Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center EHS
University of California
Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center EHS

KARE Guidelines for Chemical Waste Storage, Packaging, Labeling,

Chem Waste



Hazardous materials become hazardous wastes:

  1. When the owner determines that they are no longer a useful product, or decides to discard of them.
  2. When the material poses a threat to public health or the environment, is mislabeled or inadequately labeled.
  3. Is packaged in a deteriorated or damaged container, regardless of its expiration date.
  4. One year after the expiration date has elapsed, unless the material will be used for its original purpose.

Chemical wastes exhibiting any of the following characteristics must be labeled, managed, and disposed of as Hazardous Waste:

Ignitability (Examples: ethanol, xylene, hydrogen gas)

  • Flash point <140°F
  • Capable of causing fire through friction, moisture or reactivity
  • Also includes oxidizers and flammable compressed gases

Corrosives (Examples: nitric acid, sodium hydroxide)

  • pH < 2 or > 12.5
  • Corrosive to tissue or metals

Reactivity (Examples: nitro compounds, picrates, cyanides)

  • Shock sensitive or potentially explosive
  • Reacts violently with air or water
  • Generates toxic gases when mixed with acids or bases

Toxicity (Examples: heavy metals, pesticides, most organic chemicals)

  • Pose a threat to human health or the environment due to carcinogenicity, acute or chronic toxicity, bioaccumulative properties or persistence in the environment

Packaging Requirements

Hazardous waste materials must be properly packaged and labeled for safe transport.

  • Liquids must be in leak-proof containers compatible with the stored liquids. All containers must be securely sealed with lids. Ample headspace should be left in liquid waste bottles to allow for expansion
  • Incompatible chemicals must be separated - (for more information see)
  • Waste containers must be labeled when the "first drop of waste is added".
Five-gallon poly drums are available from KARE EH&S Services by contacting Marvin Flores at:  or Telephone (559- 646-6013).

Labeling requirements

Click here for a "Hazardous Waste" label or for (pdf) , that can be completed online.

Requesting pickup hazardous waste

To request pickup of your hazardous waste complete the Chemical Waste Disposal List, and email to

  • All hazardous material and hazardous chemical waste must be picked up by KARE Health and Safety (EH&S) or an EH&S-approved contractor.
  • Empty chemical containers may be disposed of as ordinary laboratory trash if the chemical is not classified as an extremely hazardous material, each container is triple-rinsed, allowed to air dry, all labels are defaced, and the cap removed. Custodians are instructed not to dispose of any chemical bottles unless the bottles have been properly cleaned. At no time should full, partially full, or unrinsed containers be thrown in the trash.
  • Empty extremely hazardous materials containers should not be triple-rinsed. These must be disposed of as hazardous waste. A list of extremely hazardous materials can be found at:
  • Oil soaked rags, absorbent pads or floor sweep must be stored in metal cans with tight fitting lids, and disposed as hazardous waste.

For additional guidelines on chemical waste identification, segregation, and storages go to

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