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Hazardous Waste Management

Request for hazardous waste disposal

Hazardous waste labeling guidelines

William & Mary generates hazardous and non-hazardous waste from maintenance, laboratory and studio activities. As a registered small quantity generator, all chemical waste generated in University laboratories and other facilities must be disposed of in accordance to the guidelines and regulations mandated by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


The moment waste is added to a container, the container must be labeled with the following:

  • The words “Hazardous Waste
  • The proper chemical name of all the contents- enough to alert emergency responders of the contents and for those handling hazardous waste to make an accurate determination for disposal
    • Trade names, acronyms, abbreviations, or formulas are not acceptable
    • For example, “Ethanol” must be used rather than “EtOH”
  • Hazards associated with the contents
    • These are found on the Safety Data Sheet (SDS Library) or the label of the original container from the supplier
    • Use pictograms, the NFPA diamond, or signal words to communicate the hazards
  • The date the container has been filled, not started filling. This is termed “the accumulation start date” or “satellite accumulation area fill date.”

More detailed guidelines for labeling can be found here.


  • Determine if you can reuse or recycle this waste in the laboratory, facility or studio. If so, there is no need to dispose of the material through the W&M Hazardous Waste Program disposal procedures.
  • For unopened or uncontaminated containers in a usable form, attempt to find another user. This will avoid the cost of disposal, and the environmental impact of disposal.
  • Separate solids and liquids. All liquids must be free of solid material and/or sludge to facilitate consolidation, recycling and proper disposal. If solids cannot be separated from liquids, the identification and quantity of the solid component must be listed on the Hazardous Waste Disposal Request Form.
  • Consolidate similar wastes into as few containers as possible.
  • Properly package the waste. Make sure containers are compatible with the material inside, if not transfer to a new container. Containers must be leak free, have a tight cap, and be clean on the outside. Stoppers and corks are not suitable.  Containers should be no more than 90% full to avoid spills.
  • Prepare the waste containers for pick-up by ensuring that all labels meet the above requirements, and place waste in a centralized/satellite area within the facility, laboratory, or studio.
  • Complete the online request for hazardous waste disposal form.
  • Once the form is submitted, all waste will be picked up within 3 days.
  • If waste has not been properly prepared for pickup, the online form will be returned to the generator and must be resubmitted once the waste is prepared. 

Hazardous Waste Management Program

Guidelines for Hazardous Waste Labeling

Request for Hazardous Waste Disposal

Biohazardous Waste Management