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Hazardous Waste and how to deal with it at Kansas State University. Division of Public Safety Dept of Environmental Health & Safety. RCRA. The federal regulations concerning hazardous waste are: The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, ( RCRA) and

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hazardous waste and how to deal with it at kansas state university

Hazardous Wasteand how to deal with itatKansas State University

Division of Public Safety

Dept of Environmental Health & Safety


The federal regulations concerning hazardous waste are:

  • The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, ( RCRA) and
  • The Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendment to RCRA in 1984 (HSWA).
  • These are the basis for our current state regulations and we must comply with these regulations to avoid contaminating the environment and avoid heavy financial penalties.
what is hazardous waste
What is Hazardous Waste?
  • Hazardous wasteis a solid waste that has hazardous characteristics or it is listed as a hazardous waste in the RCRA regulation.
  • Solid wasteis defined as “any liquid, solid or gas that has no commercial value.” This is our normal trash.
hazardous characteristics
Hazardous Characteristics

The four Hazardous

Characteristics are:

  • Ignitable
  • Corrosive
  • Reactive
  • Toxic

Chemicals that become hazardous waste when discarded are not necessarily dangerous chemicals. Some are considered a hazardous waste because they persist in the environment and become sources of pollution.

hazardous characteristics cont
Hazardous Characteristics(cont.)

Ignitable Chemicals

  • Have a Flash point less than 140°F. Flash pointis the temperature in which a chemical will ignite if an ignition source (such as spark, flame, high heat, etc.) is present.
  • Examples include methanol, hexane, and benzene.
hazardous characteristics cont1
Hazardous Characteristics(cont.)

Corrosive chemicals: These are either very strong acids (pH less than 2.0) like hydrochloric acid glacial acetic acid or very strong bases (pH greater than 12.5) like ammonium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide.

Reactive chemicals: These chemicals are unstable and, under certain conditions, may spontaneously and violently react with air or water to generate a toxic, flammable or explosive gas. Examples include sodium cyanide and elemental potassium.

hazardous characteristics cont2
Hazardous Characteristics(cont.)

Toxic chemicals (TCLP)

  • This characteristic identifies a specific set of elements, pesticides and organic solvents.
  • The concentration of these chemicals in the waste stream may be high enough to fail a test called the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure orTCLP.
  • The Toxic Characteristic Leaching Procedure mimics conditions found in landfills when groundwater percolates through buried materials.
which chemicals are on the tclp list
17 Pesticides


2, 4-D















2,4,5-TP (Silvex)

8 Heavy Metals









Which chemicals are on the TCLP list?

12 Organic Solvents

  • benzene
  • carbon tetrachloride
  • chloroform
  • cresol(s)
  • 2,4-dinitrotoluene
  • hexachloroethane
  • methyl ethyl ketone
  • nitrobenzene
  • pyridine
  • tetrachloroethylene
  • trichloroethylene
  • vinyl chloride

Examples of TCLP waste includes high performance liquid chromatography waste, parts washers, organic extractions, atomic absorption spectrophotometry waste, gas chromatography injection vials, photo development, etc.

waste silver
Waste Silver
  • Photo fixer contains silver. Used photo fixer will fail TCLP and therefore becomes hazardous waste if not recycled.
  • Waste silver solutions must be recycled rather than discarded.
  • Photographic film or negatives also contain silver and can be recycled.
  • Public Safety recycles silver, call for a pick-up.

Do not discard photo fixer down the drain!

A waste may not have any of the 4 characteristics, but it may still be a hazardous waste if it is on one of four lists – the F-, K-, U-, or P-list.

The chemicals on these four lists have been identified by EPA as being hazardous waste if discarded.

rcra lists
RCRA Lists

Process waste:

  • F-List - non-specific or generic source
  • K-List - specific industrial process source

Specifically named chemicals:

  • U-List - hazardous chemicals
  • P-List - acutely hazardous chemicals
f list
  • Chemicals that are used in processes by many different types of industries and labs.
  • Example: solvents that are used for parts-washing or degreasing. This is a generic process waste, that is used in many dissimilar industries. Solvents like trichloroethylene, methylene chloride, chloroform, and methyl ethyl ketone are found on the F-List.
k list
  • Chemicals in this list are used for specific processes, and therefore makeup a specific waste stream.
  • It is very unusual for any labs at K-State to produce a K-Listed waste.
  • Example: The waste product from the manufacture of pesticides or paint pigments.
u list and p list

These lists specifically identify chemicals. U-List chemicals are hazardous while P-List chemicals are acutely hazardous.

