Learn to identify, label, store and dispose of hazardous waste at UC San Diego.
Generators of chemical and radioactive hazardous waste must apply for and receive a Waste Generator Number before Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) can collect their waste for disposal.
Important: Only EH&S Environmental Management Facility (EMF) personnel are authorized to sign hazardous waste manifests for removal or disposal of asbestos or lead-containing materials from UCSD facilities.
Contact email@example.com if you have questions about asbestos or lead-containing materials disposal.
Read Biohazardous and Medical Waste Overview for UCSD policy and procedures.
Important – Learn about the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). GHS-compliant labels that include a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard and precaution statements for each hazard class and category will begin to appear in our chemical inventories soon.
While controlled substances (CS) are not "hazardous" waste, disposal of CS is strictly regulated by federal law.
Note: See Pharmaceuticals Disposal if you need to dispose of a non-CS pharmaceutical.
Do not dispose of personal waste pharmaceuticals (medications) down the drain or down the toilet. This includes any prescription or nonprescription substances intended to be swallowed, inhaled, injected, applied to the skin or eyes, or otherwise absorbed.
Disposing of over-the-counter medicine (OTC) is easy. Many community-based pharmacy “take-back” programs offer the best option; otherwise, almost all OTC medicines can be disposed of in the household trash. Consumers should take precautions, however, by reading the label to ensure OTC medicines can be disposed of in the trash. Follow these guidelines:
Note: Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove pharmaceuticals and studies show exposure to even low levels of drugs has negative effects on fish and other aquatic species, and also may negatively affect human health. Households are advised to not dispose of waste medication down the drain or down the toilet. This includes any prescription or nonprescription substances intended to be swallowed, inhaled, injected, applied to the skin or eyes, or otherwise absorbed.
Note: For personal medications, see Household Hazardous Waste Medication Waste Disposal, California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery.
Request hazardous waste pick up for unwanted refrigerators and freezers.
For UCSD-generated sharps:
For personal medical self-injection devices and lancets, see: