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School Hazardous Waste Management and Collection

All hazardous chemical waste generated by schools needs to be properly handled to ensure the safety of school employees, the property and the environment. The following defines the proper segregation of waste streams for disposal and how to choose and label waste containers.

Segregation of Waste Streams

The purpose of hazardous chemical waste segregation is to prevent potentially dangerous reactions and ease the handling and disposal of hazardous waste. Store hazardous waste streams in segregated chemical classes similar to the ones used to segregate and store stock chemicals. Use the following guidelines when segregating hazardous waste streams in schools:

  • Do not combine incompatible waste streams
  • Collect inorganic substances separately from organic substances
  • Collect halogenated and non-halogenated organic solvents in different containers
  • Collect individual non-halogenated organic solvents separately; however, when they must be mixed, clearly indicate each constituent and state its percentage in the mixture
  • Do not mix solids with liquids
  • Do not mix metals with organic solvents; such a mixture cannot be incinerated because it contains metal, nor can it be put in the landfill because it contains organic solvent

Chemical Waste Container Requirements

A chemical collected in the wrong container could pose a danger to school personnel, students and property. Use the following guidelines when selecting containers for school chemical waste collection:

  • Use a separate screw-top container for each hazardous chemical waste
  • Use an appropriate container size to match the amount of waste generated
  • Original chemical containers may be used if appropriately sized
  • All containers should be compatible with the specific hazardous chemical waste stored in them; only store flammables in approved containers and cabinets
  • All hazardous chemical containers should not leak and should be tightly capped; keep the container closed, except during transfer

Labeling Hazardous Chemical Waste Containers

Identify and properly label all containers of hazardous waste. The following guidelines apply when labeling these containers:

  • The words “Hazardous Waste” should appear on the label
  • List start date when waste was first placed in the container
  • List chemical name(s) of all hazardous waste in the container; the use of formulas or abbreviations is not permitted
  • Include the percent of each chemical in the container if the container holds more than one chemical
  • Show a fill line
  • List the name and phone number of the person responsible for determining the type of waste placed in the container
  • List the name of the person to contact for disposal of waste when container is full

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