Chemical waste disposal can become a challenge for school, college, and university laboratories. Not all materials are safely stored, properly sealed, and labeled correctly which increases the health and safety risks to all students and staff coming into contact with these dangerous chemicals. It is important to start a new year with chemical waste disposal and have a fresh start.
Having old chemical waste sitting around can result in spills, which are difficult to clean up and can cost your facility a significant amount of money. These chemical spills also put your school staff, faculty, and students exposed to serious health risks. Other risks include those that can affect the surrounding environment.
Many spills reported in educational facilities were the result of human error, which is why starting the new year fresh with chemical waste disposal means there is less chance of these ‘errors’ occurring. Another hazard of the chemical waste left too long before disposing of it is the unintended reactions between chemicals that can produce harmful vapors, or cause fires and explosions.
The Main Reason Chemical Waste Disposal is Important
The main reason chemical waste disposal is so important in your educational laboratories is how it can easily become unmanaged chemical stockpiles inside your science classrooms. School administrators are not always aware of the toxicity or quantity of chemicals being used in labs, and a lot of the staff has not been trained on the risks involved in the management of chemicals.
Performing an end-of-the-year disposal of these dangerous chemicals prevents a hazardous stockpile from being created and greatly reduces the risks involved with these materials by someone who accidentally comes into contact with them. Not all educational facilities have the proper budget for chemical equipment, storage space, chemical management, or staff time to handle hazardous waste disposal. Contact the experts at Environmental Marketing Services to learn how your year-end disposal can be done safely.
How Your Educational Facility Can Begin Planning Your Year-End Chemical Waste Disposal
Environmental Marketing Services is a recommended third-party vendor to work with when you begin your school, college, or university year-end chemical waste disposal project. The handling of these dangerous materials is strictly regulated by local, state, and federal guidelines, so you must work with a vendor who will ensure you meet all the requirements in your management of these chemicals.
Now is the time to begin this cleanout to beat the rush of all other facilities wanting to perform their cleanouts. Scheduling your year-end clean out now may have you avoiding delays in disposal services due to the holidays, or inclement weather conditions which can interfere with disposal service availability.
These are some of the best practices your educational facility can follow as you get ready for your end-of-the-year cleanout:
Identify Your Facility’s Hazardous Waste
– The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the RCRA (Resource Conservation & Recovery Act have mandates in place for hazardous material generators. Your school, college, or university – as a generator of these dangerous materials is responsible for these chemicals from the time they are created to their final disposal destination. It is your facility’s responsibility to ensure they are handled in a manner that will not pose a threat to the environment or human health.
– The materials identified as hazardous waste include those that are ignitable, reactive, toxic, or corrosive. Your materials should have an SDS (safety data sheet) from the manufacturer, or a label attached to their container to help you identify your waste. Talk to the experts at Environmental Marketing Services if you have questions on how to label your materials.
The Quantity of Hazardous Waste Your Facility Accumulated
– The amount of hazardous waste your educational facility has accumulated will determine your generator status, so this quantity needs to be identified. If your school, college, or university’s generator status is SOG or LQS, it will be necessary to receive an identification number from the Federal Environmental Office. You will then need to report your waste activities. Check with the professionals at Environmental Marketing Services as they can advise if your facility also has to report to your state.
Best Practices for Your School, College, or University’s New Year Chemical Waste Disposal
It can become overwhelming to follow and adhere to all state and federal regulations surrounding the disposal practices of chemical waste. These are some ways to prepare for your end-of-year cleanout by following these best practices:
Your hazardous waste materials that are incompatible need to be segregated and separated. Separate accumulation drums or bins should be used that are designated for each specific category of your facility’s waste.
Once you have segregated your waste materials into specific drums or tanks, you will then need to label them according to RCRA or EPA regulations. These containers will have to be marked as ‘non-hazardous waste’, ‘hazardous waste’, or ‘universal waste.’ You will also need to list the accumulation start date and include a report of the hazardous characteristics of the contents inside each container.
If a container holds hazardous waste material it must remain closed at all times unless you are adding or removing waste from it. You should also make sure these containers do not leak.
Your school, college, or university’s hazardous waste is required to be stored in a dedicated, clean, and permanent hazardous waste area. You should have this area set up away from traffic areas, electrical panels, perishable or consumable product storage, or dock doors.
You will want to maintain proper records of all waste generation to help your managers when they have to track it through the system. Any time your school, college, or university identifies a hazardous waste that has been placed into an accumulation container, it has to be listed in the log and kept as part of your facility’s records.
Environmental Marketing Services will need to be contacted to make arrangements for the transport of your end-of-year chemical waste cleanout. You will want to make these arrangements as early as possible to avoid any delays that can occur in this industry.
What Happens If Your Educational Facility Does Not Comply With Chemical Waste Cleanout?
Your school, college, or university can face several consequences if your lab does not comply with the proper handling of your chemical cleanout. Working with a third-party vendor such as Environmental Marketing Services will ensure you do not run into these serious consequences.
If your facility does not comply with local, state, or federal requirements during your end-of-the-year chemical cleanout, it could result in environmental contamination, health and safety risks, penalties, and lawsuits. There could be financial burdens imposed for not complying along with substantial negative impacts against your facility which can be even more damaging.
Environmental Marketing Services for Your Educational Facility’s Chemical Cleanout
Environmental Marketing Services are the professionals you want to work with to ensure all regulations and laws are followed during your facility’s cleanout of chemicals. Working with professionals gives you peace of mind as you do not have to worry about compliance, and our services are the most cost-effective and safe practice for your facility’s clean-out process.