When these chemicals are discarded they become hazardous waste. Reasons for discarding these listed chemicals:

  • Out-dated
  • Off specification
  • Excess
  • Orphan
  • Spilled
p listed chemicals
P-Listed Chemicals
  • P-Listed chemicals must be disposed of as hazardous waste.
  • Empty containers from P-Listed chemicals must be either:
    • Handled as hazardous waste or
    • Triple rinsed with the rinsate handled as hazardous waste.
  • For a complete list of P-Listed chemicals click on the link below:


listed chemicals
Listed Chemicals
  • No matter what chemical you have for disposal, Public Safety will take care of it.
  • All spent chemicals in the laboratory must be identified using a hazardous waste label available from Public Safety.
  • All unused chemicals must be discarded through the hazardous waste program even if they are not ultimately identified as hazardous waste.
kansas department of health environment kdhe
Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE)
  • EPA has delegated the RCRA authority to KDHE.
  • In Kansas, generators are classified by quantity generated.
    • Small Generator
    • Kansas Generator
    • EPA Generator
  • Generators are those businesses or persons that “generate” or create hazardous waste.
  • K-State is in the highest category of hazardous waste generators, we are an “EPA Generator.”
    • As such, we are under heavy scrutiny by EPA, KDHE, and other agencies.
    • We generate an average of 35 tons of hazardous waste per year.
generators cont
Generators (cont.)
  • Small Quantity Generator: less than 25 kg of hazardous waste generated per month.
  • Kansas Generator: 25 to 1,000 kg of hazardous waste generated per month.
  • EPA Generator: more than 1,000 kg of hazardous waste OR 1 kg of P-listed waste per month.
generators cont1
Generators (cont.)
  • All of the K-State units off of the main campus have “Small Quantity Generator” status.
  • Small Quantity Generators have fewer regulations.
  • If you are located off campus, we will help you with hazardous waste disposal.
  • A special EPA permit is required to transport hazardous waste on public roads
  • We are allowed to drive between buildings and move waste to our storage facility because the contiguous K-State campus falls under one EPA identification number.
  • Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility (TSDF).
  • These are businesses that have a special EPA permit to treat, store, or dispose of waste.
  • K-State does not have a permit to treat, store, or dispose of waste. We have a 90 day storage facility and must ship our waste to a TSDF at least every 90 days.
rules for hazardous waste management
Rules for Hazardous Waste Management
  • Store chemicals in properly marked containers. The chemical’s name must be marked on each container. This is true even if it is not waste.

Failure to follow any of the rules can result in fines for your department.

  • Unidentified waste
rules cont
Rules (cont.)

Label Instructions

  • Identify your hazardous waste. The words “Hazardous Waste” on the label.
  • The chemical’s full name must be marked on the label.Do not use abbreviations.
  • Date the container when waste is first added. Do not keep in the laboratory more than 6 months.
  • Date the container once it becomes full or ready for disposal.A full container must be removed from the laboratory within three days.
rcra violations
RCRA Violations
  • Open container
  • Not marked “hazardous waste”
  • Unidentified waste
rules cont1
Rules (cont.)

Label Instructions

Accurate and complete label information is critical to provide safety, assist with disposal, and prevent inspection noncompliance. Remember, any liquid, solid, or gas present in an unlabeled container is unsafe and is a violation.

  • Pipet tips with chemicals, container not labeled and open
  • Unlabeled chemical container
rules cont2
Rules (cont.)

Label Instructions

Label everything as you work. Further solutions, dilutions, buffers, reagents prepared from original stocks and used for experiments or storage should also be labeled, dated, and identified as work progresses at the bench, in laboratories, or workshop areas.

rules cont3
Rules (cont.)
  • Store only one container per waste stream per room.Don’t pour different wastes into one container:different process wastes must be kept separate.
  • Advantages for waste separation:
    • Allows more waste space;
    • Choice in determining disposal method;
    • Disposal is more cost effective;
    • Disposal is easier; and
    • Disposal is safer.
  • To reduce accidents, do not store waste for more than six months.
rules cont4
Rules (cont.)

Place each hazardous waste storage container at or near the point of waste generation.

  • Do not take your waste container to a different room other than where the waste was generated.
  • Do not move the waste container to a storage room.
rules cont5
Rules (cont.)
  • Open container
  • Unidentified waste
  • Not marked with “hazardous waste”
  • Keep containers tightly closed at all times.

* to prevent contamination,

* to prevent evaporation,

* and to prevent spills.

  • Use secondary containment.

