Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste
Hazardous Waste

The University of Central Florida handles and manages hazardous waste in accordance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the State of Florida regulations. A hazardous waste determination must be made of any waste material generated. If the waste is hazardous then it must be recycled, treated, stored or disposed of at a hazardous waste facility authorized by the DEP, EPA or another State. Hazardous waste cannot be disposed of down the sink, in the trash, or in or on the ground. UCF properly disposes of its hazardous waste through a permitted treatment, storage, and disposal facility. UCF recycles its used oil, bulbs, mercury-containing devices, and rechargeable batteries. UCF EHS provides HAZWOPER training as well as hazardous waste handling and disposal training to staff, faculty, students, and employees.

To make a chemical waste pick-up request click below to open ESHA and select “To Make a Chemical or Radioactive Waste Pickup Request”.

What is a RCRA Hazardous Waste?

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) governs the management of hazardous wastes. There is not a single comprehensive list of hazardous waste that is continuously updated, as hazardous waste identification is a process that involves many steps.

To be considered a hazardous waste, a material first must be classified as a solid waste (40 CFR §261.2). EPA defines solid waste as garbage, refuse, sludge, or other discarded material (including solids, semisolids, liquids, and contained gaseous materials). If waste is considered solid waste, it must then be determined if it is a hazardous waste (§262.11). Wastes are defined as hazardous by EPA if they are specifically named on one of four lists of hazardous wastes located in Subpart D of Part 261 (F, K, P, U) or if they exhibit one of four characteristics located in Subpart C of Part 261 (characteristic wastes).

Generators are responsible for characterizing their waste and hazardous and must determine whether a waste exhibits a characteristic by either testing or applying knowledge of the hazardous waste characteristic of the waste (§262.11).

In addition to federal RCRA hazardous waste identification rules we have outlined, most states are authorized to operate their own hazardous waste programs and may have more stringent rules than those of the federal hazardous waste management program. For instance, a state may impose more stringent regulations for hazardous waste identification or identify state-specific hazardous wastes. Therefore, we suggest that you contact your state hazardous waste agency to determine which regulations are applicable to your situation.

If wastes are not listed or do not exhibit any hazardous waste characteristics, they are considered nonhazardous solid waste (as opposed to hazardous wastes). Nonhazardous solid waste disposal and recycling is regulated on a state level. Therefore, you may wish to contact your state solid waste officials for more information on solid waste management.

Listed Wastes

Wastes are listed as hazardous because they are known to be harmful to human health and the environment when not managed properly, regardless of their concentrations. EPA has studied and listed as hazardous hundreds of specific industrial waste streams. These wastes are described or listed on four different lists that are found in the regulations at Part 261, Subpart D. These four lists are:

The F List

The F list designates as hazardous particular wastes from certain common industrial or manufacturing processes. Because the processes producing these wastes can occur in different sectors of industry, the F-listed wastes are known as wastes from non-specific sources. The F list is codified in the regulations at 40 CFR §261.31.

The K List

The K list designates as hazardous particular waste streams from certain specific industries. K-listed wastes are known as wastes from specific sources. The K list is found at 40 CFR §261.32.

The P list and the U list (Discarded Commercial Chemical Products)

These two lists are similar in that both list pure or commercial grade formulations of certain specific unused chemicals as hazardous. Both the P list and U list are codified in 40 CFR §261.33. A P or U waste code may be applicable, provided that the material is an unused commercial chemical product (CCP). A CCP is a substance that consists of the commercially pure grade of the chemical, any technical grades of the chemical, and all formulations in which the chemical is the sole active ingredient (§261.33(d)).

Characteristic Wastes

Even if the waste stream does not meet any of the four listings explained above, it may still be considered a hazardous waste if it exhibits a characteristic. In Part 261, Subpart C, EPA has designated the following four characteristics: ignitability (D001), corrosivity (D002), reactivity (D003) and toxicity (D004-D043).


Ignitable wastes create fires under certain conditions or are spontaneously combustible, or have a flash point less than 60 °C (140 °F). The characteristic of ignitability is found at 40 CFR §261.21.


Corrosive wastes are acids or bases (pH less than or equal to 2 or greater than or equal to 12.5) that are capable of corroding metal containers, such as storage tanks, drums, and barrels. The characteristic of corrosivity is found at 40 CFR §261.22.


Reactive wastes are unstable under “normal” conditions. They can cause explosions, toxic fumes, gases, or vapors when mixed with water. The characteristic of reactivity is found at 40 CFR §261.23.


