10 ways to take the hazard out of waste

April 17, 2013  

This is part of a series of articles discussing safety and security for the Purdue West Lafayette campus.

Purdue has a system to responsibly manage all hazardous waste generated at the West Lafayette and regional campuses. Under an Indiana Department of Environmental Management permit, waste is collected, processed and sent for disposal at licensed treatment and disposal sites. Here are a few helpful hints for managing hazardous waste in a responsible and compliant manner.

1. Determine if you generate a hazardous waste. If you aren't sure, contact Radiological and Environmental Management (REM) at 49-40121.

2. If you do generate hazardous waste, take steps to minimize the production of waste by purchasing smaller amounts of chemicals, segregating hazardous waste streams from nonhazardous materials, or substituting nonhazardous chemicals in your processes.

3. Designate one member of your group to be responsible for hazardous waste management. The major professor, principal investigator, researcher or supervisor has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that their units comply with environmental, health and safety regulations, and related University policies, procedures and instructions.

4. Establish and identify an area to accumulate hazardous waste near the point of generation. It must be in the same room that the waste was generated. Make sure containers are closed and in good condition. Consider having secondary containment for spills.

5. Identify and separate the hazardous waste by hazard class. Do not mix waste streams. Label all the hazardous waste containers with the words "HAZARDOUS WASTE" and the chemical name and percent composition of each constituent. Contact REM for hazardous waste labels.

6. Do not accumulate large quantities of waste. For the removal of the chemical waste, send to REM a complete Hazardous Material Pickup Request form (HMM-001). Waste disposal services are free of charge.

7. Consider having a spill kit stored in the area. The spill kit can be something as simple as a 5-gallon bucket, absorbent material and bags.

8. Electronic waste, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, ballasts, and capacitors are managed for off-site recycling by REM and/or the Warehouse Surplus Store. Contact REM for disposal procedures.

9. Know what to do in case of a spill. Your procedures for emergency response should be simple and universal. REM recommends the minimum of evacuation of the immediate area and calling 911. Purdue police receive all calls 24 hours a day and will dispatch specially trained emergency responders.

10. Check out Purdue's Chemical Handling and Disposal Guidelines at www.purdue.edu/rem/home/booklets/HMMguide.pdf for further details.

Source: Adam Krajicek, hazardous waste manager, 49-63072, arkrajicek@purdue.edu

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