Hazardous Waste Guidelines

General Information

  • No hazardous, regulated, or industrial wastes may be dumped down or discharged to any sanitary or storm drain/sewer.
  • Only trained personnel or those working under the supervision of trained personnel may manage waste. Waste Management Training is required if an employee has the responsibility for:
    • Determining what is a hazardous waste
    • Adding hazardous waste into accumulation containers
    • Transporting hazardous waste from accumulation points to permanent storage
    • Inspecting hazardous waste storage areas 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
  • Hazardous wastes may be accumulated in areas close to the point of generation (accumulation area) and that are under the control of the area supervisor.
  • No more that 55-gallons of hazardous waste may be stored in an accumulation area. No more than 1 quart of acutely hazardous waste may be stored in an accumulation area.
  • Containers of waste in excess of quantities listed above must be moved from an accumulation area within 3 days.
  • 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.
  • Shelves used to hold waste containers must be in good condition.
  • Flammable storage cabinets must be used for any room having in excess of 25 gallons of flammable material.
  • A container must be used that is made with or lined with materials, which 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.
  • Containers of incompatible materials must be segregated. (Refer to attached Incompatibility Chart)
  • Store potential explosives securely and separately (peroxides, perchlorates, picrics, etc.)
  • A container holding hazardous waste must always be closed during storage, except when it is necessary to add or remove waste.
  • A container holding hazardous waste must not be opened, handled, or stored in a manner, which may rupture the container or cause it to leak.

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Management Practices

Packaging

  • When packaging any type of waste for collection, do not fill more than 3/4 full. Allow space in containers for expansion of vapors.
  • 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.
  • Do not mix non-hazardous waste with hazardous wastes (e.g., regulated medical waste, asbestos, chemical, radioactive waste) or package non-hazardous waste in hazardous waste containers.

Labeling

  • All chemical wastes must be labeled with a SUNY Plattsburgh "Hazardous Waste Chemical" label. The label should be affixed to the waste container before accumulation begins.
  • 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. Avoid use of obscure acronyms, brand names and/or chemical formulas.
  • Labels must have the date when accumulation began and be accessible to visual inspection.
  • 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.

Waste Segregation

  • 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
  • Keep containers closed when materials are not being added or removed.
  • Leaking containers must be transferred to another container.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bulk liquid laboratory wastes must be placed in containers that are compatible with the waste chemical and will prevent leakage of liquids and vapors.
  • Store containers in separated secondary containment whenever possible.
  • Chemicals 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.

Transportation Preparation

  • During chemical transport wear personal protective equipment
    • Nitrile chemical gloves
    • Chemical goggles
    • Apron or lab coat
  • Have spill clean-up material available.
  • Do not lift bottles by the cap alone. Always support the bottom of the bottle. When handling keep bottles below eye level.
  • Place bottles in a tray as secondary containment or use a cart with secondary containment.
  • 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.
  • Do not bury small containers in packing material or between larger containers where they may be lost or broken in transit.
  • Do not store incompatible material near each other while waiting to have waste picked up. All containers must be securely sealed and leak proof.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Less Than 180 Day Storage

A generator who generates greater than 100 kilograms (220 lbs.) but less than 1000 kilograms (2200 lbs.) of hazardous waste in a calendar month may accumulate hazardous waste on site for 180 days or less without a permit or without having interim status provided that:

  • The quantity of waste on-site never exceeds 6000 kilograms (13200 lbs.)
  • Waste containers are labeled with the words "Hazardous Waste", the date the container was filled, the type of waste present in the container (not a chemical formula) and whether the material is ignitable, corrosive, reactive, and/or toxic.
  • The waste container is in good condition. If the waste container holding 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.
  • Shelves used to hold waste containers must be in good condition.
  • A container must be used that is made with or lined with materials which 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.
  • A container holding hazardous waste must always be closed during storage in a manner, except when it is necessary to add or remove waste.
  • A container holding hazardous waste must not be opened, handled, or stored in a manner, which may rupture the container or cause it to leak.
  • The permanent storage area must be inspected at least weekly, looking for leaks and for deterioration caused by corrosion or other factors.
  • Incompatible wastes, or incompatible wastes and their materials must not be placed in the same container or in an unwashed container that previously held an incompatible waste or material.
  • Containers of incompatible materials must be segregated. (Refer to attached Incompatibility Chart)
  • Store potential explosives securely and separately (peroxide, perchlorates, picrics, etc.)
  • A storage container holding a hazardous waste that is incompatible with any waste or other materials stored nearby in other containers, piles open tanks, or surface impoundments must be separated form the other materials or protected from them by means of a dike, berm, wall, or other device.

