Chemical Waste Disposal and Container Recyling

·         Consider waste disposal requirements PRIOR to ordering chemicals.

·         All chemical waste must be disposed of in accordance with the UQ Chemical Waste Operating Procedure.

·         You must read the Safety Data Sheet SDS for risk and safety information and disposal requirements for ALL THE CHEMICALS you will be working with.

·         DO NOT discard chemicals down the laboratory sink - unless you have verified that this is an appropriate disposal method.

·         Chemicals discharged to the sewer must meet the Queensland Urban Utilities Trade Waste Sewer Acceptance Criteria.  Note: The concentrations given by Urban Utilities are at the site boundary. There will be considerable dilution of the waste meaning in some cases higher concentrations may be permitted.


Not Sure about any of the above?

·         Ask your Supervisor and/or Laboratory Manager.

·         Contact the University Chemical Store on x52345

Steps to follow:

     1.  Read the UQ Recycling and Waste Guidelines


If your substance can't be disposed of down the sewer or via the general waste stream:

     2.  Go to and complete the request waste drums or waste label online form.

     3.  The UQ ChemStore will arrange for the delivery of suitable Chemical Waste containers with labels attached

     4.  Safely decant the waste chemical into the Waste Container supplied.

     5.  Ensure Chemical Waste is stored appropriately while it is waiting to be collected, which will normally occur at scheduled times.

Disposal of Empty Chemical Containers:


  • In some cases, empty original chemical containers (predominantly plastic) can be returned to the Chemical Store for reuse as waste containers.
  • Please DO NOT wash bottles or deface labels as it is necessary to know what is in the bottles to prevent unwanted reactions.
  • Any excess containers will be recycled.


  • In some situations it will not be possible to return chemical bottles to the chemical store.  
  • Please contact the chemical store if you have any questions about what should be returned.