Disposal of chemical waste

Målgruppe: Medarbeidere Tema: HMS

These guidelines describe the handling and disposal of chemical waste. Each unit is responsible for handling their own chemical waste. Individuals handling chemical waste are obligated to familiarise themselves with procedures, guidelines and legislation.

Norsk versjon - Avhende kjemikalieavfall

Subject page about HSE | Pages labelled with waste

Useful overviews #

Note: For each declaration, the weight is rounded up to the nearest kg. This affects the price. You should therefore consider which types of waste can be safely declared and disposed of together. One declaration can apply for several containers (bottles, cans, etc.). All containers must be labelled, as described under Chemical waste.

Declaration #

  • Information about waste product numbers, EAL codes, ADR danger classification, UN numbers and packaging categories can be found in NTNU’s table for declaration of hazardous waste (in Norwegian).
  • Check also the safety data sheet's subsection 14 for waste that does not fit any of the categories described in the table above. You can find the safety data sheet in the substance index (in Norwegian) (ECO Archive).
  • For declaration of unidentified chemicals, or if you are unsure of the correct classification/packaging: Always contact the waste recipient before disposal.

See also the glossary and Waste recipient’s contact persons (in Norwegian).

Classification #

Labels and signs #

  • The chemicals should, as far as possible, be delivered in the original containers, if these are still suitable for transport and storage.
  • Chemical waste must be labelled on the external packaging with the declaration number, UN number and hazard labels.The labelling must be clearly visible. Use water-resistant markers and pre-printed hazard labels (stickers). Hazard labels can be ordered from the waste recipient. 
  • Always use an absorbent when packing different chemicals together. Apply a layer of vermiculite, or an equivalent, in the bottom of the box. Vermiculite is approved for both organic and inorganic chemicals. Approved packaging is enough for non-chemical waste.
  • Pack the waste to reduce the risk of breakage. Always use shock-absorbing material between the glass containers.
  • In case of breakage, use of plastic containers provides better protection against spillage. For liquid waste: Use plastic containers designed for transport of chemical waste. 
  • Use a membrane screw cap if there is risk of gas development from liquid waste. That way, any gas will be released and reduce the risk of the container exploding.
  • Cardboard external packaging used for transport of chemicals must be UN approved. The packaging must be labelled with UN, followed by a combination of numbers and letters describing what the packaging is tested/approved for. Packaging approved for transport of hazardous goods is labelled with the packaging category for which it is suited. Standard cardboard boxes used for delivery of chemicals to NTNU can normally be used as external packaging.

Waste that should not be mixed with chemical waste #

Infectious waste, radioactive waste, explosive and/or spontaneously flammable chemicals should not be mixed with other chemical waste.

Pay particular attention to subsections 2 and 14 in the safety data sheet for information about the radioactivity of the chemical. The identification of explosive and spontaneously flammable chemicals is described below.

See also:

How to identify explosive, spontaneously flammable and highly reactive chemicals #

The waste recipient will not accept explosive and spontaneously flammable substances. It is very important that explosive and spontaneously flammable chemicals are identified and not disposed of together with other chemical waste, because of the risk of fire/explosion.

NB: Be particularly careful when handling explosive and spontaneously flammable chemicals! Do not open caps. Avoid knocks and shaking. 

When disposing of explosive and spontaneously flammable substances, employees at the NV faculty can contact HSE Adviser Espen Fjærvik. Employees at other faculties can contact HSE Adviser Arve Johansen, HSE Division.

Identification of explosive and spontaneously flammable chemicals using safety data sheets

To safely identify explosive and spontaneously flammable chemicals, you need to thoroughly go through subsections 2, 10, 13 and 14 in the safety data sheet of the product for disposal (see below). Note that older safety data sheets might have a different numbering than given here:

Most important hazards (subsection 2)

Explosive substances are labelled with the hazard symbol "Explosive" only when this is considered the primary hazard. Spontaneously flammable substances might have different hazard symbols, but are generally labelled ""Inflammable.

It is not possible to identify all explosive and spontaneously flammable substances based only on hazard symbols in subsection 2. Substances might be explosive or spontaneously flammable/oxidising even if the primary hazard is toxicity or environmental harm.