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    Accumulation

    Satellite Accumulation

    A generator may accumulate as much as 55 gallons of hazardous waste in containers or one quart of acutely hazardous waste in containers or near any point of generation where wastes initially accumulate, which is under the control of the operator of the process generation the waste, without permit or interim status provided that:

    • Waste containers are visible and clearly labeled.
    • Containers must be labeled with the name of the material not chemical formula.
    • Waste containers are labeled with the words "Hazardous Waste", whether the material is ignitable, corrosive, reactive, and/or toxic.
    • The waste container is in good condition. If the waste container holding 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.
    • Shelves used to hold waste containers must be in good condition.
    • Flammable storage cabinets must be used for any room having in excess of 25 gallons of flammable material.
    • A container must be used that is made with or lined with materials, which will not react, 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.
    • Containers of incompatible materials must be segregated. (Refer to attached Incompatibility Chart).
    • Store potential explosives securely and separately (peroxides, perchlorates, picrics, etc.)
    • A container holding hazardous waste must always be closed during storage, except when it is necessary to add or removed waste.
    • A container holding hazardous waste must not be opened, handled, or stored in a manner, which may rupture the container or cause it to leak.

    Procedure

    • All satellite containers must have a completed label on each container of hazardous waste, which is in the process of being filled. Examples of the proper label to be used can be found in flip chart.
    • When a container becomes full it must be moved to the Less Than 180 Day Storage within 3 days.
    • A generator who accumulates either hazardous waste or acutely hazardous waste in excess of the quantities listed above, must date the container with the day that the excess occurred and the waste must be moved to the Less Than 180 Day Storage within 3 days.

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    Chemical Storage Guidelines

    In general, store materials and equipment in cabinets and on shelving provided for such storage. Avoid storing materials and equipment on top of cabinets, and never within 18 inches of the ceiling in sprinklered areas. Label all chemical containers appropriately. Avoid storing chemicals on bench tops or in fume hoods. Store flammable materials in a Flammable Storage Cabinet. Separate chemicals into their organic and inorganic families and then related and compatible groups. Separation of chemical groups can be by different shelves within the same cabinet if spill containers are used. Do not store chemicals alphabetically as a general group. This may result in incompatibles appearing together on a shelf.

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    Related and Compatible Storage Groups

    Inorganic Family

    • Metals, hydrides
    • Halides, sulfates, sulfites, thiosulfates, phosphates, halogens
    • Amides, nitrates (ammonium nitrate), nitrites, azides
    • Hyroxides, oxides, silicates, carbonates, carbon
    • Sulfides, selenides, phosphides, carbides, nitrides
    • Chlorates, perchlorates, perchloric acid, chlorites, hypochlorites, peroxides, hydrogen peroxide
    • Arsenates, cyanides, cyanates
    • Borates, chromates, manganates, permanganates
    • Nitric acid, other inorganic acids
    • Sulfur, phosphorus, arsenic, phosphorus pentoxide

    Organic Family

    • Acids, anhydrides, peracids
    • Alcohols, glycols, amines, amides, imines, imides
    • Hydrocarbons, esters, aldehydes
    • Ethers, ketones, ketenes, halogenated hydrocarbons, ethylene oxide
    • Epoxy compounds, isocyanates
    • Peroxides, hydroperoxides, azides
    • Sulfides, polysulfides, sulfoxides, nitrites
    • Phenols, cresols
    • From National Research Council Prudent Practices in the Laboratory

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    Handling of Specific Chemicals

    Acetonitrile

    • Acetonitrile are solutions of 1% (v/v) or greater. Acetonitrile solutions are considered flammable as they generally contain alcohol. Acetonitrile solutions often contain materials corrosive to metal drums.
    • Acetonitrile wastes should be accumulated in glass or plastic containers.

