Labels for chemical waste containers

For further disposal advice, see the Guide to the Disposal of Chemical Wastes and Chemical Waste Containers.

A chemical waste container should have two labels on it:

  • a label to provide the nature of the waste and GHS information (signal word, pictograms, hazard statements) and
  • a blank label upon which you can write the details of each waste added to the container.

The blank label should be large enough to allow recording of the date, composition and approximate quantity of all inputs to the waste container. An A5 label (half A4) should be suitable. If needed, a further A5 blank label may be attached later to the container. Ensure labels are securely fixed.

You can download labels to provide GHS information from the list below.

Each label should be checked before use that it adequately describes the hazards associated with the wastes expected to be added to the container and again, when the container is full, to see that it adequately describes what was actually added to the container.

These labels are optimal for waste containers up to 5 L capacity. For larger waste containers, e.g. 20 L plastic 'cubes', it is desirable to use a larger label, in order to meet the recommended pictogram and font sizes. This can be achieved easily by printing these labels at an expanded scale (e.g. 180% for full A4 size). To do this in Chrome or Edge, in the Print dialog, choose More Settings and then change the Scale.

These labels are based on the likely compositions and likely maximum concentrations of school wastes. In many cases, wastes will contain less hazardous components or the components will be at lower concentrations. In these cases, more appropriate custom labels showing fewer hazards can be prepared and used instead. Occasionally, labels with further hazard statements will be required, for example, if concentrated acid is present in a waste solution of metal ions.

Wastes should be stored according to Dangerous Goods requirements until they are collected by a waste contractor or until processed to concentrate or recycle the wastes.

All flammable wastes, particularly 'Non-halogenated organic waste', should be stored in a flammable liquids cabinet as Class 3 Dangerous Goods.

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