Example: Dinitrophenol (moistened), CAS 51-28-5: 

  • Hazard symbols in subsection 2 are "Toxic" and "Environmentally harmful", but dinitrophenol must nevertheless be classified as explosive. Dinitrophenol is identified as explosive by locating danger classification 4.1 in subsection 14 in the safety data sheet. Then look at the given UN number: UN number 1320 is given. UN number 1320 is then checked against the most frequently used UN numbers of explosive substances. See the list of applicable UN numbers below (danger classification 4.1). 

Stability and reactivity (subsection 10)

Contact the waste recipient if subsection 10 says anything about danger of explosion or spontaneous combustion. 

Information about waste disposal (subsection 13)

This subsection gives general information about the disposal of the specific product.

Transport information (subsection 14)

Here you can find the UN number, danger classification, packaging category and requirements for labelling with a hazard label. There are two classifications that might be given under the "Hazard label" subsection; main classification and additional classification (e.g. 4.1 + 6.1).

Danger classification 1 (explosive substances): The waste recipient cannot accept products that are labelled with danger classification 1. The same applies for substances with danger classification 1 as an additional classification.

Danger classification 4.1 (self-reactive substances, desensitised explosives): All substances with danger classification 4.1 as their main classification must be checked against the list of UN numbers of explosive substances. 

How to do it:

  • Check if danger classification 4.1 is given.
  • Compare the given UN numbers with these UN numbers:

UN 1310, 1320, 1321, 1322, 1336, 1337, 1344, 1347, 1348, 1349, 1354, 1355, 1356, 1357, 1517, 1571, 2555, 2556, 2557, 2852, 2907, 3317, 3319, 3344, 3364, 3365, 3366, 3367, 3368, 3369, 3370, 3376, 3380 and 3474.  

These are the most frequently used UN numbers for explosive substances. Source: ADR/RID 2017, p. 193 (in Norwegian)

The waste recipient cannot accept products with these UN numbers.

Danger classification 4.2 (spontaneously flammable substances): The waste recipient cannot receive products that are labelled with this danger classification.

Danger classification 5.2 (organic peroxides): If the substance has additional classification 1, it is explosive and cannot be accepted by the waste recipient. 

When in doubt whether a substance is explosive or spontaneously flammable: Contact the waste recipient. 

Nitro compounds, peroxides and peroxide forming chemicals

Everyone should be particularly cautious when handling these products. 

All nitro compounds must be carefully examined with regards to potential explosion hazard. Many peroxide compounds are very reactive and might be explosive. Examples: Nitrophenol compounds, including CAS no. 96‐91‐3, 489‐98‐5, 88‐89‐1 and 88‐88‐0.

Explosion hazard might be given in the safety data sheet under subsection 2 "Most important hazards" and subsection 10 "Stability and reactivity". Organic peroxides have danger classification 5.2 (see above).

Organic solvents and other chemicals, including diethyl ether, can form peroxides and become explosive during storage. Consequently, it is extremely important to have control of the storage time when storing this kind of products. Organic solvents and other chemicals that can form peroxides are divided into three risk groups:

Group A: Chemicals which can produce dangerous levels of peroxides after long-term storage. 

Group B: Chemicals where dangerous levels can be produced by concentration as a consequence of evaporation.

Group C: Chemicals where peroxide production can create a heat generating polymeric reaction. 

Substances from groups A and B must be handled with great care. This particularly applies to peroxide forming chemicals that are more than a year old, or ones with an unknown history. When in doubt: Do not open the container, but deliver it directly for disposal. 

These guidelines for hazardous and chemical waste do not cover all measures that might be necessary with regards to peroxide forming chemicals. Information about risks regarding chemicals that might form peroxides, list of chemicals in the above-mentioned risk groups and recommendations for storage and control are located here:   

Identification of highly reactive chemicals using safety data sheets

Highly reactive chemicals must be classified separately and not packed together with, nor be included in, other types of waste. Any explosive and spontaneously flammable substances must be identified first. To identify a product as highly reactive, subsections 2, 10 and 14 in the product's safety data sheet must be checked. The instructions from NFFA (in Norwegian) might be helpful. 

Most important hazards (subsection 2): The hazard symbol "Oxidising" represents highly reactive substances. 

Stability and reactivity (subsection 10): The substance is classified as "highly reactive" if high reactivity is given here. When in doubt, the substance should be treated as "highly reactive". Contact the waste recipient for help.