    Carcinogens, Mutagens, and Teratogens

    • Treat liquids as chemical waste as described in the Management Practices section of this flip chart.
    • Solid bulk waste contaminated with carcinogens, mutagens, or teratogens such as benzidine, ethidium bromide, phenylenediamine, diaminobenzidine or rhodamine should be placed into polypropylene 5-gallon pails or 15-gallon drums. Contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety for instructions on the use of metal drums for dry waste.

    Combustible Liquids

    • Treat combustible liquids as flammable liquids outlined below.

    Contaminated Container/Liners - To be classified as "Empty"

    • All containers/liners that held acutely hazardous material must be triple rinsed with an appropriate solvent to ensure that the container has been properly decontaminated before disposal. Depending on the nature of the materials, the rinse solvent may have to be disposed of as chemical waste.
    • After the containers/liners have been triple rinsed, deface the original label with an indelible marker or by placing a "Triple Rinsed" sticker over it. Drums can be marked as empty by writing "EMPTY" with an indelible marker in a color that will be visible over the original label. Place a "Triple Rinsed" label on all containers. Replace bungs, caps or other sealing devices and tighten. Remove grease, oil, and chemical residues from the exterior of all containers.
    • All containers/liners that held hazardous material other than acutely hazardous material must be triple rinsed with an appropriate solvent to ensure that the container has been properly decontaminated before disposal or empty the container so that no more than one inch of material remains in the container or liner. Depending on the nature of the materials, the rinse solvent may have to be disposed of as chemical waste.
    • One gallon or smaller decontaminated glass and plastic bottles should be recycled whenever possible.
    • Under no circumstances may a container labeled with the international radioactive symbol or the words "Hazardous Waste" be disposed of in the regular trash.
    • Do not discard bungs or make holes in drums. Incomplete or damaged drums are difficult to transport safely, cannot be recycled and require costly disposal procedures.
    • Metal 5-gallon drums, that cannot be reused, should be triple rinsed and Environmental Health and Safety should be contacted for disposal.
    • Metal 55-gallon drums, that cannot be reused, should be triple rinsed and Environmental Health and Safety should be contacted for disposal.
    • Before putting non-regulated waste that might be mistaken for a laboratory chemical in the trash, label the bag with the contents and the words "non-hazardous" and put a note on the bag reading: "For questions, contact: (Your name here)."

    Contaminated Equipment

    • When equipment has been contaminated, the generator should attempt to decontaminate equipment prior to requesting disposal as chemical waste. If a contractor performs decontamination, equipment will be certified as clean before disposal. Contact the department of Environmental Health and Safety for information on decontamination methods and assistance.
    • Equipment may intrinsically contain toxic chemicals (e.g., electrical transformers and capacitor units may contain PCBs) requiring special handling procedures, testing and disposal as chemical waste if the toxic chemicals cannot be removed. Contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety for assistance prior to moving units or handling such equipment.

    Corrosive Acids and Bases

    • Certain acids and bases which are strong oxidizers, such as perchloric, or those that contain toxic metals, such as chromic acids, or those that form highly toxic salts, such as hydrofluoric acid or those with pH less than or equal to 2 or greater than or equal to 12.5, should not be neutralized and cannot be poured down the drain.

