Waste Disposal

                                                                   EPA (40 CFR Parts 260, 261, 262, 266, 268, 270, 273)


I.              BACKGROUND

The purpose of this policy is to inform interested persons, including employees that the University of Saint Francis is complying with the Environmental Protection Agency Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 260, Subchapter I – Solid Wastes, to protect employees and the environment from the dangers of hazardous waste.

 In summary, the university will characterize each waste stream to determine its hazards and dispose of it properly in compliance with federal, state and local regulations.

 II.            DEFINITIONS

Waste – any material no longer wanted and intended for disposal (material to be reused or recycled is not called waste)

Solid waste – not necessarily physically solid; solid waste is any solid, semi-solid, liquid, or containerized gas that is intended for disposal; may be from food services, residence hall, offices, studio or lab

 Types of solid waste:

Municipal solid waste – everyday nonhazardous items for discard; usually called trash or garbage; generally disposed in a municipal landfill

Pharmaceutical waste – unwanted medications, vaccines, sera or other pharmaceutical product; primarily found in the School of Health Sciences.

Sharps waste – an object for discard that may puncture or cut the skin; examples include needles, scalpel blades, syringes, glass pipettes, razor blades, glass vials or test tubes, microscope slides and cover slips, other types of broken and unbroken glass waste  

Sharps that have not been in contact with living tissue or infectious agents are not regulated biohazard waste

Sharps that may have been in contact with non-preserved human or animal tissue, bacteria, virus or other infectious material shall be managed as biohazard waste.

Biohazard waste – a waste that is or has been in contact with infectious or pathological material.

Infectious waste – a waste suspected to contain pathogens such as bacterial, viruses, parasites or fungus in sufficient concentration and quantity to cause disease.

Pathological waste – human tissue or fluids

Hazardous waste – a solid waste is hazardous if it is:

Ignitable – is flammable as determined by having a flashpoint below 140°F

Corrosive – has a pH of 2 or less or 12.5 or above

Reactive – is unstable at room temperature and humidity; can cause an explosion; or can liberate toxic fumes/gas/vapor when heated or mixed with water

Toxic – harmful or fatal when ingested or absorbed; includes numerous metals (complete list is available through the EPA at http://www.epa.gov/osw/inforesources/data/br91/na_apb-p.pdf)

Listed hazardous due to a specific ingredient or process used to generate it (this comprehensive list is available through the EPA at http://www.epa.gov/osw/inforesources/data/br91/na_apb-p.pdf)

 Universal Waste – a hazardous waste so common, including batteries, lamps, electronics, and other mercury-containing devices, it receives separate regulations (40CFR Part 273).


Materials become wastes when they are no longer wanted and a method for reuse or recycling cannot be established. It is the responsibility of the individual generating the waste to containerize, label and store the waste correctly. If there is any reason to suspect a waste is hazardous or biohazardous, the individual should assess the hazards of the waste using the definitions above. If assistance in waste determination is needed, contact the Risk & Safety Management Committee. If this is a recurring waste, a waste classification/characterization must be determined using a Waste Profile Form and proper labeling protocols must be established. The Committee will maintain record of all recurring waste streams on campus and their associated hazard determinations.

 Materials that possess no hazard under the EPA’s RCRA, IDEM’s medical waste regulations or the City of Fort Wayne sewer ordinance are safe for disposal via standard municipal waste methods (i.e. trash cans) for solids and non-flowable semi-solids, or via the sanitary sewer (i.e. sink drain) for liquids.

 Pharmaceuticals for disposal may arise from the School of Health Sciences where they were used as demonstration items. When these items are no longer wanted, the department should determine if the waste is hazardous (see http://www.epa.gov/osw/inforesources/data/br91/na_apb-p.pdf) or controlled (see http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/). If assistance is needed for determination, contact the Risk and Safety Management Committee. Employees should bear in mind that the university holds a policy that no hazardous materials are to be donated to the university. Additionally, the university does not permit Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) controlled substances on the property. If a suspected or known controlled substance is found on campus, contact Security (extension 7888 or 260-399-7700 x7888) to have the material taken into custody.

