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Regulated Waste Disposal

Nearly everything we do leaves behind some kind of waste. Households create ordinary garbage. Industrial and manufacturing processes create both solid waste and hazardous waste. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates all this waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). RCRA's goals are to: protect us from the hazards of waste disposal; conserve energy and natural resources by recycling and recovery; reduce or eliminate waste; and clean up waste which may have spilled, leaked, or been improperly disposed of. Hazardous waste comes in many shapes and forms, from laboratory wastes to used antifreeze to spent fluorescent bulbs. RCRA tightly regulates all hazardous waste from cradle to grave. These regulations are found in the Code of Federal Regulations under 40 CFR Parts 260 - 299.

Within your work area, the following practices must be followed for proper management and collection of hazardous waste:

  • To determine if your unwanted materials pose a significant risk requiring management as hazardous waste, you must contact Environmental Management.
  • To determine if chemical deactivation or drain disposal is an option, you must contact Environmental Management.
  • Label containers of hazardous chemical wastes with the identity of the chemical(s) AND the words "Hazardous Waste".
  • Keep all containers of hazardous chemical wastes closed at all times when they are not in use.
  • Store hazardous waste containers within the room in which they are generated in.
  • Recommended practices that should be followed:
  • Always maintain a neat and orderly workplace.
  • Use secondary containment bins or trays to store your chemical waste containers in.
  • Store your waste containers in a designated place.
  • Environmental Management personnel collect waste from laboratories. They can be contacted at . All waste containers must be labeled appropriately. EPA regulations state that lids must be screwed on waste containers when waste is not being added or removed.

    The following federal regulations apply to hazardous waste generated in laboratories. Any violation of these regulations may result in significant fines and loss of federal grants.

  • No more than 55 gallons of waste may be stored in a laboratory. For acutely hazardous waste, this limit is reduced to one quart. Please contact Environmental Management at (801) 422-4468 if you have questions about whether your waste is acutely hazardous waste or not.
  • Full containers must be marked with the date on which it was filled. Contact Environmental Management to schedule the pick up of full containers.
  • The laboratory must be "under the control of the operator". This simply means that when nobody is in the lab the door must be locked.
  • Waste containers must be in good condition and compatible with the type of waste being stored in them. Leaking containers are not acceptable.
  • Containers must be closed at all times except when adding or removing waste. "Closed" means that no waste can evaporate out of the container and that no waste would spill if the container were to tip over.
  • The container must be labeled with a description of its contents. This description must be in English and must include the chemical name. Chemical structures and/or formulas are not appropriate substitutes for their names. All components of the waste must be listed.
  • Incompatible wastes must be kept segregated.
  • Training is required for anybody generating and handling hazardous waste. If you have not been trained on hazardous waste regulations, contact Environmental Management immediately. Environmental Management will provide training during a laboratory staff meeting or at any time that is convenient for you.
  • The following are additional rules for our convenience in disposing of your waste.
  • Please fill out the "Hazardous Waste Pickup" form when the container is about to become full. Fill all waste containers to NO MORE than 90% capacity. Overfilled containers will not be picked up. Please contact Environmental Management (801) 422-4468 if there are any questions.
  • Do not put solid waste into liquid waste containers. For example, paper towels should be stored in a plastic bag or in a solid waste container; they should not be placed into a container for liquids.
  • Spill cleanups should be managed as hazardous waste. Place all of the contaminated items (paper towels, gloves, etc.) into a zip-lock bag. Label the bag with the material that was cleaned up and mark it with the date.
  • Do not use red biohazard bags for chemical waste. They are to be used for biohazardous material only. If you are not sure whether your waste is biohazardous please contact Environmental Management (801) 422-4468.
  • Do not generate a mixed waste. See section on mixed wastes below.
  • General biohazardous waste in the lab is defined as waste contaminated or potentially contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms, sharps, and animal remains.

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