    Explosives

    • Do not place containers of potentially explosive chemicals in boxes containing other waste chemicals. Pack separately with appropriate noncombustible cushioning materials. Do not place metal sensitive compounds such as picric acid in metal containers or wrap them in aluminum foil.
    • Some chemicals such as dinitrophenyl hydrazine, picric acid, and other trinitro compounds may become shock sensitive and dangerous to handle if allowed to dry out. Do not allow inventories of these chemicals to dry while in use and storage. Prior to disposal as chemical waste, fill bottles with water and tighten caps. If a container of this type of material has dried out, do not attempt to open container. Contact Environmental Health and Safety.
    • Certain chemicals, such as ethers and alkali metals, can form potentially explosive peroxides. Clearly indicated the date of purchase or receipt and the date opened on all containers of chemicals that tend to form dangerous peroxides during storage. This information is needed to meet safety and transportation requirements.
    • Opened containers of peroxide forming chemicals should be tested for peroxide formation or be discarded as chemical wastes within 3 to 6 months after opening.
    • Unopened containers of peroxide forming chemicals should not be held for more than 12 months after receipt. Contact EH&S for disposal.
    • If evidence of peroxide formation, such as crystal formation, is noted in a waste chemical container, do not attempt to move it. Contact EH&S.

    Flammable Liquids

    • Collect flammable liquids in appropriate flammable waste disposal containers.
    • Collect halogenated and non-halogenated solvents in separate waste containers.
    • Place only chemically compatible waste solvents in the container. Do not place solid wastes, aqueous chemical wastes, concentrated halogenated solvents, phenol, heavy metal compounds, strong acids or bases, oxidizers, or radioactive wastes in solvent collection container.
    • If different solvents are added to a container use a waste description list that can accompany the container. Identify solvent components by chemical name (not formula). Write in pencil; solvent splash and vapors quickly render inks illegible.
    • Do not fill containers able the indicated fill line. Overfilled containers cannot be safely transported.
    • Do not remove flame arrestor screens from solvent can sprouts or prop spring hinged lids open. These are important safety devices.
    • Store containers away from sources of heat an ignition.

    Flammable Solids

    • White phosphorus and fine metal catalysts (e.g. palladium or platinum on carbon, platinum oxide and Raney nickel) should be stored under water.

    Gases

    • Close and tighten and replace safety caps on cylinders.
    • If the container is empty and not pressurize, write "Empty" on the container label. Identify the gas that was previously held in the container. Valves will be removed from empty gas cylinders before disposal as metal scrap.
    • Contact the supplier to obtain guidelines for the shipment of cylinders to be returned.
    • Contact EH&S for removal of orphaned cylinders.
    • Always use a hand truck to move large, compressed gas cylinders.

    Halogenated Solvents

    • Collect waste halogenated solvents in appropriate waste disposal containers.
    • Collect halogenated and non-halogenated solvent in separate waste containers.
    • Place only chemically compatible waste solvents in the container. Do not place solids, aqueous chemical wastes, phenol, heavy metal compounds, strong acids or bases, oxidizers, or radioactive wastes in halogenated solvent collection containers.
    • If different solvents are added to a container, use a waste description list that accompanies the container. Identify solvent components by chemical name (not formula). Write in pencil; solvent splash or vapors can quickly render inks illegible.
    • Do not fill containers above the indicated fill line. Overfilled containers cannot be safely transported or emptied.
    • Waste halogenated solvents may contain flammable solvents and should be handled as if they are flammable. Use a safety funnel to transfer liquids.
    • Do not remove flame arrestor screens from solvent can spouts or prop spring hinged lids open.
    • Store containers away from sources of ignition.

    Non-Halogenated Solvents

    • Liquid solvents will be handled as flammable liquids as outline above.

    Oxidizers

    • Never mix oxidizers with easily oxidized organic or inorganic materials. Make sure that the waste container is compatible with oxidizers

    Paint

    • Can of oil/solvent-based paints still contain liquids and must be disposed of as chemical waste if they do not meet the requirements of "empty" as described above under the Contaminated Container Section. Waste paint may be accumulated at the Paint Shop in the Service Building and managed as a flammable liquid as described above. Waste Paint may not be left open to dry. This is an EPA Air Quality Violation.

    Photographic Wastes

    • All photographic wastes and unused photographic chemicals should be handled according to the characteristics exhibited by the material. Be aware that some of these wastes may meet the definition of hazardous waste and must be managed as such.
    • If a silver recovery system is needed, see manufacturers instructions.

