What is Hazardous Waste Management?

Hazardous waste management is the collection, transport, processing, recycling or disposal of waste materials. Our Waste Management program help you manage hazardous chemical, radioactive, biohazardous, and universal waste safely and legally. We provide Waste Pickup Services where you can request pickup of hazardous, biohazardous, radioactive and universal waste online.

For more information, contact Waste Management or call (951) 827-5528.

Federal and State regulations define hazardous wastes as a substance which poses a hazard to human health or the environment when improperly managed. A chemical waste is considered hazardous if it is either listed on one of the lists found in Federal or State regulations or if it exhibits one or more of the four following characteristics:

Toxic - a chemical that poses a hazard to health or the environment (this can be a gray area).

Reactive - reactive wastes are those wastes that are unstable, explosive, capable of detonation or react violently with water.

Ignitable - ignitable wastes generally are liquids with a flash point below 60°C or 140°F (however, just because a material has a higher flash point, it still cannot be drain disposed).

Corrosive - corrosive wastes are generally aqueous wastes with a pH less than or equal to two (2) or greater than or equal to 12.5 (although UCLA policy includes any waste that is not neutral).

What are the guidelines for handling hazardous chemical waste?

The proper management of hazardous waste is essential to protect the health and safety of the University community and to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. 

Make sure that no hazardous materials are placed into regular solid waste containers, flushed down the drain or otherwise inappropriately disposed. If there is any doubt, contact EH&S Hazardous Waste Operations at (951) 827-5528


Waste Determination and Waste Disposal Requirements

We are pleased to offer WASTe online waste pickup request services through our integrated Waste Management program. To use these services it is important that you properly determine the type of waste and review waste disposal requirements.

Refer to this Biohazardous and Medical Waste Requirements poster for detailed information on containers, labeling, and storage of all types of biohazardous and medical waste.

What are the requirements for handling biohazardous and medical waste? 

  1.  Label a red biohazard bag with building and room number before filling it.
    For research Plant and Soil waste only, clear bag with red biohazard symbol is preferred.
  2.  Place the waste in the red biohazard bag (orange bags are illegal in California). Do not place glass pipettes or anything that will puncture the plastic bag. Rigid objects such as transfer pipettes can be decontaminated by exposure to a 10%household bleach solution for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Place autoclave tape on the bag to confirm autoclave attainment of adequate sterilization conditions.
  4. Contaminated waste must be stored in a labeled, rigid, puncture-proof container with a tight-fitting lid and biohazard symbol on all visible sides and the top.
  5. To dispose waste after autoclaving, take the biohazard bag directly to the building dumpster or make special arrangements with building services.
  6.  All waste must be decontaminated and disposed within seven (7) days of generation if stored at a temperature above 0°C.
  7. All waste must be disposed within 90 days if stored at or below 0 °C.
  8.  Place all sharps in a red sharps container that is rigid, leak proof, and has the international biohazard symbol. Do not fill container more than ¾ full. 

What are autoclave requirements for biohazard and medical waste treatment?



  1. The autoclave must be spore-tested monthly and all test results must be kept on file at the department for three (3) years. Foguidance, contact EH&S Biosafety at 951-827-5528.
  2. The autoclave must have a chart recorder. All charts must be dated and kept by the department for three (3) years.
  3. All waste treatment runs must be listed on the autoclave log and the logs must be kept by the department for three (3)years.

What are the storage area requirements for biohazardous and medical waste?



  1.  Biohazardous and medical waste storage areas must have warning signs on, or adjacent to, exterior doors, gates, or lids in English and Spanish:


  1. The biohazardous and medical waste storage area must be either locked or under direct supervision or surveillance, and remain closed to prevent unauthorized access. 

How do I request pickup of waste sharps containers using WASTe?

  1. Login to WASTe at and create a Biological tag type, or if your sharps are contaminated with hazardous chemicals, create a Chemical tag type using the existing profile for sharps contaminated with hazardous chemicals.
  2. Update the sharps container tag status in WASTe to Ready for Pickup and EH&S will pick up the container.

How do I request new sharps containers from EH&S?

Contact EH&S Waste Pickup Services at to request new sharps containers.

How do I request replacement sharps containers using WASTe?

  1. If you have a sharps container for pickup, create a Biological tag type in WASTe, click the checkbox at Replacement Sharps Container? If you are using the Chemical tag type, request replacement sharps container at Comments.
  2. Update the sharps container tag status in WASTe to Ready for Pickup and EH&S will pick up the sharps container and bring a replacement.


What are the guidelines for handling physically hazardous waste (sharps)?

Uncontaminated broken glass and other sharp objects must be placed in a box for broken glass. Boxes designed to collect broken glass are available thought a varity of vendors including the UCR Campus Storehouse and Fisher Safety.

Print a copy of the sign below and post in your space as a reminder to dispose sharps waste in appropriate containers:

No Sharps in Trash Sign

  • Medical sharps must be collected in a rigid red sharps container labeled with the biohazard symbol
  • New sharps containers are available by contacting
  • Replacement sharps containers are available by checking the "Replacement Sharps Container?" checkbox when you create a new WASTe Biological type sharps container tag, or by entering a request for a replacement sharps container in "Comments" on a WASTe Chemical type sharps container tag 
Waste Accumulation Storage Tracking electronically (WASTe)

What is it?

Waste Accumulation Storage Tracking electronically or WASTe is a web based system that facilitates regulatory compliant labeling, tracking, collection and shipping of hazardous chemical, radioactive, and biohazardous wastes. The UC Risk & Safety Solutions application provides an interface between Principal Investigators, lab staff and other generators of regulated wastes and the UCR waste management staff.

