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Chemical Waste

Nonradioactive materials and waste contaminated with hazardous chemicals



  • Waste and opened surplus chemicals
  • Broken thermometers and other items containing mercury
  • Pesticides
  • Nonreturnable gas cylinders and lecture bottles
  • Non-radioactive lead shielding and lead scrap
  • Photographic film processing solutions
  • Spent solvents
  • Residue of spill materials
  • Contaminated, used pump and/or mineral oils
  • Batteries

Waste chemicals should not be discarded as General Waste or as Biological Waste and not be poured down the sink drains.


All waste containers must be kept closed except when adding waste to the container.



Do not place heavy metals compounds, oxidizers, phenols, strong acids, or bases in the solvent containers.



Do not combine incompatible chemicals in the same container.



ESSR can provide five gallon containers for both liquids and solids upon request.



Packaging Guidelines

General Instructions:
  1. All waste containers must be in good condition before removal for disposal. Chemical waste in containers that are bulging, rusted, cracked, or have improper or missing tops must be transferred to an appropriate container in good condition.
  2. All waste containers must be placed and stored in secondary containment trays until removal. (Secondary containment trays are available at Chemistry Stores.)
  3. All waste containers must be kept closed except when adding waste to the container.
  4. Containers of incompatible waste must be kept separated using the secondary containment trays. Do not combine incompatible chemicals in the same container.
  5. All waste containers must have a "UMD Hazardous Waste" tag securely attached with the chemical constituents (in English) and percentages. Trade names and chemical formulas are not permitted. ("UMD Hazardous Waste" tags can be purchased from Chemistry Stores.)
  6. Waste containers will not be removed for disposal until the waste generator has completed the annual on-line Hazardous Waste training. The training can be found at
  7. All waste containers must be submitted via the UM Regulated Waste Pick-up Request System for removal. Ensure that the unique tracking number from the Pick-up Request System is indicated on the "UMD Hazardous Waste" tag. The Pick-up Request System is found at
  8. All waste containers must be retained in the room they were generated. Do NOT place the waste containers in the hallways or corridors.

If Disposing: Then:

Chemical Waste in Original Container Follow the General Packaging Instructions.

Chemical Waste in Other than the Original Container
  1. Deface all container labels that list any and all chemical constituents within the container. The chemical constituents listed on the "UMD Hazardous Waste" tag will provide the required information.
  2. Follow the General Packaging Instructions.

Flammable Solvents or Aqueous Mixtures Containing Flammable Solvents
  1. Segregate halogenated solvents from non-halogenated solvents.
  2. Do not mix contaminated solvents with aqueous solvent mixtures.
  3. Follow the General Packaging Instructions.

Chemically Contaminated Solid Waste
  1. Contaminated solid waste must be placed in a sturdy containment for removal and disposal. A plastic-lined cardboard box or a 5 gallon pail will suffice this requirement.
  2. Follow the General Packaging Instructions

Batteries (Lead-acid, NiCad, etc.)
  1. ESSR is capable of managing most labeled batteries* used on campus but the batteries must be segregated into the following groups:
    1. Alkaline, Dry Cell, and Metal hydride batteries
    2. Lithium ion batteries
    3. Nickel-cadmium batteries
    4. Silver oxide batteries
    5. Lead-acid batteries
    6. Mercury batteries
  2. Depending on size and quantity of batteries, a sturdy container or plastic bag will suffice containment requirements.
  3. Follow the General Packaging Instructions.
* ESSR will not remove nor dispose of unknown or unlabeled batteries. Batteries can not be submitted to the Unknowns testing program for identification and disposal. The generator is responsible for identifying the battery.

Empty Chemical Bottles & Containers*
  1. Deface all chemical identification markings on the empty chemical bottles & containers.
  2. Place the empty bottles & containers in the building dumpster.
* Some chemical bottles & containers must be triple-rinsed before disposal. The rinsate must be collected and disposed of via ESSR. Call ESSR (301) 405-3990 for guidance

Chemical Waste
Assistance (301) 405-3990

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