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Environmental Health & Safety


Printable files are available in three parts with Adobe Acrobat Reader:

    1. Purpose
    2. The Waste Disposal Program was established to minimize any harm to people, the facility, and the environment that results from the disposal of laboratory wastes.  Appendix 4 “Research and Clinical Laboratory Waste Disposal” lists the proper practices for many materials disposed from laboratories.  If a particular waste material is not listed, contact the Laboratory Safety Unit or the Environmental Compliance/Hazardous Waste Group for information/assistance.

      Examples of wastes generated from labs include recyclable papers, glassware, plastic-ware, biohazardous waste, radioactive waste, and chemical (hazardous) wastes.  Many locations at the University participate in a recycling program for papers and glass products.  Lab employees are encouraged to participate in this program. For those labs that generate biohazardous waste, including infectious wastes and sharps, these materials must be disposed of as specified in the University’s Bloodborne Pathogens Plan.  For those generating radioactive waste, these wastes are disposed of through Radiation Safety.  For chemical wastes, the term “hazardous waste” will be used hereafter.

      Minimize the generation of hazardous wastes.  Before purchasing chemicals, limit the quantities ordered to what is needed for 1 year duration.  Upon receiving a chemical, enter the chemical into Chematix, and store the chemical as recommended in the appendices of this document.  Rotate chemicals by placing older chemicals in front of newer chemicals containers to ensure the older chemicals are used first.

    3. Materials Available from Hazardous Waste Unit
    4. "The Learners Guideline for Responsible Hazardous Chemical Waste Management," from Environmental Compliance/Hazardous Waste Group, specifies all steps that are to be followed in the disposal of hazardous wastes.  The content of the “Learners Guide” specifies how waste will be collected, segregated, stored, and transported.  The booklet provides guidance on waste determination, disposal, hazardous waste tags, scheduling waste pickups, waste minimization, availability of free (recycled) chemicals, and a review of waste disposal requirements. For additional information, call x5-2056 or visit their web site at

    5. Discarding Chemical Stocks
    6. Any laboratory having unlabeled chemicals or solutions is responsible for the identification of the contents before disposal by the Hazardous Waste Group.  Before an individual's employment in the laboratory ends, chemicals for which that person was responsible for must be properly disposed, reassigned to another individual, or recycled as listed in Section VIII.B.  The department is ultimately responsible for the removal of all chemical materials from the lab upon termination of lab activities.  For additional information, see

    7. Frequency of Disposal
    8. Hazardous waste is routinely removed from labs throughout the University by the Environmental Compliance/Hazardous Waste Group.  A pick up can be arranged electronically through Chematix or call x5-2056.

      Laboratory personnel must comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) regulations while accumulating hazardous waste.  These include:

      1. Hazardous waste is defined by the USEPA as those chemicals that are listed wastes or have the characteristics of ignitability, toxicity, corrosivity, or reactivity.
      2. Federal and state regulations prohibit the disposal of hazardous waste into the sewer or in the trash.
      3. Waste collection containers must be marked with the words "Hazardous Waste" and other words that identify the contents of the containers.  The concentration/volume of the waste must also be listed on the container.  A sample label is available through the Laboratory Safety Unit or the Environmental Compliance/Hazardous Waste Unit.
      4. Hazardous waste containers are to be placed in a designated and labeled “Hazardous Waste Satellite Accumulation Area”.  These areas must be selected to permit the proper containment of the waste and must be located in the same room where the waste is generated.  Storage of hazardous waste on the floor, even with the use of secondary containment, is not permitted.  Should the waste storage location be within a chemical fume hood, sufficient space must be maintained in the hood to prevent compromising its effectiveness and allow work space for handling higher hazard chemicals.  Guidance for waste storage locations is available from the Environmental Compliance/Hazardous Waste Group.
      5. Waste containers must be closed when waste is not actively being added.  The outside of the waste containers must be clean and the container must be compatible for the waste being collected.
      6. Waste collection containers should be placed in a secondary containment tray that can hold the contents of the largest container.  More than one secondary containment container/tray may be necessary to accommodate wastes of different hazard classes.
      7. Prior to removing a hazardous waste container from a laboratory, a “Hazardous Waste Tag” must be completed and attached to the bottle.  This tag permits the tracking of the waste that was generated.  The tags are available from the Hazardous Waste Unit.  Starting in 2015, “electronic” waste tags, available through Chematix, may be used in your location in place of the paper tags.  For either system, the tags must be affixed to the bottle prior to removal from the lab.

QUESTIONS or COMMENTS? Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail EH&S Questions.

This page last updated 7/30/2015. Disclaimer.