The 3 C’s of Chemical Waste Management

April is Environmental Month. The EHSO Environmental Compliance Group assists Emory University investigators in complying with applicable United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) regulations. These regulations were developed to protect our natural resources.  EHSO provides guidance on chemical waste disposal to ensure that our natural resources are protected, and that Emory maintains regulatory compliance.  Proper management of chemical waste is a very important part of environmental protection.  If chemicals get into drains, our water supply is impacted.

Once a chemical is used, or if it is no longer needed, it retains its hazardous properties and must be managed in a way that does no harm to the environment.  EHSO helps you, the investigator, ensure that chemicals are managed and disposed of appropriately by:

  • providing containers for collection of used chemicals
  • removing your collected chemical waste for proper disposal

While in the lab, chemical waste containers must be properly maintained by lab personnel.  This includes ensuring that the three Cs of chemical storage are followed:

  • CONTENT: Contents and type of hazard should be identified on the waste label
  • COMPATIBILITY: Use a container that is Compatible with the waste collected
  • CLOSED: Waste containers must remain Closed when not actively adding waste to them

If you have questions about chemical waste storage and/or management, contact George Golston (

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