbara County inspects UCSB labs for compliance on a regular basis.


  • Store chemical waste in a designated area. Label as, "HAZARDOUS WASTE STORAGE AREA"
  • Store chemicals in containers compatible with, and durable enough for, the waste. Liquid waste must be in screw-top containers. Do not overfill - allow for expansion.


  • Identify waste by proper chemical name (no abbreviations or chemical structures). List chemical names of hazardous components in that mixture by percent weight.
  • Deface existing labels when reusing containers.
  • Label and date container(s) when the first drop of waste is added. Hazardous waste shall be given to EH&S for disposal within nine months of start date.
  • Use UCSB HAZARDOUS WASTE label on all hazardous waste containers. All portions of the label must be completed. Labels available for free in all science storerooms –see below.


Group waste into the following categories:

halogenated organics (dichloromethane, chloroform) non-halogenated organics (acetone, methanol, xylene)
acids with pH 2 or less (HCL, sulfuric acid) alkaline solutions of pH 12.5 or greater (sodium hydroxide)
alkali metals and other water reactives (sodium,lithium) heavy metal solutions and salts (mercury,silver, zinc)
strong oxidizers (nitric acid, chlorates, permanganates) cyanides (potassium cyanide)
unstable chemicals  


  • Chemicals may not be disposed in regular trash, sink disposal, or allowed to evaporate.
  • Complete a UCSB Waste Pick-up Request Form. Send by campus mail or fax(X8659). Also available on the EH&S website for electronic submission
    • EH&S cannot accept responsibility for improperly labeled, packaged, and/or segregated chemicals, and will not pick them up.
    • Transferring waste into appropriate containers is the generators responsibility.
    • Waste containers become the property of EH&S and will not be returned

UCSB Hazardous Waste Label
UCSB hazardous waste label