Materials that are to be disposed of as hazardous waste must be placed in sealable containers. Containers should be filled, leaving a headspace for expansion of the contents. Often the original container is perfectly acceptable. If you routinely generate significant quantities of compatible solvents, bulking of waste in five-gallon carboys makes them easier to manage. Contact Public Safety for information on vendors who provide these types of containers.
Similar wastes may be mixed if they are compatible (e.g. solvents, linseed oil and oil-based paint). Do not mix or store wastes together unless you are sure they are compatible. To verify compatibility contact Public Safety at x5083
Containers must be kept closed except when adding material to it. Do not leave a hazardous waste container with a funnel in it.
Waste containers must be labeled “Hazardous Waste” and its contents as the material is first put into the container. Waste container labels are available from the Department or Public Safety.
Contact Public Safety at x5083 to schedule a pick-up.
Oils and Metals
Used oil is not considered a hazardous waste, per the US Environmental Protection Agency. Used oil (see exceptions below) should be collected in suitable containers and labeled “USED OIL” unless it has been mixed with hazardous waste (i.e. certain solvents). Arrangements should be made though Public Safety to have used oil recycled.
- Oils from laboratories will be collected during the monthly hazardous waste pickups, due to the possibility of contamination with other chemicals. Containers must be labeled “hazardous waste.”
- Many cutting oils may not meet the definition of used oil. Contact Public Safety at ext. 5083 before disposing of cutting oils in order to determine whether they should be treated as used oil or hazardous waste.
- PCB contaminated oil must be treated as hazardous waste. Contact Public Safety at ext. 5083 if there is any suspicion of PCB contamination (ex. Oil found in old transformers.)
- Any oil (i.e. Vacuum pump oil used in labs) if the potential exists for it to have mixed with any other hazardous wastes. These must be treated as hazardous waste. Contact Public Safety.
Spills or Releases of Oil
- Oil spills should be cleaned up immediately. Use absorbent materials (vermiculite) and place the material in a lined 5-gallon pail. Contact Public Safety for pick-up. See Chemical Spill Clean-Up Procedures for general instructions for cleaning up oil spills.
- Releases to the environmental (including releases to the sewer, soil, or impervious surfaces outdoors) must be reported immediately to Public Safety at 5083.
Oily Rags and Paper Towels
Oily rags and oily paper towels shall be discarded in an approved red flammable trash can. Do not leave oily rags lying around the floor. Linseed oil, in particular, can ignite on its own if left out, causing fire that may spread to other areas. The oily rag can is self-closing to prevent such an occurrence. Maintenance/Custodians will empty the red cans as needed.
Metals and metal filings generated from the machine shop, forging lab and key cutting operations may be hazardous waste. Significant traces of heavy metals, such as chromium or lead, may be contained in the alloys used in those departments. Recycling removes these metals from the hazardous waste designation. Therefore, all metals will be placed in the container marked Recycle Bin or Metals for Recycling. Maintenance to/Custodial Services will collect metals as needed and bring them to an authorized metal recycling center.
Broken Thermometers and Similar Materials
In the event that a thermometer, manometer or similar mercury-containing device breaks, proceed as follows:
- Put on a pair of gloves and eye protection.
- Pick up the broken glass or debris and place in a puncture-resistant container.
- Clean up any remaining mercury using the mercury spill kit recommended by Public Safety. Contact your Department for the location of kits in your area. If you do not have access to the kit, contact Public Safety immediately.
- Place the mercury in a glass or plastic jar or a sturdy plastic bag. Only add visibly contaminated debris. Seal the bag and affix a label identifying the material as “Hazardous Waste – mercury spill debris”.
- Follow the mercury disposal procedures provided here.
Please make sure to minimize the amount of debris involved. If gloves or the debris do not visibly contain mercury, they do not need to be included with the other waste.
- Collect mercury in a seal tight container. Place broken thermometers or similar materials in a seal tight plastic bag or plastic or glass jar. Be sure that materials may be easily removed for consolidation.
- Label the container “MERCURY SPILL DEBRIS”.
- Contact Public Safety and keep the material in your laboratory until the pickup.
Precautions for Minimizing Mercury Incidents
- Do not use mercury thermometers as stirring rods.
- Replace mercury thermometers with non-mercury alternatives.
- Use secondary containment or a tray under mercury-containing equipment.
There is considerable concern about the effect of dumping photographic chemicals and solutions down the drain. The following recommendations are for disposing small volumes of photographic solutions daily.
- Old or unused concentrated photographic chemical solutions, toning solutions, ferricyanide solutions, chromium solutions, and color processing solutions containing high concentrations of solvents, and non-silver solutions should be treated as hazardous waste Follow the General Procedures for disposal.