 All discarded sharps must be collected in an approved rigid, secured sharps container. Sharps that are not biohazard may be disposed in municipal trash if they are in a rigid, secured sharps container. All discarded biohazard sharps must be collected in an approved rigid, secured sharps container clearly labeled as biohazard. Disposal of full containers will be arranged in accordance with the university’s regular disposal pick-up of biohazard from an outside contractor, arranged by the Director of Safety & Security.

 All other biohazard material must be placed in red or orange bags that are clearly labeled with the biohazard symbol and word “biohazard”. Biohazard material is likely to be generated in Achatz Hall of Science biology laboratories and athletic training rooms of D’Arcy Stadium and Hutzell Athletic Center. Rarely, biohazard waste is generated in Doermer Center for Health Sciences. All

 As an alternate, contaminated biohazard materials may be able to be autoclaved for sterilization through the Department of Biology. In this procedure the waste must be placed in an autoclave bag, autoclave indicator tape affixed and placed in an autoclave safe tray. Regulation requires that autoclaves be monitored for effective kill. After autoclaving, liquid will be drained and the sealed waste will be put into a regular trash bag and set out for regular trash pick up. Do not autoclave containers or other receptacles containing bleach. The combination of bleach and residual cotton and oil (improperly cleaned autoclaves) may result in an explosive combustion within the autoclave.

 Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste is generated in Achatz Hall of Science and Rolland building 18 and the Annex. Hazardous wastes must be characterized, properly containerized, labeled and safely stored. The label must be visible, clear, include the words “hazardous waste” and identify the chemical. It is recommended that the label include the hazard (i.e. flammable) and the name and address of the university. The individual generating the hazardous waste must contact the Director of Safety & Security for disposal. Pick-ups are generally scheduled for December, May and August.

Universal waste must be labeled as universal waste and include the date that the first item in the accumulation was declared waste. Universal waste can accumulate for no more than one year.

Waste batteries must be collected in appropriate containers and labeled with the date that the first item was placed in the container. For example, recycling centers in various campus buildings have a location for recycling batteries. Custodial or operations personnel collect these materials and transport them to building 7 for storage. Batteries are arranged for disposal by the Director of Safety & Security through a contracted vendor.

Waste fluorescent lamps are handled by operations personnel only. Upon generation, they are transported to building 7 and crushed in an IDEM approved vessel. The barrel must labeled with the date that the first item was placed in the container. Within a year, the drum is arranged for disposal by the Director of Safety & Security through a contracted vendor.

Waste electronics are handled by technology services personnel only. Waste electronics are stored in storage closets in Doermer until disposal is arranged by the Director of User Support Services with a contracted recycler.

Other waste mercury-containing devices such as thermometers or thermostats must be arranged for disposal through the Director of Safety & Security. The university does not have any known universal waste pesticides.

IV.         TRAINING

The university is categorized as a conditionally exempt small quantity generator of hazardous waste. Under this status, formal training for the handling of hazardous waste is not required. The university offers awareness training through the Risk & Safety Management Committee.

 Universal waste training is offered annually to maintenance and custodial staff through the Risk & Safety Management Committee.


Waste disposal companies are contracted by the university through the Director of Safety and Security. When contractors are on-site, they are under the supervision of the Director of Safety and Security, the Laboratory Assistant in the Department of Chemistry or the Wood Shop Director from the School of Creative Arts. The university relies on the contractors to provide appropriate shipping papers and labels prior to loading the wastes for transportation. The university maintains communication with the disposal vendors to ensure documentation that the waste has reached its destination and disposal certificates following processing/treatment are forwarded to the university.

Approved: September 13, 2012
Risk and Safety Management Committee


Posted in Compliance, Compliance, Environment, Policies