The University of North Texas is dedicated to handling all hazardous materials and disposing of hazardous wastes in a fashion that protects our campus and surrounding community. The university’s faculty, staff, and students play a vital role in the management of hazardous wastes at UNT. Proper waste management is dependent upon your day-to-day handling of these wastes in your laboratories and worksites. If you have questions regarding hazardous waste management, please utilize the contact information below.
Hazardous Waste Pickup Request
In order to have hazardous waste picked up from your accumulation area, please submit a Hazardous Materials Pickup Request using the link below. The form can be used to pick up a single container or multiple containers of waste. Please complete the electronic form in its entirety and outline the contents of each container as completely as possible. Containers without proper labeling will not be picked up.
Hazardous Waste Basics
The EPA states: “Hazardous waste is waste that is dangerous or potentially harmful to our health or the environment. Hazardous wastes can be liquids, solids, gases, or sludge.” As such, here are a few basic guidelines:
- Disposal of waste chemicals in sink drains and/or regular trash receptacles is not appropriate. Risk Management should be consulted for determination of appropriate waste disposal.
- Waste should be treated as hazardous waste until proven otherwise.
- Reduce sources of waste when possible. This can be achieved by reducing the scale of operations, only purchasing as much chemical is needed for a given operation, and substituting less hazardous chemicals when possible.
- Reuse materials when operations allow.
- Be mindful of utilizing materials that can be recycled.
Collection and Storage of Hazardous Waste
- Hazardous waste should be accumulated in an identified Satellite Accumulation Area (SAA) at or near the point of generation and under the control of the laboratory or shop worker that generated the waste. SAAs should be identified using this sign SAA Sign.
- SAAs are limited to no more than 55 gallons of hazardous waste or 1 quart of acutely hazardous waste (Acutely Hazardous Waste document)
- All containers must be in sound condition, compatible with their contents, not leaking, closed (except when adding waste), clean of spilled material, and handled/stored as to prevent rupture or leakage.
- Hazardous waste containers should have secondary containment.
- It is critically important that only compatible wastes are placed into the same waste container. A chemical compatibility chart can be found here (chemical compatibility chart)
- All hazardous waste containers within a SAA must be labeled with a fully completed “Hazardous Waste Label.” These labels can be downloaded here (hazardous waste label template) and printed on Avery 5164 shipping labels for your convenience.
- Be sure to list ALL contents within the hazardous waste container. For instance, if you are disposing of a chemical solution, be sure to include both the solvent and the solute. Also include non-hazardous substances such as water, paper, rags, etc.
The following categories of waste are considered Universal Waste and have specific labeling, storage, and handling requirements that ease the regulatory burden associated with their accumulation.
- Mercury-containing Equipment (ex: thermostats, lamps, thermometers)
- Lamps (ex: fluorescent lightbulbs)
- Paint and Paint-related Waste
If you manage these any of these types of wastes, please contact Risk Management Services for additional guidance. These materials must be handled as hazardous waste unless managed properly.
Mixed waste contains both radioactive and hazardous waste components. As a result, both treatment and regulation are complex. Contact Risk Management Services before generating mixed waste.
This guidance is not meant to be comprehensive and handling hazardous waste can be confusing at times. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact Risk Management Services, the Hazardous Materials Officer, or any member of the Environmental Risk group.