Lab Pack Waste Disposal
July 8, 2024

A lab pack is the accumulation of obsolete, unwanted, or left-over chemicals that can range from less than 2 mi to 5 gallons. These chemicals are placed in DOT-approved containers for safe transport to the disposal facility. Material such as vermiculite is used as an absorbent around the smaller containers of chemicals placed into a larger drum ranging in size from 5 gallons to 55 gallons depending on the volume of chemicals being disposed of.

Laboratory waste disposal through lab packing is required to follow regulations set forth by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the DOT (Department of Transportation.)  Working with an experienced and knowledgeable waste management facility such as Environmental Marketing Services, ensures your facility follows these regulations to eliminate the risk of costly penalties.

What is a Lab Pack?

To begin the lab pack waste disposal process someone with training, experience, and knowledge of chemicals will identify, categorize, and segregate all chemicals based on the EPA and DOT requirements. Segregation of chemicals is crucial as mixing non-compatible chemicals into a lab pack can affect the safety and health of anyone coming into contact with the container. There could even be deadly consequences with the mixing of chemicals that react with each other.

Separation or segregation must be performed by an experienced chemist according to DOT regulations. Chemicals must be organized based on their hazard class, packing group, and proper shipping name. The DOT has nine classes for waste streams, but there are more than 2,500 hazardous materials that are transported for disposal.

Working with Environmental Marketing Services will ensure your laboratory waste disposal through lab pack waste disposal is handled properly and the packs are assembled in compliance with DOT regulations and the EPA requirements.

Chemical waste lab pack services are complex as all chemicals must be separated and packed based on their hazard level, DOT requirements, EPA requirements, toxicity, and disposal facility requirements. The substances must be packed into DOT-conformed containers depending on their particular hazard class. These containers can be metal, cardboard, or poly depending on the chemical characteristic.

Lab Pack Waste Disposal Requirements

Once the chemicals are placed into smaller, appropriate containers, an expert will carefully place them into a larger, drum-like container with an ample amount of absorbent protecting each one. Each small container has to be labeled with specific information required by the EPA, the DOT, and the disposal facility. These containers must also be manifested and transported by a licensed hazardous waste transporter.

When the lab packs are received by the disposal facility, they will be properly managed through destruction. Some of the materials can be recycled and others are destroyed through:

Fuel Blending

Fuel blending is the process of mixing hazardous waste and commercial fuel to meet the specifications necessary for an industrial furnace, cement kiln, or incineration. This process utilizes an approach to environmental sustainability through alternative fuel methods and considered hazardous waste recycling.


Hazardous chemical waste is neutralized by a controlled chemical reaction of an alkaline or acid. The result is a non-hazardous substance. It is illegal for anyone without a specific permit to attempt to neutralize chemical waste.

Hazardous Waste Incineration

Incineration is the process of burning hazardous waste materials at a temperature high enough to destroy contaminants. This process is done in an incinerator which is a type of furnace designed to burn hazardous materials in a combustion chamber.

Hazardous Waste Stabilization and Landfill

Stabilization and solidification are treatment technologies that achieve remediation goals. These processes mix contaminated materials with reagents to reduce leaching and the mobility of contaminants in a landfill.

Hazardous Waste Treatment

Hazardous waste can be treated by biological, chemical, physical, or thermal methods. Chemical treatments include precipitation, oxidation, neutralization, and reduction. Thermal methods use high temperatures to not only detoxify organic wastes but also destroy them.

Laboratory Waste Disposal for Lab Packing

Lab packs are large durable containers used for shipping multiple smaller containers of hazardous waste. This method is safe and secure. Most larger lab packs resemble a large drum and the smaller containers are packed inside this drum safely and securely with special packaging to absorb materials should any leakage or spills occur.  

The materials typically packed into lab packs include:

  • Reagents
  • Acids
  • Bases
  • Toxic materials
  • Explosive materials
  • Solvents
  • Oxidizers
  • Disinfection and cleaning agents
  • Radioactive materials
  • Paint thinners
  • Dyes
  • Inks
  • Compressed gasses and aerosols
  • And more

When packed, these chemicals are divided into groups for safer storage and organization. This process is an ideal method for laboratory waste disposal as it allows for shipping large quantities of hazardous waste within federal regulations.

Industries That Benefit From Turnkey Lab-Pack Services

The most common industries benefiting from Turnkey Lab-Pack services are certain manufacturers and hospitals. Hospitals generate large quantities of hazardous waste and need medical waste pickup as well as medical waste transportation. The experts at Environmental Marketing Services can assist in these processes as well as controlled substances disposal and other medical waste disposal needs.

Other facilities that benefit from Turnkey Lab-Pack services for their laboratory waste disposal are colleges, universities, schools, and laboratory research centers. The dry cleaning business is another example due to the sheer number of chemicals used in their cleaning process.  

Any business or company that uses hazardous chemicals is subject to regulations. Talk to the professionals at Environmental Marketing Services to learn more about lab-pack disposal and how this service will benefit your needs. 

When to Use Chemical Waste Lab-Pack Services for Laboratory Waste Disposal

There are certain instances where a hazardous chemical should be safely and properly disposed of using lab-pack disposal methods: 


An expired agent or chemical should not be used. Check expiration dates on labels and discard as necessary.

No Use

There are times when a facility will have a chemical or chemicals on hand that are no longer of use. Do not let these materials sit around and take up valuable laboratory or other space.


If a chemical is not stored properly, its components can become degraded. These materials should be disposed of. 


Many times it is discovered a hazardous chemical is in the inventory that could be presenting more harm than good. These materials should be disposed of and a safer chemical alternative could be a replacement. A replacement that is not as toxic or flammable. 

Laboratory Waste Disposal Regulations

Numerous regulations surround lab-pack waste disposal. Two of the more significant regulations are from RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act), and CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act.)

RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act)

The RCRA gives the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) full control over managing hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal. This Act requires all chemical waste producers to dispose of chemical waste properly and promptly.

Various amendments have been made to RCRA, with the more notable one being the LDR (Land Disposal Restrictions.) This program has set protective measures in place that must be followed before hazardous materials are discarded or disposed of on any body of land. The program has also created standards for stabilization, incineration, and immobilization. The three main portions of the LDR program include regulations and rules involving:

  • Disposal prohibition
  • Dilution prohibition
  • Storage prohibition

To ensure your laboratory waste disposal process is following these complex rules and regulations, it is important to work with an experienced waste disposal facility such as Environmental Marketing Services.

CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act)

The CERCLA was created by the EPA to regulate the disposal of chemical waste. This Act allows the EPA to seek out and possibly punish any generator of hazardous waste who does not follow all regulations and rules surrounding these materials. The Act has also established standards for proper lab packing, who is allowed to use lab packing, and who should be present during the lab packing process.

Environmental Marketing Services has the expertise and accreditation to work with laboratory waste disposal. Contact us today and learn how we can become your reliable and dedicated partner in addressing all your waste management needs.

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