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Hazardous Waste

Learn about managing hazardous waste at UC San Diego.

The first step when handling waste is making a determination. It is essential to understand the characteristics and composition of the waste, especially when handling and disposing of hazardous waste.

EH&S manages all laboratory, research, and medical waste including chemical, biological, and radioactive. This also includes general hazardous waste that may be generated across the University.

The goal is to help ensure timely and environmentally appropriate disposal and recycling of these items. Campus employees can learn more about this process and request a pickup of their hazardous waste following the guidance below:

How to identify hazardous waste

Follow these steps to learn How to Identify Hazardous Chemical Waste.

How to use UC San Diego hazardous waste tags

Generators of chemical and radioactive hazardous waste must apply for and receive a Waste Generator Number (WGN) before Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) can collect their waste for disposal. 

  • See How to Use Hazardous Waste Tags to learn more about the Online Waste Tag Program and what it can do for you:
    • Hazardous waste labeling requirements
    • How to get and use waste tags generated with the Online Waste Tag Program (OTP)

Additional related information:

Waste disposal guidance list

The Waste Disposal Guidance list provides procedures and guidelines for the accumulation, storage and disposal of specific hazardous waste (e.g., batteries, paint, pharmaceuticals, etc.). 

Storage time limits for waste

Waste types required to be OTP tagged and collected by EH&S have the following maximum accumulation and storage time limit at the site of generation:

  • Hazardous Chemical waste – 90 days
  • Mixed waste – 90 days
  • Universal waste / Batteries – 240 days
  • Radioactive waste – 240 days
  • Non-hazardous waste – 240 days
  • Recyclable materials – 240 days

See biohazardous disposal guidelines for more guidance. 


The Hazardous Materials and Waste Training page provides a comprehensive list of required training, depending on your area and role. Vist all EH&S Safety Training opportunities for more information.

Emergency procedures

Polices and regulations

For more information, contact the EH&S Environmental Management Facility, (858) 534-2753.
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