Managing Chemical-Containing Products

General Purchasing Practices

Purchase materials, especially chemical products, in the smallest quantity possible.

Paint and Painting Materials

Purchase paint and paint-related products that comply with all local or state environmental regulatory agency requirements. The WBSO Paint Dept. sells compliant painting materials. Paint rags should be used sparingly.  Air drying rags or throwing used rags, brushes, rollers, stir sticks, etc. in the trash is illegal.

Compressed Gases

Have all compressed gases delivered by the vendor to your location.  Never throw compressed gas cylinders in the trash. Chain all cylinders in an upright position with valve covers tightened down. Segregate incompatible gases such as flammables (propane, acetylene etc.) from oxidizers (oxygen, etc.).

Construction Subcontractors

Inform all subcontractors you employ that the disposal of any waste generated by the subcontractor is the responsibility of the subcontractor. All waste must be taken by the subcontractor once the job is complete. Inspect their worksite frequently and watch for any dumping of waste materials into the waste hopper, storm drains, toilets, or sinks.

Special Effects and Environmental Considerations

Any form of artificial snow cannot be washed down storm drains. SnoFoam should be allowed to dry into a solid and then swept up and disposed of as trash.  Special Effects materials should be evaluated and disposed of appropriately by the FX person in charge.

Cleaning Up Spills of Hazardous Material

All spills should be cleaned up promptly. The first priority after a spill is the safety of all personnel.  Once personnel are safe, and if a qualified person is present, the environment should be protected by stopping the spill from reaching storm drains, sumps, gutters, soil, or bodies of water.

If a spill occurs, avoid touching it, walking in it or breathing it, and immediately take these steps:

  1. Use sand or spill absorption materials to build a dike well ahead of the course of the spill. Once the flow of material has been stopped, absorb the spill using absorbent or sand.
  2. For large spills, or small spills of flammable materials, immediately call the WBSO emergency hotline: (818) 954-3333.
  3. Once the spill is absorbed, safely sweep or shovel up the spill-contaminated material into a labeled container. Do not throw spill debris into the trash; it must be disposed of as hazardous waste.


When time permits, or if you are unable to clean up the spill, please report the spill and any containment efforts to S&EA at (818) 954-2890 or call the Hazardous Waste Facility at (818) 954-1271. The WBSO Fire Department can also help clean up a spill—especially during after-hours or on weekends. They can be reached at (818) 954-1261.

Hazardous Material Storage and Disposal

Any chemical containing products or hazardous materials productions is bringing onto the lot must be stored and segregated correctly by following the guidelines given on each product’s warning label. Do not store drums of materials or waste outside of any building or soundstage.  Secondary containment may be required for proper drum storage, even if indoors. For further guidance, contact Brent Gale at (818) 954-3880.

Hazardous waste generated by in-house productions must be disposed of through the WBSO Hazardous Waste Facility.  Examples of materials that are to be handled as hazardous wastes include: waste paint, paintbrush rinse water, paint rags, thinners, solvents, oils, empty aerosol cans, adhesives, special effects products, used brushes, rollers and stir sticks, etc. To arrange for disposal, contact Brent Gale at (818) 954-3880

Painting Operations / Waste Paint Consolidation and Labeling Guidelines

These guidelines are to be followed by all employees working with paint and paint-related materials while at Warner Bros. Studio or on location for a Warner Bros. production.

Productions working on the WBSO Main Lot should take all waste described below to the Hazardous Waste Facility (Avenue D and Eighth Street). For waste at the Ranch or on location, contact Brent Gale at (818) 954-3880.

  • Painting operations on soundstages or in the Mill (Bldg. 44) that generate irritating odors should be scheduled during off hours whenever possible. If other productions working in the Mill complain – off hour scheduling is mandatory. Ventilation (i.e., stage fans and floor fans) should be used to dissipate odors.
  • Water-based paint waste and solvent-based paint waste are to be kept separate from one another and as clean of debris as possible. Water-based paint that is free of debris and not contaminated with any solvent-based paint can be recycled. Since recyclable paint is less expensive to dispose of than contaminated paint (which must be disposed as hazardous waste), you can save your production money by recycling as much of your water-based paint as possible.
  • Store any flammable waste paints in 5 gal. buckets. (e.g., acetone, “Japans”). Label them “Flammable Paint”.
  • Paint-related materials such as brushes, rollers, and stir sticks are to be isolated in a separate bucket that does not contain paint. Label them “Brushes/Rollers”.
  • Waste latex, vinyl, and other water-based paints should also be stored in 5 gal. buckets. Label them “Water-Based Paint”.
  • Sawdust, sand or other absorbents used in spill cleanup should be isolated and sealed in a separate bucket that does not contain paint. “Label them “Used Spill Cleanup of (insert name of material)”.
  • Used plastic bucket liners should be wiped as clean as possible while the paint is still wet, and then crushed and packaged in a separate 5 gal. bucket and labeled “Bucket Liners”. All aerosol cans are to be disposed of separately from other waste paint-related material, preferably in a 5-gallon bucket, sealed and labeled “Empty Spray Cans”. Do not store aerosol cans in the sunlight.
  • Empty waste paint buckets should be wiped clean while still wet and then sealed in plastic garbage bags (tied shut) and labeled “Empty Paint Cans”.
  • Used paint rags should be packed in a 5-gallon bucket and labeled “Used Paint Rags”.
  • When filling buckets with waste paint, do not fill the bucket to the rim. Leave 2-3 inches headspace to allow for expansion.
  • All wash water from washing brushes, rollers, buckets, etc. is to be saved and handled in the same manner as water-based paint waste. Buckets should be labeled “Brush Water”.


