Chemical inventory frequently asked questions

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Cradle-to-grave management and tracking of laboratory chemicals is required by various regulations and enforced by City, County, State, and Federal (DHS and OSHA) regulators. This requires that chemicals be managed and tracked beginning with receipt on-site, during storage and use in laboratories, and ending with ultimate disposition through consumption or disposal as chemical waste.

In order to maintain a cradle-to-grave chemical inventory database, EH&S processes chemicals at UNR Central Receiving and delivers chemicals directly to chemical purchasers on a daily basis. The EH&S department also removes full, partially full, and empty chemical containers as part of the process. Finally, maintaining accurate chemical use/storage location information necessitates that EH&S perform periodic chemical inventory spot checks in laboratories and other storage locations. The use of unique barcode tags on every container facilitates the entire chemical inventory process. In October of 2018, EH&S began using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) barcode stickers to manage chemical inventory.

Instructions: Chemical Package Delivery

If you purchase chemicals for use at UNR, you will need to provide EH&S with your name, the name of your faculty research advisor (aka PI, or Principal Investigator), and the specific building and room location where your chemicals are stored (this will be the delivery location for your chemical packages). Other contact information (phone, email) will need to be provided to EH&S in the event you need to be contacted regarding package delivery.

To facilitate delivery accuracy, you should ask your chemical supplier to complete the “ship to” labels as suggested in this document. Incomplete or incorrect package labeling may cause delays in delivery, as EH&S will need to investigate where to deliver your package. If you have more than one delivery location, please see more specific information in the questions and answers section of this document. Cryogenic cylinders and gas cylinders (other than lecture bottles) are excluded from this program and will not be handled by EH&S staff, although they will be inventoried during the “physical in-lab” inventory.


  • EH&S will not deliver chemicals to Stead SAGE, Main Station Farm, or Redfield campus areas.
  • EH&S will not deliver cryogenic liquids or gas cylinders.
  • EH&S does not handle or deliver items shipped on dry ice.
  • EH&S will not deliver insects, animals or other items marked as biological material.
  • EH&S does not handle or deliver items for Facilities Operations and Maintenance areas.

Instructions: Empty Container Pick-up and Removal from Rooms/Labs

EH&S staff remove empty, barcoded chemical containers.

  • Containers must be “empty” – very small amounts of residue are OK provided they could not spill out if the container were inverted at any angle.
  • EH&S staff perform periodic sweeps of entire buildings to collect empty containers.
  • Empty containers are also collected (without a special request) when hazardous waste teams remove chemical waste containers.
  • To specifically arrange to have empty, barcoded chemicals removed from your lab, contact Luis Barthel-Rosa at (775) 327-2270 or An EH&S staff member will remove the empty containers within a couple of business days.
  • Empty, barcoded containers will be deleted from your inventory.

If containers are found to not be empty, they will not be removed. Instead, lab personnel will be required to submit full or partially full chemical containers for waste pick up using the online waste submission form. Pure chemicals that are removed by the EH&S hazardous waste process are also deleted from ChemTracker after they are removed from you lab.

Procedures and links for requesting chemical waste removal can be found at EH&S Waste Management. Additional information about chemical inventory management can be found at EH&S Chemical Inventory.

Frequently asked questions

Chemical package delivery  |  Empty container pick-up and removal from rooms and labs


Chemical package delivery


Empty container pick-up and removal from rooms and labs