This quick and easy-to-use system allows users to create tags for hazardous chemical, radioactive, or biohazardous waste in less than one minute. WASTe supports creation of tags for five types of waste: Chemical, Mixed, Radiological, Biological, and Universal. Lab & Facility staff can share created tag profiles, and administrators can create profiles for a single lab or for all users on campus. The system notifies Environmental Health and Safety staff when waste is ready for pickup. WASTe will enable researches and staff to dispose of hazardous waste in accordance with all state and federal regulations.

Anyone with a UCR NetID will be able to access the system at

For more information please contact EH&S at (951) 827-5528.


WASTe Fact Sheet

WASTe User Guide: Roles & Workflow

WASTe User Guide: Admin & Waste Yard Staff Tutorial

WASTe Tutorial 

WASTe Pick Up Tutorial

Hazardous Materials & Waste Management

Introduction to proper determination and management of hazardous waste. Topics include labeling, storing, treating, and disposal of hazardous waste. Discussion includes physically hazardous, chemical, biohazardous, radioactive, and mixed waste. 

Copyright: 2019     Time: 40 min     Type: eCourse (online training)

Find this course and others in the UC Learning Center

Label your chemical, radioactive and biological waste.

Properly segregate incompatible chemicals and appropriate storage of hazardous waste.

Manage your empty containers.

Empty containers that had been used to store hazardous chemical materials must be specially handled in order to ensure safety and protect the environment. These containers can only be discarded in trash receptacles if they have been completely cleared of hazardous chemical waste.

  • Step 1: Empty the container

    Follow these steps based on whether your container held a liquid, solid, or gas (aerosol can or compressed gas cylinder):

    Liquid containers

    First, ensure no liquid can drain from container when tilted in any direction. If the liquid was an acute or extremely hazardous chemical, then you must dispose of the container as hazardous waste.
    Solid containers

    Scrape interior clean so that no build-up remains. Examples include powder, sludge, grease, thick resin, and crystals.

    Gas containers (aerosol cans or compressed gas cylinders)

    Use up or empty the contents of aerosol cans as completely as possible.

    Compressed gas cylinders should be returned to the supplier whenever possible.

  • Step 2: Deface the label

    Cross out label information with a large dark marker, or otherwise deface the label. It must be obvious that the container does not hold the original material.
  • Step 3. Dispose of the container

    Reuse empty glass or plastic containers whenever possible, but never reuse pesticide containers, and do not reuse metal cans for hazardous waste accumulation and storage.


    Glass or plastic containers (equal to or less than 5 gal / 20 L). Place in a trash dumpster. NOTE: Pesticide containers should be destroyed so that they are not reusable. Afterward, they may be placed in a trash dumpster.

    Metal containers (greater than 5 gal / 20 L). After defacing the label, mark with the date emptied, and take to the scrap metal collection bin at Materiel Managementfor recycling.
    Metal containers (less than or equal to 5 gal / 20 L).  These do not need to be marked with the date emptied, and can either be recycled or placed in a trash dumpster.

    Empty aerosol cans.  Aerosol cans that are completely empty can be placed in a trash dumpster.

    Containers that held acutely hazardous or extremely hazardous chemicals, or that contain residual solids, or gas containers (aerosol cans or compressed gas cylinders) that are not completely empty. Submit a hazardous waste pickup request for the container using the Online Tag Program.




Special Requirements for Pesticide Containers

Never reuse a container that has contained pesticides. Read the manufacturer's labeling to see if there are any special precautions that you must take concerning disposal. If you cannot read the label or it is missing, contact Environmental Health & Safety (951) 827-5528. Never dispose of pesticides in any manner other than listed in the directions for use on the labeling. Inappropriate release of pesticides into the environment can cause human health problems, or problems for other animals and plants.

Additional Information

See the California Department of Toxic Substances Control Empty Containers Fact Sheet for more detailed information on empty container management.

  • Wear your Personal Protective Equipment when you working around chemicals.
  • Always review the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for all materials before you begin to use the substances.
  • Review the Summary of Waste Disposal Requirements.
Radioactive Waste

Please use WASTe for all Radioactive waste.

For questions, please call (951) 827-5528

Universal Waste

Our office accepts to following types of Universal Waste.


Standard AAA, AA, C, D, ect.  Computer batteries, cell phone batteries, etc.

recycled batteries



Light bulbs of all kinds.

recycle bulbs


You can request pick up of your Universal Waste using WASTe.

You can also bring your waste to EH&S during business hours, please call ahead if quantities are large.

Campus Business Services accepts other waste, such as electronic waste, shredding and surplus items.  

If you have questions on what is and is not Universal Waste, please contact EH&S (951) 827-5528.

Waste Containers (free of charge):
  • RCRA Chemical Sharp Containers
  • Biohazard Sharp Containers
  • 5 Gallon Buckets for solid waste


Biohazard Waste Collection
Biohazardous and Medical Waste Disposal Requirements
Chemical Recycling ChemCycle Program
Containers: Closing containers
Containers: Empty container management
DTSC Empty Containers Fact Sheet
GHS Hazard Labels Infographic
Hazardous Waste Disposal Requirements poster
Hazardous Waste Determination Guidance
Hazardous Chemicals list
No Sharp in Trash sign
Radioactive Waste Management (Radiation Safety Manual)
UCR Empty Containers Fact Sheet
WASTe Instruction Manual


Check out these videos from King County in Washington State


California Hazardous Waste Treatment allowance regulation: 

For more information, contact us at (951) 827-5528 or