Chemical/Hazardous Waste

The Environmental Health & Safety Department (EHS) coordinates the pickup of unwanted chemicals from all UNM labs, studios, makerspaces, and maintenance shops. EHS takes everything from tiny vials of toxic pharmaceuticals to 55-gallon drums of ethanol to pallets of old paint. Simply fill out a Chemical Waste Pickup Request form and email it to us and we will pick it up. For waste mixtures (wastes not in original container), a Hazardous Waste Determination form must also be completed. Chemical waste pickups occur every Wednesday, typically between 9:30 a.m. and noon

Chemical Waste Pickup Request Process

  1. Label your chemical waste containers.
If the chemical is in its original container with the manufacturer’s label intact, and there are symbols or words on the label indicating the chemical is flammable, corrosive, reactive, and/or toxic, the chemical is considered hazardous waste. Add the words “HAZARDOUS WASTE” to the label. Handwritten is acceptable. Do not obscure the original label.

If the chemical is NOT in its original container, or if it is a mixture of more than one chemical:
If the chemical is UNKNOWN, use the label template shown above with “UNKNOWN” in the contents section. Unknown chemicals must be tested by EHS or a vendor prior to being removed.

List all chemicals for pickup on the form. It is not necessary to list the manufacturer or brand of the chemical.

List unknown chemicals as “unknown”. Add as much detail as possible; for example, “unknown clear liquid” or “unknown white solid” is helpful.

You will receive an email from EHS notifying you of when the chemical waste will be picked up. Unknown chemicals may require testing by a chemist prior to being picked up.

Please note:

  1. Chemical waste containers must be labeled as described above as soon as the waste is added to the container; do not wait until a container is full and/or ready for pickup to add a label.
  2. Waste containers must be kept closed unless adding to them; do not leave a funnel in the mouth of any container.
  3. Liquid chemical waste should be stored in a spill tray.
  4. Chemical waste containers should be segregated according to compatibility.

If you have questions about chemical waste or chemical waste pickups, please contact EHS at 277-2753 or submit an email to