* Bottles break and spills occur. To prevent a spill from creating havoc, put the bottle in a tray or pan for secondary containment.

storage of hazardous waste
Storage ofHazardous Waste
  • Use a chemically compatible container. Make sure that:
    • The waste that goes into the container does not degrade it;
    • The container doesn’t contain any pre-existing chemicals that may react with the hazardous waste.
  • Keep the container closed.

All open containers – each carries a separate fine

universal waste
Universal Waste
  • Universal Waste is hazardous waste that can be recycled. Materials at K-State that fall under this category are:
    • Fluorescent and High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps;
    • Batteries
    • PCB contaminated ballasts & capacitors;
    • Elemental mercury
    • Pesticides

Fluorescent Lamps

  • All types of fluorescent and High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps are recycled.
  • Do not purposefully break lamps.
  • You may not discard fluorescent and HID lamps in the trash.
  • Broken lamps are treated as hazardous waste.

Spent fluorescent lamps stored and forgotten in attic - violation



  • All types of batteries are recycled.
  • Send non-leaking, dry cell or sealed batteries inside a mail envelope to Public Safety via campus mail.
  • Leaking dry cell batteries should be placed inside a Zip-lock bag inside a mail envelope.
  • Lead-acid (automobile) batteries must not be stored in the weather. Call Public Safety for a pick up.

PCB Ballasts

  • Polychlorinated Biphenols
    • Heat transfer oil.
  • Found in some large transformers, capacitors, and ballasts in old electronic equipment.
  • Older fluorescent light fixtures.
  • Call Public Safety for a pick-up of old ballasts and capacitors.


  • Elemental mercury is found in thermometers, thermostats, silent switches, barometers, manometers, etc.
  • It is all easily recycled.
  • Intact or broken mercury devices will be accepted.
  • If you spill mercury, call us and we will clean it up.
  • Do not purchase or request more pesticide than is necessary and limit the amounts kept in storage.
  • Arrange for return of pesticides to the supplier or manufacturer when the research project is completed.
  • Old or unwanted pesticides will be recycled by Public Safety, if possible, and the rest must be properly shipped for disposal.
  • Remember, hazardous waste is a legal definition under RCRA. None of these fall under RCRA and therefore are not hazardous waste. We do provide disposal service for:
    • Used Oil
    • Old Latex Paint
    • Medical Services Waste
    • Radioactive Waste
used oil
Used Oil
  • Any kind of oil including motor oils, instrument oils, machine oils, pump oil, compressor oil is recyclable.
  • Mark the container “Used Oil.”
  • Call us to pick it up.
  • Do not purchase and store large quantities of paint.
  • Use up all paint.
  • Do not throw latex paint in the trash.
    • Latex paint is not considered hazardous waste, but it must be properly discarded.
  • Oil-base and epoxy paints are hazardous waste.
    • Do not simply leave the container open to let the paint dry out.
  • Turn all paints in for disposal.
gas cylinders
Gas Cylinders
  • Try to purchase gas in returnable cylinders.
  • If gas cylinders are not returnable, use the entire contents of the cylinder and mark it empty.
  • If gas cylinders are not returnable, but not empty, they will be handled as hazardous waste.
  • Gas cylinders can not be discarded in the trash.
    • Exception, empty aerosol cans can be discarded in the trash.
  • All types of cylinders including propane cylinders and aerosol cans are handled by Public Safety.
medical services waste
Medical Services Waste
  • All Medical Services Waste must be destroyed, this includes:
    • Bloodborne Pathogen waste = human blood contaminated materials;
    • Sharps = needles, syringes, razor blades, etc.;
    • Laboratory animal carcasses – must be kept frozen until disposal.
  • Sharps disposal containers are supplied by Public Safety at no cost (1 gallon size only).
  • Call Public Safety for disposal.
radioactive waste
Radioactive Waste
  • Must be licensed with the Radiation Safety Office to use radioactive materials.
  • The waste must be identified with the
    • name of the Lab Supervisor
    • radioisotope
    • activity in millicuries
    • quantity
    • date
    • room number
  • A special label is available from Public Safety, free.
  • Call us to pick up your radioactive waste.
pollution prevention
Pollution Prevention
  • Reduce “Unknowns” by properly labeling all chemical containers.
    • Periodically inspect stored chemicals to assure labels are intact and attached to containers.
    • Replace damaged or missing labels.
  • Unlabeled chemicals, even those that are not waste, can result in a fine for the University.
pollution prevention cont
Pollution Prevention(cont.)
  • Substitute chemicals with less hazardous materials when possible.

So they won’t become hazardous waste.

For example: If a solvent that has a flashpoint of 100ºF can be substituted by a chemical that has a flashpoint >140º F, the waste will no longer be considered hazardous waste.