- Alkaline developer solutions should be neutralized first before being poured down the drain. This can be done with the stop bath or citric acid, using pH paper to tell when the solution has been neutralized (pH 7).
- Stop bath left over from neutralization of developer can be poured down the drain, once mixed with wash water.
- Fixing baths should never be treated with acid (e.g mixing with stop bath), since they usually contain sulfites and bisulfites which will produce sulfur dioxide gas.
- Fixing baths contain large concentrations of silver thiocyanate, well above the 5 ppm of silver ion allowed by the U.S. Clean Water Act. The SUNY Broome Photo lab is equipped with Silver Recovery units. All spent/waste fixing bath solutions shall be poured through the silver recovery unit, not poured down the drain.
Lamps are the bulb or tube portion of electric lighting devices that have a hazardous component. Examples of common universal waste electric lamps include, but are not limited to, fluorescent lights, high intensity discharge, neon, mercury vapor, high pressure sodium, and metal halide lamps. Used/waste lamps are collected nightly by the Custodial Supervisor. Do not dispose of lamps in the trash. Maintenance will make the waste determination of the lamps, package and date the container of waste lamps as Universal Waste – Lamps. If a lamps is broken use the following procedure for clean up
Cleaning Up a Small Number of Lamps
- Sweep up debris with a small broom or a whisk broom.
- Sweep gently to avoid suspending phosphor powders in the air.
- DO NOT VACUUM.
- Place the debris in an airtight container (a seal tight bag or container with a tight fitting lid).
- Seal bag or container. Label it “broken lamps” (lamp = bulb)
- Try to disperse the mercury vapor by opening windows or doors.
- Contact Public Safety for Disposal.
Batteries such as nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd), Alkaline, Lithium Ion, small sealed lead-acid batteries, etc. which are found in many common items in the business and home setting, including electronic equipment, mobile telephones, portable computers, and emergency backup lighting are treated as Universal Wastes. They do not have to be managed as hazardous waste. However, they cannot be disposed of with regular trash.
SUNY Broome Health and Safety has provided Universal Waste containers for students and employees. All used batteries must be placed in these containers. Health and Safety personnel collect the batteries from these containers and dispose of them properly.
Universal waste battery containers are located at:
- Applied Technology Building – AT 018 (storage room) & AT 113
- Business Building – Media Services BB 025, BB 104, & BB 121
- BC Center (Child Care)– Office
- Campus Services Building – Maintenance Office
- Decker Health Science Center – DH 217
- Ice Center – Vestibule (Public Disposal Site – Not maintained by Heath and Safety Personnel)
- Library – Circulation Desk, located on the main floor
- Mechanical Building – MB 117
- Natural Science Center – NSC 207
- Science Building – SB 102
- Student Center – Athletics Office
- Student Services – Financial Aid & Student Accounts
- Student Village – 1st Floor Laundry Room
- Titchener Hall – TH 210, TH 103 (Communications Dept)
- Wales Center – WC 103 & WC 206
Wastes contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious biological materials must be disposed of in special ways. These materials are defined as Regulated Medical Waste. They include:
- All sharps, e.g. glass implements, needles, syringes, blades, etc. coming from facilities using infectious materials or contaminated with blood
- Biologically-cultured stocks and plates, human blood or tissues
Departments with potentially infectious wastes include but are not limited to:
- Dental Hygiene
- Medical Lab Tech
- Student Health Services
- Medical Assistant
- Office of Public Safety
Each Department is responsible for establishing a storage location for their Medical Wastes and providing the required training (i.e. Bloodborne pathogen training) to their staff and students. Health and Safety personnel will ensure all maintenance/custodial personnel who are responsible for transport or disposal of wastes are properly trained. The Department storage locations shall be temporary locations. All medical wastes will be transferred as needed to the Central Storage area (NSC 105). Please contact Sarah Stevenson at extension 5099, for transfer. She will complete the necessary paperwork for disposal. All SUNY Broome Medical Waste is transported off-site and properly disposed of by Stericylce. Departments should use the following procedures to assist in the disposal.
For disposal of these wastes:
- Place all contaminated wastes, except for sharps, directly into the red bag-lined medical waste boxes.
- Place sharps into labeled sharps containers.
- When the Medical Waste box is filled, seal the bag liner and box and notify Sarah Stevenson for pick-up.
All containers must have labels, even the small containers that will be placed in a larger container by Sarah Stevenson, must have a label. Contact Sarah Stevenson at extension 5099 for appropriate labels.