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Environmental Health and Safety

Waste Disposal

Various types of wastes are generated in laboratories. Disposal of wastes is a responsibility of the generator of the waste.  Please note USC's High hazard and unknown waste minimization policy [pdf].

The most common wastes and how to dispose of them are described below:

  1. Empty chemical containers
    • Make sure that the container is empty.
    • Check if the chemical is p-listed. If chemical is p-listed, rinse container 3 times; collect ALL rinsate in your hazardous waste container.
    • If chemical emits strong odors, rinse container twice and collect rinsate in your hazardous waste container.
    • Remove label or simply deface by crossing out label completely (label should be unreadable) using a marking pen
    • Dispose as regular trash. If container is glass and NOT BROKEN, place in sturdy cardboard box. Tape the box closed, label with “EMPTY GLASS BOTTLES” and place in dumpster.
  2. “Clean” broken glass (not contaminated with biological or radioactive materials or hazardous chemical)
    • Place in a small or medium-sized thick cardboard box lined with heavy duty trash bag. A thick cardboard and thick plastic lining are necessary to catch any excess liquid and small glass pieces and to keep sharp edges from poking through the box. Do not use large boxes, they are very heavy for lifting when full of broken glass.
    • Once the box is full, tape the box securely. Label with “Clean Broken Glass”.
    • Place box in the dumpster.
  3. Used oil
    • Collect in plastic waste container, label as “USED OIL” and schedule for pick up with hazardous waste.
  4. Hazardous (chemical) waste
  5. Biohazard waste
  6. Radioactive waste
  7. Mixed waste
    • Mixed wastes are materials contaminated with two or more of chemical, biological or radioactive agents. Avoid generating mixed wastes as much as possible. Call EH&S 803-777-5269 to determine the best way to dispose of mixed wastes.