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Waste Handling & Disposal

To request a hazardous waste pick up, click here for the PDF form.

Our web-based submittal form is located here.

Please note we are not accepting pick up requests via fax at this time. Please utilize our online form above, and contact us at (518) 276-6427 if you have any addition questions.

To request hazardous waste labels, please click here.


The following types of waste are regulated by either the federal or state government and require special handling restrictions:

  • Biowaste – infectious organisms, pipettes, syringes and other sharps in contact with infectious organisms, sharps (broken glass, syringes, razor blades)
  • Radioactive Waste
  • Spent or unused chemicals no longer needed for research
  • Universal wastes such as batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, PCB containing materials, mercury containing equipment (e.g. light switches and thermometers but not manometers)
  • Gas Cylinders, compressed or otherwise

Requirements Summary

The full hazardous waste requirements can be found in the Hazardous Waste Program Manual. The following provides a summary of the most important elements.

  • Sink disposal of any materials other than non-hazardous chemical aqueous solutions is forbidden.
  • For spent laboratory chemicals waste collection containers should be glass or plastic containers compatible with the chemical characteristics. e.g. Hydrofluoric acid should be kept in a plastic containers while solvents should be kept in glass containers
  • When not being used the containers should be sealed. The EPA considers open containers as treatment due to evaporation and without a specific license for treatment this is a violation of EPA’s regulations
  • Containers must be labeled with the contents. A downloadable label is available from EH&S. Please use the full chemical name and not the symbol.
  • Sharps and broken glass must be placed in a strong tight container and labeled. Plastic bags are not acceptable – cardboard boxes with biohazard labels are required. It is preferred that pre-labeled sharps containers be purchased from one of Rensselaer’s approved vendors.
  • Non-sharps biological waste can be stored in pre-labeled biohazard bags.
  • When you want waste removed from your lab or area complete the hazardous waste pick-up request and fax 276-2512 or email to

If you have any questions, please contact Environmental Health and Safety at (518) 276-6427.

Last modified: October 17, 2016
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