Hazardous and Chemical Waste Management

Lafayette’s Hazardous Waste Management Plan serves as a guidance document for the proper management of hazardous chemical wastes that are generated at the college. The plan has been developed to facilitate the handling, storage, pick up and disposal of hazardous waste in a safe and environmentally responsible manner that complies with applicable federal, state and local regulations.

applicability and responsibilities

The guidance outlined in the Plan is applicable to all departments which use, store and dispose of chemicals and/or hazardous substances.

Environmental, Health and Safety is responsible for managing all hazardous waste activities, specifically:

  • implementation of federal, state and local regulations pertaining to handling, storage, transportation and disposal of hazardous waste;
  • preparing, submitting and maintaining applicable records, reports, manifests;
  • implementing and improving procedures for deactivation, treatment in laboratory, recycling and disposal of hazardous waste; and
  • providing technical assistance and training to the college on identifying and disposing of waste.

Employees who use chemicals (e.g., laboratory workers, facilities operations staff, etc.) have significant, hands-on, day to day responsibilities, including:

  • managing and disposing all wastes in accordance with procedures;
  • packaging and labeling surplus chemicals and waste appropriately;
  • using all necessary PPE and safety devices; and
  • seeking advice when necessary, from EHS or their supervisor, about the proper handling and disposal of hazardous waste.

definition of a hazardous waste

A hazardous waste is a solid, liquid or gas that is specifically listed by the EPA on the basis of its usage or chemical constituents, or is known to possess hazardous characteristics (e.g., toxic, ignitable, corrosive or reactive).

Unused or unopened chemicals meet the definition of a listed hazardous waste if they appear on either the P-list (acutely toxic) or U-list (exhibiting toxicity, but not acutely toxic). Additionally, certain used or spent solvents, such as acetone, may be regulated as a hazardous waste if they are listed on the F-List. These EPA lists of regulated materials are included as Appendix A, Appendix B and Appendix C, respectively.

Characteristic hazardous wastes are not specifically listed by their chemical name, but are regulated as hazardous if they exhibit one or more of the following hazardous characteristics:

The Ignitability characteristic applies to:

  • liquids with flash point less than 140 degrees F
  • solids capable of spontaneous combustion under normal temperature and pressure
  • oxidizing materials
  • ignitable compressed gases
  • ex: ethanol, sodium nitrate, hydrogen gas, xylene and acetone

The Corrosivity characteristic applies to:

  • Aqueous solutions with pH less than or equal to 2, or greater than or equal to 12.5
  • Does not apply to solid or non-aqueous materials
  • ex: hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, or sodium hydroxide

The Reactivity characteristic applies to:

  • Materials that react violently or generate toxic fumes when mixed with water
  • Cyanide or sulfide bearing wastes which evolve toxic fumes when mixed with acids or bases
  • Materials that are normally unstable or explosive
  • ex: sodium metal, reactive sulfides, potassium cyanide and picric acid

The Toxicity characteristic applies to wastes that have the potential to contaminate groundwater if disposed of improperly. These substances are regulated as a hazardous waste due to their potential to leach out specific toxic substances in a landfill.

topics covered by the plan

Refer to the Hazardous Waste Management Plan document for specific information on the following topics:

  • Storing Waste in Laboratories
  • Satellite Accumulation Area (SAA) Requirements
  • Storage Limits
  • Container Management
  • Labeling Waste Containers
  • Packaging Chemical Waste
  • Laboratory Wastewater
  • Chemicals Requiring Special Handling
  • Unknown Chemicals
  • Battery Recycling and Disposal
  • Compressed Gas Cylinders
  • Aerosol Canisters
  • Photographic Chemicals and Silver Recovery
  • Waste Oil
  • Pesticides
  • Empty Containers
  • Paint and Painting Supplies
  • Lead Paint
  • Asbestos
  • Infectious Waste
  • Radioactive Waste
  • Fluorescent Lamps and Ballasts
  • Mercury-Containing Equipment
  • Waste Minimization

  • Appendix A – Acute Hazardous Wastes (EPA’s P-list)
  • Appendix B – Toxic Hazardous Wastes (EPA’s U-list)
  • Appendix C – Non-Specific Source Wastes (EPA’s F-list)
  • Appendix D – Satellite Accumulation Area Posting
  • Appendix E – Potentially Incompatible Wastes
  • Appendix F – Peroxide Forming Compounds
  • Appendix G – Aerosol Containers
  • Appendix H – Paint and Painting Supplies
  • Appendix I – Fluorescent Light Bulb Disposal