  • Do not mix non-hazardous waste with hazardous waste if it can be avoided.
pollution prevention cont1
Pollution Prevention(cont.)
  • Recycle or reuse chemicals whenever possible;
  • Purchase only what you need;
  • Purchase in small quantities;

There is no need for stocking large quantities. Today small amounts at reasonable prices can be shipped within 24 hours.

pollution prevention cont2
Pollution Prevention(cont.)
  • Use microscale techniques to reduce the quantity of waste.

These techniques use small amounts of chemicals.

  • Simple neutralization is allowed and encouraged in the laboratory.

Acids and bases can be safely sink disposed if the pH is between 5 and 9, and if there are no other characteristics that define the product as hazardous waste.

pollution prevention cont3
Pollution Prevention(cont.)
  • In-lab solvent distillation to reduce solvent waste.

Re-use of the solvent will lead to significant reduction in waste.

  • Source separation - keep waste streams separate.
laboratory chemicals
Laboratory Chemicals
  • Maintain an inventory of chemicals in stock.
    • Purchase only what is needed.
    • Use up old stock before buying new.
    • If possible, establish a centralized chemical storage area.
  • In January of each year send a copy of the inventory and location of stock to Public Safety.
  • Call Public Safety to pick up out-dated, off-specification, orphan, or excess chemicals.
laboratory chemicals1
Laboratory Chemicals

Proper Chemical Storage

  • Besides proper labeling, chemicals should be stored separate, according to hazard character and compatibility.
  • Do not store acids with bases.
  • Do not store flammables with oxidizers.
  • Date all peroxidizable chemicals upon receipt and do not store more than 6 months.
  • Do not store chemicals in the fume hood.
  • Put lips on shelves used for chemicals.
in lab disposal
In-Lab Disposal
  • Small quantities of low hazard and water-miscible chemicals may be put down the sink drain.
    • Nonflammable, non-reactive, non-toxic
    • Less than 100 ml or 100 g per day
  • Do not put waste chemicals in the regular trash.
  • Do not evaporate chemicals for disposal.
for waste pickup
For Waste Pickup
  • Contact Public Safety

phone: 532 – 5856

email: safety@ksu.edu

web: http://www.ksu.edu/safety/hazwaste.html

free laboratory chemicals
Free Laboratory Chemicals
  • Recycled Chemical Storeroom(King Hall Annex)
    • Many good quality chemicals removed from laboratories but still usable. Chemicals include many common and uncommon chemicals as well as a good library of stains and dyes.
  • Chemicals in original bottle, with original manufacturer’s label, and with a good lid
  • No charge. Need a departmental requisition to gain access through the Chemistry Storeroom.
  • Here is an inventory…

Other Waste Issues…

  • Facilities runs a large recycling program for K-State.
  • Some materials that are currently recycled are:
    • newspaper, magazines, office paper
    • cardboard
    • plastic bottles, #1 and #2
    • metals
    • electronics including computers, televisions, lab equipment
    • wood pallets
  • Look for Desk Side Recycling, coming soon to your building.
  • For more information contact Al Seely, Facilities Recycling, 532-6446.

More Waste Issues…

  • Public Safety recycles
    • Computer media such as diskettes, tapes, and cds
      • Information on all media is destroyed and certificates of destruction are issued.
      • Send computer media via campus mail to Public Safety. Put it in a box that is taped shut.
    • Transparencies
      • Any kind of transparency is recycled through 3M.
      • Send transparencies via campus mail to Public Safety.
    • Shredding of secure documents
      • Contact Public Safety to participate in the program.

And While We’re on the Subject…

Any damaged, broken, or non-working equipment, instruments, or furniture that is not worth repairing is considered waste and should be marked as such and discarded or recycled.

Just make sure you submit a DA 110, Disposition of Property Form.


Household Hazardous Waste

  • K-State has partnered with Riley County to assist with the Household Hazardous Waste program.
  • A Household Hazardous Waste drop off site is located at Edwards Hall.
  • Any K-Stater is allowed to bring chemicals from home for disposal. This includes: pesticides, cleaners, paint, thinners, solvents, etc.
  • But please call first.

In case of spills…

  • Restrict access to the immediate area,
  • Follow department protocol for small spills,
  • Report the spill to Public Safety (911) immediately.

In Conclusion

Improper management produces penalties, these are all wrong…

  • The words “hazardous waste” missing from waste chemical containers.
  • Waste containers not dated.
  • Unidentified chemicals in storage (unknowns).
  • Open chemical containers.
  • More than one container per waste stream in laboratory.
  • Evaporation of solvents under a fume hood as a means of disposal.