Toxic wastes are harmful or fatal when ingested or absorbed (e.g., containing mercury, lead, etc.). When toxic wastes are disposed of on land, contaminated liquid may drain (leach) from the waste and pollute groundwater. Toxicity is defined through a laboratory procedure called the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP). The toxicity characteristic is found at 40 CFR §261.24.


In accordance with the DEP pipette tips are considered a delivery device and are not considered a container. Empty pipette tips may be disposed of in the trash.

Used printer cartridges/toner should be returned to the manufacturer or distributor where they were purchased for collection. Where this is not possible, please submit a work request through work control at fo.ucf.edu.

Return gas cylinders, whether empty or partially filled, to the manufacturer or distributor through which they were purchased. Aerosol cans, that are completely emptied of product and have been thoroughly depressurized, can be disposed of through regular trash pickup. Use up all of the gas in a cylinder or aerosol to render it completely empty if at all possible. Empty containers should be clearly marked as empty to avoid confusion when it comes to return or dispose of the cylinder/can. Do not vent full or partially used cylinders/cans into fume hoods as a means of disposal.

In the event, it is not possible to return the cylinders as specified above or if you are unable to completely empty and depressurize, submit the cylinders or cans for waste pickup by EHS. Make sure the cylinders are clearly marked as to contents and valves are properly sealed and capped. Aerosol cans must be packed upright in a box and capped to prevent the release of contents. If the ingredients of the can are known, list them on the waste form with the respective percent composition. If it is a commercial product, list company name, location and any hazard information listed on the can.

Chemically contaminated lab debris (gloves, paper towels, wipes, absorbent paper, gels) must be evaluated for proper disposal. In general, lab debris that is not grossly contaminated may be disposed of in the trash. However, debris must be collected as hazardous waste if it falls into one or more of the following categories:

  • Grossly contaminated with a hazardous chemical (free liquids and solids)
  • Spill clean-up materials
  • Debris contaminated with P listed chemicals
  • Debris contaminated with over the regulated quantities of TCLP contaminants.
  • Debris that is either grossly contaminated or falls into one of the above categories should be collected separately from non-hazardous debris. Follow the Instructions for Hazardous Waste Disposal.


Broken glassware that has not contained P listed chemical should be placed in a separate outer container (e.g. cardboard box or plastic pail) and labeled as “Non-hazardous waste containing (broken) glass” and placed with your regular trash. If it has been contaminated with one of the P listed chemicals, attach a hazardous waste label reading “Labware (or glassware) contaminated with ______” (state name of highly toxic residue) and submit a hazardous waste request.

A container is considered empty and not an RCRA hazardous waste if you can pour or scrape out contents by conventional methods unless it has contained a highly toxic P listed chemical. Containers with P listed residues must be labeled with a hazardous waste label reading “Container contaminated with ______” (state name of highly toxic residue) and submit a waste pick up request. Non-p-listed chemical containers may be reused for collecting a waste that is compatible with the original contents or if it has not contained a p listed chemical. If the empty container cannot be reused mark the container with the words “EMPTY” and remove or mark out any hazardous symbols then place in the solid waste receptacles. Containers include plastic or glass bottles, pipette tips, microfuge tubes, and other items used to transfer chemicals.


Just send us an email. In the subject line, type “ReChem Request”. Be sure to include your name, contact number, lab information (building and room), PI’s name, the bar code number, name and amount of the chemical(s) you are requesting. Your request will be processed and your chemical(s) will arrive within 7 business days. If you have any questions, please call (407) 823-3307 or send us an email.

In order to maintain the quality and ensure conformance with the program’s objectives and goals, chemicals accepted into the program must meet the following criteria:

  • Only UCF personnel can offer or accept chemicals.
  • The recipient must have the knowledge, training, and facilities to safely use the chemicals.
  • Chemicals should be in their original containers, be of uniform color, and in good condition. (Secondary containers will only be accepted if chemical name, date, and purity are clearly labeled.)
  • All chemicals must be inspected by Environmental Health and Safety personnel for deterioration before being offered for redistribution.
  • To ensure the safety of personnel and environmental regulatory compliance, restricted chemicals are prohibited from redistribution.

Faculty and staff are responsible for the proper use and disposal of chemicals as indicated by UCF’s Environmental Health and Safety in accordance with chemical and Lab Safety guidelines and requirements.

If your chemical does not meet the criteria, please visit the Hazardous Waste page for more information about Hazardous Waste Pick Up.

Chemical donations are greatly appreciated. Be sure that your chemical(s) fits the criteria for acceptance into the redistribution program. If your chemical meets the criteria, submit a waste pick-up request with “chemicals-Unused” selected. Place your donation in your Satellite Accumulation Area (SAA), and Environmental Health and Safety will pick up your donation within 14 business days.