Hazardous Waste Accumulation, Storage, and Labeling

Hazardous Waste Accumulation, Storage, and Labeling

Each department and individual who generates hazardous wastes is responsible for ensuring that those wastes are accumulated, stored, and disposed of in a safe and legal manner.  The procedures below, and contained in SPPM 5.68, will help generators in identifying requirements applicable to their wastes.  Any generator can also contact EHS at 372-7163 for assistance.

In order to properly manage their wastes, generators must be familiar with requirements for:

  • Waste containers
  • Waste container labeling
  • Satellite Accumulation
  • Reporting Wastes for Disposal

Note: Based on legal definitions, “storage” of hazardous wastes must not occur in WSU Tri-Cities laboratories.  “Storage” is only permissible in the 180-day storage areas managed by EHS.  When conducted properly, in accordance with the guidance below, “accumulation” of wastes will occur in laboratories, which does not qualify as “storage”.


Before generating waste, the generator must select an appropriate container to receive the waste.  Containers must meet all of the following:

  • The container must be constructed of material that is compatible with the waste (will not react with or be degraded by the waste). Original manufacturer containers are ideal waste containers.
  • Containers must be in good condition, free of wear, cracks, or defects
  • Containers must have a tight fitting lid.  Screw caps are preferred.  Foil, parafilm, foam, and similar covers are not acceptable.  Waste containers attached to equipment, such as HPLCs, should have the fill lines plumbed through a stopper.
  • Waste containers must be cleaned and dried before receiving waste
  • Incompatible wastes must not be placed in the same container.
  • Separate waste streams must be placed in separate containers.  Different wastes cannot be combined.
  • Secondary containment must be provided.
  • Containers must be kept closed, except when adding or removing waste
  • Containers must be opened, handled, and stored in a manner which will prevent rupture or leakage
  • Highly reactive or explosive wastes must be stored separately, in accordance with requirements of the local fire code.
  • Containers must be properly labeled when they first receive any quantity of waste

All waste containers must be clearly marked with all of the following:

  • The words “Dangerous Waste” or “Hazardous Waste”
  • The full name(s) of all waste constituents, including water.  Indicate constituent percentages, making sure to account for 100% of the waste.  Do not use chemical formulas or abbreviations.
  • The hazard(s) associated with the waste
  • The name and contact information for the individual responsible for the waste

Containers must be labeled with all of the above information upon the first addition of waste, and labels must be maintained to remain clearly readable.

The date must be added to the label whenever:

  • The container is filled, or when no more waste will be added (such as at the end of an experiment)
  • When a total of 55 gallons of waste is accumulated, or when one quart of Acutely Hazardous Waste is accumulated

Below is an example of a properly completed Dangerous Waste label:

label2

Click here for a sheet of Dangerous Waste labels, which can be printed on Avery 5163 self-adhesive labels.

Satellite Accumulation is the process of collecting wastes at a location near the point where they are generated (a “Satellite Accumulation Area”.  This is the method utilized for collection of wastes in most locations at WSU Tri-Cities.

Satellite Accumulation is only allowed to occur when wastes are collected in containers (not tanks or stationary devices), and in volumes of 55 gallons or less.  Only one quart of Acutely Hazardous Waste may be accumulated at one time.  Once these volume thresholds are reached, or when containers are filled, they must be transported to a designated storage area within 3 days.

Satellite Accumulation Areas must be under the control of the generator or secured at all times to prevent improper additions of waste, and meet all of the requirements regarding containers and labeling.

Additional requirements apply to designated storage areas which are not Satellite Accumulation Areas. Carefully following the requirements for Satellite Accumulation will prevent triggering additional requirements.