Empty Container Disposal Instructions

Containers or container liners (glass or plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, etc.) which have held non-acute* hazardous materials are not regulated as hazardous wastes if all removable wastes have been emptied.  For a container to be considered empty, the following conditions must be met. 

From the EPA's RCRA Training Module:

A container holding non-acute* hazardous waste is empty when all wastes have been removed using practices commonly employed industry-wide to remove wastes from containers or liners, such as pouring, pumping, and aspirating, AND when draining...

  • no more than 3 percent by weight of the container remains for containers with a capacity of less than 110 gallons, or
  • no more than 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) of material remains in the container or liner

If a container cannot meet the specifications listed above, it must be disposed of a chemical waste.

*Empty containers which held P-listed wastes are considered "acute" wastes. Fill out a chemical pickup form for disposal of empty containers of these chemicals.  The P-list can be found at the following link:  https://www.epa.gov/hw/defining-hazardous-waste-listed-characteristic-and-mixed-radiological-wastes


Method of Disposal:

Empty containers that held non-acute (see above) materials may be disposed of as non-hazardous waste, i.e., using the same method as would be used for disposing of clean glass, plastic, cardboard, etc. containers.

For empty glass bottles, please place the bottles in a rigid cardboard box that is taped shut and marked for disposal to ensure the safety of the housekeeping staff in case the bottles break.

If you are uncertain whether your container held non-acute hazardous materials or are unsure whether it can be considered "empty", simply contact us at ehs@kumc.edu and we will be happy to help evaluate it for you.

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