hazardous waste disposal


Hazardous Waste Disposal


  • Labeling
  • Containing
  • Waste Drop-off

Hazardous Waste Disposal Procedures


As stated in the Tulane University Environmental Health & Safety Policies and Procedures Manual, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety would like to remind all departments generating hazardous chemical waste that the waste must by properly labeled with the full name of the chemical and the associated hazards, and it must be disposed in a timely manner. The following is a summary of VERY IMPORTANT PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING WASTE THAT MAY BE GENERATED IN YOUR DEPARTMENT:

Minimize waste when possible.

  • Check current inventories before making new chemical purchases.
  • Audit chemical supplies regularly and use inventory control.
  • Substitute less hazardous materials when possible.
  • Reduce the scale of experiments when possible.
  • Purchase only the quantity of chemicals required for specific projects.
  • Avoid mixing hazardous waste with non-hazardous waste.
  • Train personnel to avoid excess waste generation.
  1. Place waste in a container compatible with the chemical itself. Use secondary containment when storing waste (helps to contain spills).
  2. Do not store incompatible wastes together (e.g., acids and bases).
  3. Ensure that the container is tightly sealed with a cap or lid at all times unless actively adding waste to the container. Do not use evaporation as a treatment method.
  4. Label each waste container with the words “HAZARDOUS WASTE,” the full name of the chemical (do not use abbreviations or chemical symbols), and the associated hazards (e.g., flammable, corrosive, toxic, reactive). If labels are falling off or in poor condition, replace immediately. Hazardous waste labels can be obtained from OEHS (504-988-2865).
  5. Maintain hazardous waste in your area until collected by OEHS. Do not store hazardous waste in containers larger than 5 gallons and do not store more than 20 gallons of waste in your area at one time. Call OEHS (504-988-2865), email the Hazardous Waste Specialist (, or fill out a waste collection request form available on the OEHS website (Hazardous Waste Pickup Form) to arrange for a hazardous waste pickup. In some buildings OEHS maintains waste room collection hours. Contact OEHS for details.
  6. Do not dispose of hazardous chemical waste by pouring it down the drain or placing it in the trash.
  7. All persons generating hazardous waste must receive training on hazardous material disposal procedures and the training must be documented. OEHS Powerpoint training presentations are available on the OEHS website under (Training).
  8. Do not allow waste to accumulate. Dispose of within 30 days of generation by contacting OEHS and arranging for a pickup.
  9. For radioactive waste, contact the Radiation Safety Officer at 504-988-2867.
  10. Biomedical waste must be appropriately packaged in red bags/boxes and disposed according to the University’s procedures established for your campus. Infectious or biological waste must be disposed via a Licensed Medical Waste Contractor. If waste appears to be hazardous even though it may have been rendered safe (autoclaved and/or sterilized), it must be disposed via a licensed medical waste disposal contractor (especially sharps, needles, syringes). You may not put recognizable medical or biological waste in the regular trash.
  11. OEHS is responsible for the cost of disposal associated with chemical waste from laboratories and other areas that is generated through normal research and work activities. OEHS is not responsible for the cost of disposing of unwanted/old chemicals from principle investigators/ researchers/others separating from the University.

    Any department which needs disposal of chemicals that are generated due to a lab or other area closing down or being renovated must bear the cost for disposal of those chemicals. OEHS must receive an IT before it makes any arrangements with a commercial disposal company for removal and disposal of such chemicals. (Note: You must go through OEHS for all disposal of hazardous chemical waste.) Contact OEHS to arrange for estimates if needed.
  12. Under no circumstances may anyone place chemicals in OEHS waste storage areas unless directed by the Hazardous Waste Supervisor or OEHS.
  13. For additional policies and procedures concerning hazardous waste, please see the Tulane University Environmental Health & Safety Policies and Procedures Manual.

If there are any questions regarding handling, storing, or disposing of hazardous and/or biological waste, contact the Hazardous Waste Specialist at 504-988-5485 or email at

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 - Some photos courtesy of the Peace Corps -