Hazardous Waste Summary

Hazardous Waste Management Summary

The disposal of waste generated from any experiment performed is a critical environmental issue and is the responsibility of anyone who designs/writes experiments to be performed in a laboratory. This includes all laboratories with chemicals on campus. Teaching Lab Coordinators, Principal Investigators and Instructors must provide students with waste disposal procedures for all experiments, projects & operations generating chemical waste. This must be provided through instruction and written procedure.

The YSU Lab Safety Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP), Section: Standard Operating Procedures for Laboratory Chemicals and the YSU Hazardous Waste Contingency Plan, Appendix C: Policy and Procedures for Disposing of Chemical Waste, address this issue. Below is a summary of Standard Operating Procedures for Lab Waste Disposal.

Waste includes any chemical no longer needed or deemed no longer useful. It also includes used reagents that are poured out of their original containers into secondary containers and designated as waste by lab personnel. It is the responsibility of everyone who generates waste to dispose of it properly. It is also the responsibility of any lab instructor to properly collect, store or dispose of all waste at the end of each laboratory session. All waste bottles must be labeled at all times and capped when not in use. Keep in mind that each Lab Coordinator or Principal Investigator may add additional procedures in conjunction with the following:

  • Dilute acidic or caustic solutions waste with pH greater than 2 & less than 12, where corrosivity was the only hazardous characteristic (e.g. not ignitable, oxidizing, toxic or EPA-listed waste) can be flushed down the drain.
  • Spent organic solvent wastes are poured into their designated safety cans located in the prep room or lab: One for non-halogenated wastes and the other for halogenated wastes. When the can is 2/3 full, submit a waste pickup request form or send email to cmc@ysu.edu
    • For all other waste streams, a Chemical Waste label must be completed & affixed to every waste container.
  • If the waste is already in an appropriate bottle with cap, you may continue to use that bottle. If not, please contact the Chemical Management Center for appropriate containers.
  • Empty bottles not used for waste must be returned to CMC or collected by CMC personnel.
  • Should the laboratory wish to use an empty reagent bottle for waste, the original product label must first be defaced or removed and a completed waste label must be applied.
    • CMC chemical inventory barcode information must be provided to CMC personnel via photo, email or campus mail. Then, the barcode label may be defaced or removed.

Obtain a Chemical Waste Label (adhesive labels & templates are available from the CMC). Complete the label and apply it to the bottle so that it remains affixed and clearly legible, until CMC personnel remove it for
their records. Finally, submit a waste disposal request form, or email cmc@ysu.edu.

More guidelines regarding waste handling and disposal can be found at ysu.edu/ehs/cmc/waste/lab-waste-guidelines. Details of general waste management, handling & disposal procedures are provided in the YSU EHS procedures/policies listed above.

Most wastes generated in the laboratories are prohibited from disposal in the regular trash or down the drain. Many of these wastes are regulated under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

The term hazardous waste is defined under RCRA as solids, liquids, and gases that exhibit certain characteristics or are specifically listed in the rules. Hazardous waste is regulated under a “cradle to grave” concept, meaning that the waste is tracked via written records from the time it becomes a waste, and that ownership remains with the generator forever. Therefore, the best method to reduce the risk of future remediation costs is to reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated. It is essential to consider the amounts and types of wastes that will be generated when a project is in the proposal stage, in order to ensure that a disposal method exists, that is compliant, affordable - and to minimize the amount of waste generated.

Every person responsible for the generation of waste at YSU must understand the proper disposal procedures and the requirements of the Ohio hazardous waste rules under RCRA.

More guidelines regarding waste handling and disposal can be found at https://ysu.edu/ehs/cmc/waste.

Please contact ehs@ysu.edu with any questions or for assistance.