Waste Paint Accumulation Limits

A total of fifty-five gallons (11 five-gallon buckets) of waste paint and waste paint-related materials may be accumulated inside the stage or on the set if the following conditions are met:

  • All FLAMMABLE WASTE (solvent and solvent rags) must be correctly labeled and stored in sealed five-gallon buckets in a fire department-approved flammable cabinet. The maximum allowable accumulation time of any flammable waste-containing buckets, paints or brushes is one week.
  • All NON-FLAMMABLE WASTE (latex, vinyl, used rags) must be correctly labeled and stored in sealed plastic five-gallon buckets separate from the main paint inventory. The maximum allowable accumulation time is two weeks.
  • All used rollers, paint brushes, and sticks shall be stored in sealed five-gallon buckets and not mixed with paint. The maximum allowable accumulation time is two weeks.

Waste Paint Drop-Off Procedures When at Warner Bros. Studios

All studio departments and production companies are required to drop off their hazardous waste at the WBSO Hazardous Waste Facility Bldg.  78, located South of Bldg. 47 at the intersection of Avenue D and 8th Street.  Note: Non-WB Productions purchasing paint from WBSO are eligible for hazardous waste services.

When the maximum allowable fifty-five-gallon storage limit has been reached (any combination of the above waste categories equaling a total of 11 five-gallon buckets), the following procedures shall be followed:

  • All containers shall have listed on them; 1) The production or department name, 2) The container contents, labeled as described above, and 3) The stage number or set where the waste was generated.
  • The Hazardous Waste Facility must be called in advance to make sure the facility is open to accept the waste. To schedule a drop-off, call (818) 954-1271 or (818) 954-2890.
  • Waste drop-offs will only be scheduled to be received between the hours of 6:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m., unless special arrangements are made.
  • Waste shall not be allowed to accumulate into large quantities on stage or in departments. Frequent, smaller waste drop-offs should be made. Plan for chemical inventory and disposal when hiatus periods are approaching.
  • Waste shall not be left at the Hazardous Waste Facility if there is no one there to accept it, especially if after hours.

Please call Brent Gale at (818) 954-3880 or Robert Contreraz (818) 954-1271 if you have any questions.

Waste Paint Disposal Procedures When on Local Location

When returning paint-related materials to WBSO (including brush water), attach a label to the bucket that exactly describes the contents of the bucket, as described above in “Waste Paint Consolidation and Labeling.”

Do not use terms such as “Sludge” or “Waste” to describe the contents of a bucket! In the event of a spill or mishap, police or fire departments may call for the Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team if all containers of chemical- containing buckets are not properly labeled.

Leftover paint and brush water that can still be used can be transported back to the Main Lot. Materials that are considered “waste” cannot be transported by production and will need to be picked up by a licensed hauler. Contact Brent Gale for assistance at (818) 954-3880.

Used materials that cannot be reused are considered waste and cannot be transported back to the main lot. This waste will need to be picked up by a licensed hazardous waste hauler; S&EA has a list of pre-approved haulers.  The pickup will require the acquisition of an EPA ID Number, which may take in excess of two weeks.  Waste cannot be picked up or shipped until the number has been issued by the EPA, as it will be required on the federal hazardous waste manifests.  Disposal in any other manner is against WB Policy.

If your production company anticipates that it will be generating any used chemical-containing materials off-lot that will be considered “waste,” contact Brent Gale at (818) 954-3880.

This website and the information contained in the Injury & Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) are intended and authorized for the use of employees of this Company only; they are not intended for, nor should they be used by, the general public or any third parties. If you have not been expressly directed to this site by the Warner Bros. Studio Operations Department of Safety & Environmental Affairs, you are not authorized to use this website and you must exit now. The IIPP is a general outline of safe work practices to be used as a guideline for our productions to provide a safe work environment for our employees. Because each particular work situation is different, these IIPP guidelines are intended to be used in conjunction with consulting the appropriate production supervisors and seeking the assistance of our Production Safety personnel. The information contained in this IIPP is not a legal interpretation of any federal, state or local regulations, laws or standards. No warranty is made about any of the contents of this website.


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