Hazardous Waste Practices

This page provides procedures for students and staff of the University on handling and disposing of potentially hazardous wastes.

  1. No hazardous, regulated, or industrial wastes may be dumped down or discharged to any sanitary or storm drain/sewer.
  2. Only trained personnel or those working under the supervision of trained personnel may manage waste. Waste Management Training (RCRA) is required if an employee has the responsibility for:
    1. Determining what is a hazardous waste
    2. Adding hazardous waste into satellite accumulation containers
    3. Transporting hazardous waste from satellite accumulation points to central accumulation.
    4. Inspecting hazardous waste storage areas
    5. Responding to spills involving hazardous wastes.

      New employees may not manage or handle hazardous waste unless supervised. Employees will receive training in the management and handling of hazardous waste within six months of commencing work with hazardous waste. Supervisors are to request training for new employees through the Environmental, Health & Safety Department (607-871-2190).

  3. Hazardous wastes may be accumulated in areas close to the point of generation (satellite accumulation area) and that are under the control of the area supervisor.
  4. No more than 55 gallons of hazardous waste may be stored in a satellite accumulation area. No more than 1 quart of acutely hazardous ("Plisted") waste may be stored in a satellite accumulation area. See tab labeled “Hazardous Waste Characteristics” for definition of a hazardous waste. See tab labeled "P-Listed Acutely Hazardous Waste" to determine if a substance is acutely hazardous.
  5. Containers of waste in excess of quantities listed above or any filled container must be moved from the satellite accumulation area to the central accumulation area within 72 hours.
  6. The waste container must be in good condition. If the waste container holding the hazardous waste is not in good condition, or if it begins to leak, bulge, rust, or is otherwise damaged, the hazardous waste from this container must be transferred to a container that is in good condition.
  7. Shelves used to hold waste containers must be in good condition.
  8. Flammable storage cabinets must be used for any room having in excess of 25 gallons of flammable material.
  9. A container must be used that is made with or lined with materials that will not react with, and are otherwise compatible with, the hazardous waste to be stored, so that the ability of the container to contain the waste is not impaired.
  10. Containers of incompatible materials must be segregated. (Reference "Incompatibility Chart").
  11. Store potential explosives securely and separately (peroxides, perchlorates, picrics, etc.).
  12. A container holding hazardous waste must always be closed during storage, except when it is necessary to add or remove waste.
  13. A container holding hazardous waste must not be opened, handled, or stored in a manner that may rupture the container or cause it to leak.
  14. Before labeling as non-regulated waste that might be mistaken for chemicals in the trash, contact Environmental, Health and Safety at 607-871-2190 for proper disposal procedures.
  1. When packaging any type of waste for collection, do not fill more than 4/5 full. Allow space in containers for expansion of vapors.
  2. All materials that pose a potential puncture hazard (e.g., hypodermic needles, broken glass, and plastic-ware) must be packaged in puncture resistant containers prior to removal from the work area.
  3. Do not mix non-hazardous waste with hazardous wastes (e.g., regulated medical waste, asbestos, chemical, radioactive waste) or package nonhazardous waste in hazardous waste containers.
  4. Bulk dry solid wastes, including contaminated disposable laboratory refuse, absorbed hazardous liquid wastes, and other nonvolatile solid wastes that do not contain free liquids, can be packaged in doubled heavy duty plastic bags, 5 gallon open top metal cans, 15 gallon blue polypropylene drums, 30 gallon fiber drums or 55 gallon open top metal drums. Consult with the Department of Environmental Health and Safety to determine which type of containers should be used for the types and amounts of dry waste being generated.
  5. Semisolid wastes and other volatile solid wastes, including solid chemical wastes that are wet, corrosive, generate toxic or flammable vapors, or otherwise require more secure packaging than dry solid wastes, can be placed in a wide mouthed jar, or other container that is compatible with the waste chemical and prevents leakage of liquid vapors.
  1. All chemical waste must be labeled with an Alfred University or Alfred University NYSCC "Hazardous Waste Chemical" label. The label should be affixed to the waste container before accumulation begins.
  2. If the waste is a mixture, identify the chemical waste constituents by proper chemical name including any deactivators/disinfectants used and the approximate quantity or concentration. Do not use acronyms, brand names, and/or chemical formulas.
  3. Labels must have the start date when accumulation began and be accessible to visual inspection.
  4. For chemicals in containers that were previously used to package other chemicals, mark a bold XXX through the original label, complete a Waste Chemical Label and attach over the original label.
  1. Do not store incompatible materials near each other.
    • Check incompatibility charts
    • Store acids away from bases, active metals, oxidizers and chemicals, which could generate toxic gases
    • Store flammables in a flammable storage cabinet
    • Do not mix flammables with oxidizers
    • Store large bottles on low shelves
  2. Keep containers closed when materials are not being added or removed.
  3. Leaking containers must be transferred to another container.
  4. Liquid laboratory wastes in containers that cannot be sealed must be transferred into a container that can be securely sealed to prevent spillage. Whenever transferring a chemical into a new container, check to make sure that the chemical is compatible with (i.e., will not corrode, dissolve, or permeate) the container.
  5. Waste streams should be kept as pure as possible. Before mixing chemical wastes, check to make sure all are compatible and will not react. If unsure about the type of container to use for a waste or if a waste can be mixed with other chemicals, consult with the Department of Environmental Health and Safety.
  6. Bulk liquid laboratory wastes must be placed in containers that are compatible with the waste chemical and will prevent leakage of liquids and vapors.
  7. Store containers in separated secondary containment whenever possible.
  8. Chemical reagents in small containers including vials and bottles of 100 ml or less must be segregated and the labeled chemical containers are to be packaged in strong cardboard packing boxes. Sort containers by chemical compatibility using separate boxes for each group. Place completed hazardous waste label on the box.
  1. During chemical transport wear personal protective equipment.
    • Appropriate chemical gloves
    • Chemical goggles
    • Apron or lab coat
  2. Have spill clean-up material available.
  3. Do not lift bottles by the cap alone. Always support the bottom of the bottle. When handling keep bottles below eye level.
  4. Place bottles in a tray as secondary containment or use a cart with secondary containment.
  5. Do not overload carts. Place containers with the correct side up, into the boxes using cardboard separations or small amounts of other suitable packing material, to ensure the stability and immobility of the containers within the carton during transport.
  6. Do not bury small containers in packing material or between larger containers where they may be lost or broken in transit.
  7. Do not store incompatible materials near each other while waiting to have waste picked up. All containers must be securely sealed and leak proof.