Montana State University

Chemical Safety Hazardous Materials Disposal
Policy and Procedures

Please email or call 994-7803 or 994-3572 for assistance with disposal Questions

According to State and Federal Regulations laboratory personnel are responsible for management of Hazardous Waste until the Chemical Safety Team takes possession of the waste.


Regulations and Rules

  1. Regulations require "WASTE CONTAINERS MUST ALWAYS BE CLOSED EXCEPT WHEN ADDING WASTE" this means no funnels without closures and all lids must be closed tight.
  2. Containers "MUST BE LABELED WITH COMMON COMPLETE NAMES" abbreviations and symbols are not acceptable. Percentage of total volume or specific volume amounts is required. All components are required including water.
  3. All containers containing waste must be marked with the words "HAZARDOUS WASTE" the container must also have the name of the responsible party and the date accumulation of the waste began.

Chemical Safety Policy

  1. Waste collections for campus laboratories are conducted on Wednesday mornings of each week. Please complete the "Waste Pickup Request" to schedule collections for your laboratory the week before you want the waste collected. You can also call 994-3572 to schedule waste collection.
  2. Chemical Safety will provide waste containers. We have 5 and 2.5 gallon plastic jugs. We also provide plastic safety coated 1 gallon glass waste bottles. Only glass bottles containing its original chemical are acceptable for pickup / transportation. All waste solvents must be collected in a plastic or plastic safety coated glass bottle. These containers come with an attached label for easy labeling and handling. All other containers are subject to rejection at the discretion of the Chemical Safety Team.
  3. Unused chemicals in the original container will always be accepted.
  4. Do not fill any container to the top thus leaving no space for expansion.  Montana has significant temperature changes during the day, and full containers create accidents.  Leave at least 2" of headspace in each container.

Waste Management Rules

  1. NEVER combine inorganic waste and organic waste.
  2. NEVER combine heavy metal waste with any other waste-within metal waste
  3. NEVER combine mercury waste with anything else. 500 mL of mercury solution can cost >$500 for disposal. Segregate MERCURY!!!!!
  4. Organic solvents are to be segregated into the following three categories, the Chemical Safety Team will require laboratory separation if combinations are discovered.
    1. Halogenated Solvents (Methylene Chloride, etc.)
    2. Alcohols, Oxygenated Solvents (Methanol, Ether, etc.)
    3. Other Organic Solvents (Hexane, Pentane, etc)
      1. If separation is not possible use a mixed waste container and label appropriately. Chemical Safety may ask for the experimental conditions generating the waste.
  5. Acids and Bases must be neutralized to a pH range of 5-9. Solutions found to be outside this range will be returned to the responsible party for neutralization. Repeat offenses will be addressed through the PI of the laboratory.
  6. Unknown chemicals will be accepted and analysis will be performed for identification. The responsible laboratory will be billed for the analytical costs.VOC $225, SVOC $275, Metals $200, TCLP RCRA list $950, HPLC Separation $200.


Generally there is no charge for hazardous waste disposal. It is an essential service that supports teaching, research, and operation of the university. However, chemical users have the responsibility to purchase and manage chemicals in a proper and legal manner. Mismanagement of chemical inventories will result in charges to the responsible laboratory.


  1. Emergency tapping and venting of a large gas cylinder costs up to $15,000.
  2. Peroxide forming compounds that cannot be shipped may require detonation.
  3. Disposal of excessive amounts of highly reactive materials.