    Surplus Chemicals

    • At the beginning of each semester, laboratories should inventory chemicals and make arrangements for removal of any chemicals no longer of use.
    • Surplus chemicals should be properly sealed, labeled and packaged for transfer.

    Temperature Sensitive

    • Wastes containing chemicals that require a special temperature range must be stored at a safe temperature.
    • Advise EH&S concerning the storage locations and quantities of temperature sensitive waste on-hand.

    Water Reactive

    • Make sure all containers are tightly closed. Seal caps on with a parafilm or filament tape. Certain water reactive chemicals, such as sodium and potassium, should be stored in mineral oil.

    Used Oil and other Combustible Petroleum-Based Products

    • Used pump oil, automotive oils and oil filters, or used oil from a known origin will be handle as non-hazardous, non-DOT-regulated waste. Contact EH&S for disposal of this material.
    • Containers of waste oil with unknown origin will be tested for the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) by an outside NYS certified Laboratory. Oils that indicate the presence of PCBs will be sent out as hazardous waste PCB oil.

    Miscellaneous

    • Any items contaminated with a hazardous chemical are assumed to have the same hazardous properties as the chemical, unless the items can be decontaminated or testing demonstrates that the items are not hazardous. This includes items used to clean up hazardous chemical spills. The type of decontamination or testing that has to be performed depends on the nature of the hazardous material. Contact EH&S for information on decontamination procedures and testing requirements. If the items cannot be decontaminated and testing is not performed, the contaminated items must be treated as chemical waste.
    • Discarded chemical products, off-specification chemicals, container residue and spill residues from acute hazardous wastes are assumed to have the same chemical properties as the chemical and cannot be decontaminated. These wastes must be dispose of as acutely hazardous wastes (40 CFR part 261.22 Acute Hazardous Wastes - P listed wastes)

    Wastes of Unknown Composition

    • Wastes of unknown or incorrectly described composition present difficult handling and disposal problems, and can be accomplished. "Orphan" reaction mixtures and unidentified chemicals left by departed laboratory workers are the most frequent source of unknowns. All stored reaction mixtures should be labeled with the name (not chemical formula) and chemical concentration of the chemical compound, date they were formed, and the name of the person who mixed it. Laboratories are encouraged to institute a checkout procedure that requires departing workers to identify all reaction mixtures and unlabeled chemicals that they have not discarded.
    • In the case of a vacated department worker, the responsibility for the proper disposal of abandoned chemicals, identifiable and unidentifiable, lies with the workers department.
    • SUNY Plattsburgh's waste disposal contractor will perform limited field screening of unknown chemicals contained in small lab size containers, less than 1 gallon or 1 pound solid, to determine proper disposal classification.
    • Unknown chemicals present within containers greater than lab-pack size with require analytical testing for the following parameters:
      • pH
      • flashpoint
      • reactivity
      • corrosivity
      • priority pollutant metals
      • volatile organic compounds
      • semi-volatile organic compounds
      • pesticides
      • herbicides
      • polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

    Mixed Wastes

    • Any wastes that exhibit multiple hazardous properties will be considered mixed wastes. Due to increasingly restrictive environmental initiatives and regulations concerning the acceptance an disposal of wastes contaminated with mixed hazardous materials, these wastes may warrant assessment by the EH&S Department.

    Asbestos Wastes

    • Any discarded material that contains greater than 1% asbestos by weight. Examples of asbestos contaminated waste items encountered at SUNY Plattsburgh are:
      • Thermal insulation such as pipe fittings, boiler and duct insulation.
      • Insulated gloves, laboratory apparatus, laboratory bench tops, and interior fume hood panels.
      • Dust collected at motor pool operations form brake linings.
      • Vinyl asbestos floor tiles an associated mastic (glue)
    • All personnel involved in handling asbestos wastes must be certified as a NYSDOL Asbestos Handler or Supervisor.

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    Contact Information

    Cathleen Eldridge, Associate Director
    Office: Sibley Hall 421
    Phone: 564-5009
    Fax: 564-5082
    Email: eldridcm@plattsburgh.edu