Hazardous Waste Disposal

The Hazardous Waste Disposal section includes the following topics.


In an attempt to achieve compliance with existing laws and regulations governing the storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous waste, the Office of Human Resources Safety Office has put into place the procedures outlined below. By following these procedures, you will aid the University, your department, and yourself in achieving compliance with the laws governing these matters. These procedures will be updated as developments warrant.

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Proper disposal of waste chemicals is a continuing concern across the nation. The Office of Human Resources Safety Office manages a Controlled Hazardous Substances Waste Management Service for the campus community, which is in accordance with all applicable Federal and State guidelines. The following procedures are designed to make this service work smoothly and efficiently for all involved parties.

All requests for disposal services should be submitted in writing to the Office of Human Resources Safety Office.

All chemicals or chemical product waste, regardless of how innocuous it may be considered, shall NOT BE POURED DOWN THE DRAIN or DISCARDED IN THE TRASH unless prior permission has been obtained by reviewing the Material Safety Data Sheet and contacting the Safety Office.

All waste must be placed and stored in compatible glass, metal, or heavy plastic containers with a sealable lid. The department responsible for generating the waste is responsible for supplying the waste removal container. Used reagent containers are permissible as long as the original label is removed or sufficiently defaced (if no longer appropriate). Under no circumstances are corrosive materials, such as acids and alkalis, to be placed into a metal container. When in doubt, review the Material Safety Data Sheet for disposal procedures.

Each waste container is to be labeled WASTE. Also, on this label should be written the date of first accumulation and exact contents. Chemical names should be fully written. Abbreviations or structural formulas are not acceptable. Labels with general wording such as "organic waste" are UNACCEPTABLE. If a container holds a mixture of chemicals, the appropriate percentage represented by each chemical must be clearly indicated on the label. The amount of water within the container shall also be noted on the label. UNKNOWN CONTENTS ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GENERATING DEPARTMENT. ANALYSIS COSTS FOR UNKNOWN(S) WILL BE CHARGED BACK TO THE GENERATING AREA.

Chemicals, which are used separately, should be collected separately as waste. IMPORTANT - Chemicals from different hazard classes should not be mixed together. The following are examples, not all inclusive lists:

  1. NON-CHLORINATED SOLVENTS (methanol and ethyl acetate) with CHLORINATED SOLVENTS (chloroform and methylene chloride).
  2. FLAMMABLES (ethanol, pyridine) with POISONS (cyanides, aniline) or CORROSIVES (sulfuric acid).
  3. OXIDIZERS (nitric acid and sodium nitrate) with FLAMMABLES (acetone and toluene) or CORROSIVES (hydrochloric acid and chromic acid) or POISONS (aniline and mercuric acetate).

Adherence to this procedure may allow the departments to recycle some of this type of waste. All waste should be properly stored in the work place or labs (not in offices, hallways, classrooms, etc.) so that it is not mistaken for trash or used as virgin chemical. The temporary waste storage area should be labeled in a conspicuous manner so that Safety Office personnel can easily identify what is to be taken during the HAZMAT pickups.

Questions regarding any of the above can be directed to the Safety Office at ext. 4897.

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  1. Emergency pickups will be made as required for materials posing an immediate life threatening hazard or potentially life threatening situation.
  2. Regular chemical pickups will be made every 90 days.
  3. Submit a list of materials to be picked up, complete with location and specific name information.
  4. Chemicals will be picked up from the location where they are stored. Usually, laboratory personnel will be required to be present on the day of pickup unless prior alternate arrangements have been made.

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Under current State and Federal regulations, all containers of hazardous waste must have a label containing the words "hazardous waste" and the container's contents. "Hazardous Waste" pre-printed labels can be obtained by contacting the Safety Office at x4897. The generator of the waste must fill in the following information as indicated:

  • Accumulation start date: Month/day/year the first volume of waste was placed into the container.
  • Contents: Name of any chemical(s) placed in the container. The chemical name is required by law to be written in legible English (i.e. Methanol or Methyl Alcohol). Chemical formulae, symbols and abbreviations are not acceptable (i.e., MEOH, Ch20).

It is essential that an accurate, up-to-date inventory be maintained of the chemical contents. In addition, if the contents consist of more than one chemical, estimated percentages must be included (i.e. Methanol (10%), Ethanol (80%), Pyridine (10%). If all the information cannot be included on this label, it is permissible to attach to the container a list of the chemicals, including percentages, along with the hazardous waste label. Where content is pre-printed on the sticker, write in "see attached list". If you have any questions, contact the Safety Office at x4897.

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Under the Reauthorization of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the U.S. Congress included the requirement that each generator of controlled hazardous substances (hazardous waste) provide a waste minimization program. The intent was to reduce waste disposal and assist in the preservation of land resources. Therefore, the following procedures have been incorporated at Frostburg State University to achieve compliance with the Waste Minimization requirement. If there are any questions, contact the Safety Office at x4897.

  1. Only dispose of those items that are contaminated with chemicals (i.e., non-contaminated solid debris, water, etc. should be disposed of as nonhazardous waste). Empty chemical containers, except pesticides, can be disposed of in the same manner as non-hazardous refuse.
  2. If chemicals are used separately, they should remain separate as waste.
  3. Do not mix nonhalogenated solvents with halogenated solvents (if maintained separately), since these can be recycled for beneficial reuse.
  4. Try to recycle old virgin chemicals. This can be accomplished by circulating fliers throughout the building/departments. Do not recycle ethers, dioxane, tetrahydrofuran or any other chemicals that form peroxides or become potentially explosive upon aging or other chemicals which have obviously deteriorated or which are in damaged containers.
  5. Only purchase chemicals in the quantities you would realistically expect to use. Excess chemicals only add to the University's future disposal costs.
  6. Only use containers that are comparable in volume to the amount of waste being generated (i.e., do not use a one gallon sized container for one pint of waste).
  7. When appropriate, less hazardous substances should be utilized in experiments, etc. (i.e., carosafe/ethylene glycol for formaldehyde, detergent/water for chromic acid glass cleaning).

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Waste paints and paint related solvents could be hazardous to the environment and ground water systems, as well as a fire hazard, when handled improperly and disposed of incorrectly.

Determine if the paint is latex water based paint or is an oil-based paint. If the paint is latex based, it is not a hazardous waste. Latex water based paints may be disposed of in the normal waste disposal containers. The original container must be emptied of all liquids and paint products must be solidified. Open the latex water based container and allow the paint to solidify not just "skin over". Once the paint is solid throughout, it may be disposed of.

Oil based paints and solvents are hazardous waste and must be disposed of properly through the Office of Human Resources Safety Office. Oil based paints and solvents such as turpentine, turpex, xylene, toluene, mineral spirits and like products should be collected in a bulk container (metal five gallon type) to minimize disposal cost.

The containers should be taken to a well-ventilated area, free from open flame, heat and sparks. It is the generator's (individual department) responsibility to bulk waste the oil based paints, solvents and by products. When bulk containers are full, call the Office of Human Resources Safety Office at x4897 for a scheduled HAZMAT pick up. The container shall be labeled with the type of contents.

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