Transport information (subsection 14):

Danger classification 4.1 (flammable and combustible substances)

Many substances in this classification can be highly reactive or explosive. Check the UN number against the list of UN numbers above. When in doubt: Contact the waste recipient. 

  • Danger classification 4.2 (Spontaneously flammable substances)

The waste recipient cannot receive products that are labelled with this danger classification.  

Danger classification 4.3 (Development of flammable gas in contact with water)

All substances with this danger classification are highly reactive and must be labelled with waste product number 7122.

Danger classification 5.1 (Oxidising)

All substances with this danger classification are highly reactive and must be labelled with waste product number 7122. This also applies to all substances with the additional classification 5.1. Safety data sheets must always be enclosed when disposing of products with waste product number 7122.

Danger classification 5.2 (Organic peroxides)

All substances with this danger classification are highly reactive substances and must be labelled with waste product number 7123. Safety data sheets must always be enclosed when disposing of products with waste product number 7123.

Danger classification 6.1 (Toxic substances)

If the product is labelled with this danger classification, you must thoroughly go through subsection 10 about "stability and reactivity" in the safety data sheet. If high reactivity is given: Contact the waste recipient.

Danger classification 8 (Corrosive)

Substances with danger classification 8 and additional classification 5.1 (oxidising) are highly reactive.

Mixing different chemicals #

Mixtures of two or more chemicals can be classified in a "Not otherwise specified (n.o.s.) entry" in accordance with ADR/RID 2017 (in Norwegian). E.g.: When classifying a mixture of UN1114 Waste Benzene, danger classification 3, packaging category II, and UN1307 Waste Xylenes, danger classification 3, packaging category III, you can use the following classification: "UN1993 Waste inflammable liquid n.o.s". (Benzene/Xylenes), danger classification 3, packaging category II. 

Table in ADR/RID 2017 (in Norwegian), p. 142, to determine the mixture’s danger classification and packaging category. An overview of the different n.o.s. entries is provided in point 2.2.X.3, where X refers to the different classifications listed in chapter 2.2. Refer to p. 135 for an overview.

If the substance for classification is waste with an unknown compound, the packaging category and UN number can be based on the sender’s knowledge of the substance. If it is possible to determine that the substance’s properties do not qualify for packaging category I, the substance can be classified in the most appropriate n.o.s. entry in packaging category II.

Diluting chemical waste #

Chemical waste cannot be diluted, or mixed with other types of waste, with the goal of reducing the concentration of hazardous substances, cf. the framework directive (EU) 2008/98/EC, article 7, subsection 4.

Help #

NTNU regulations #

Legislation #

Contact #

  • Questions about handling and disposal of hazardous waste, incl. declaration of hazardous waste (All orders, including packaging and label orders etc., are made through the order system)
    • Norsk Gjenvinning AS, contact person Patrick Fløistad; patrick.floistad@ngn.no, phone: 92600031 08:00–16:00, all business days)
    • Norsk Gjenvinning AS, contact person Stein Johnsrud; stein.johnsrud@ngn.no, phone: 90521535 08:00–16:00, all business days)
    • Norsk Gjenvinning AS, contact person Einar Finstuen (NTNU safety adviser); einar.finstuen@ngn.no, phone: 975 29 395 08:00–16:00, all business days)
  • Questions about pricing, terms, invoices, nonconformities and quality:
    • Norsk Gjenvinning AS, contact person Jørn Viggo Lofstad; jorn.viggo.lofstad@ngn.no, phone: 97058874. Note that all waste quantities are rounded up to the nearest kg!
  • Espen Fjærvik, HSE Adviser, NV faculty (waste handling at NV and creating user accounts on avfallsdeklarering.no)
  • Ingvild Hammer, HSE Adviser, MH faculty (waste handling at DMF and creating user accounts on avfallsdeklarering.no) 
  • Arve Johansen, HSE Adviser, HSE Division (hazardous waste, infectious waste and creating user accounts on avfallsdeklarering.no)
  • Ann Kristin Sjaastad, Occupational Hygienist, HSE Division
  • Safety Adviser (questions about transport of chemical waste)

Approval/signature #

Approved by the Director of HSE – 4th february 2020 – HMSRV1802

Edited 27.08.2020

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