The Environmental Health and Safety Center (EH&S) has implemented a comprehensive program for the management of hazardous materials from University operations. The EH&S manages the hazardous material disposal program and provides oversight. Each generator of a hazardous material should consider the hazards of the chemicals and gases they use, utilize the least hazardous material practicable, and consider strategies to minimize or eliminate hazardous waste streams.
Hazardous materials are defined as components used in a dangerous process. Those materials or components and its byproduct become a hazardous waste when it is removed from the process and intended for discarding or is determined to no longer be of use.
For NC State purposes, the term “hazardous materials” is intended to cover hazardous waste, low-level radioactive waste (LLRW), regulated and non-regulated biomedical waste, mixed waste (waste containing both chemicals and LLRW) and other waste that may require special disposal or handling procedures.
For comprehensive Hazardous Waste program information,
please consult the NC State Hazardous Waste Generators Manual
Hazardous Waste management at NC State adheres to a myriad of regulatory guidelines as well as prudent waste practices. Specific waste management practices are developed to minimize waste streams and reduce all environmental impacts to our campus and local community.
To bolster compliance in laboratory, storage or hazardous material use locations, informational posters on radioactive waste, biological/medical waste, and chemical waste are available for download. These files are available in PDF format, used with Adobe Acrobat. These quick reference tools should be conspicuously posted in hazardous material use areas and/or hazardous waste storage venues.
Environmental Health and Safety provides a single collection service for chemical, radioactive, mixed (radioactive hazardous), and biological waste programs. Our goal is to ensure compliance with EPA, DOT, and NRC regulations while providing convenient and responsive service to the hundreds of University labs, shops, and storage facilities that generate wastes.
NC State University has established procedures and requirements for acceptance of waste and recyclable materials.
HazTrak Tutorial (waste submission form)
Our goal is to minimize hazards posed by wastes in the work area while striking a balance between timely collection and frequency of visits to the same buildings. To achieve this, we will attempt to collect wastes within seven days, and for large quantities within three days of submittal.
Biological, microbiological, and related wastes, that have been autoclaved, should be placed in the red bio-hazardous waste containers, which are located in the vicinity of the larger solid waste (trash) dumpsters at buildings containing autoclaves. These containers are clearly labeled for this purpose. Orange biohazard bags are no longer used at NC State. Labeled/marked biohazard bags cannot be placed in regular dumpsters or trash receptacles, even if disinfected. If material cannot be decontaminated, place it in a biohazard bag for incineration.
Dead animals and animal tissues cannot be placed in the campus solid waste (trash) dumpsters. The single container for these wastes is located at the Centennial Biomedical Campus (CBC). For those at CBC, access to these containers should be coordinated with Steve O’Connell at 513-6625.
Dead animals and animal tissues originating at non-CBC campus locations need to be transported to the CBC for proper disposal. Complete a chemical waste form on-line for each container. EH&S will pick up on a separate schedule.
If tissue is held in a liquid preservative, the tissue and liquid should be separated. Animal tissue can be disposed of by rendering (large animal parts) or by placing it in a biological waste bag for incineration. Liquid preservative usually needs to be disposed of as a hazardous waste and cannot be disposed via sanitary sewer systems.
The Radiation Safety Office has established procedures and documentation checklists for the performance of waste disposal and termination activities. The Principal Investigator should notify Radiation Safety of the radiation project termination as far in advance as possible, but not less than 30 days prior to termination.
Transfer of radioactive material and/or radiation producing devices may take place only to another approved project and then only upon approval of the Radiation Safety Office and/or the Radiation Safety Committee.
Radioactive animal carcasses and other radioactive biological wastes should be disposed of through EH&S. Complete a chemical waste form on-line for each container and EH&S will pick up the waste on a separate schedule.
When ceasing laboratory operations:
Controlled substance permits are issued by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and are issued to individual researchers. There is no central record of permit holders. Abandonment of a controlled substance is a violation of DEA regulations by the permittee. Permission to transfer ownership of a controlled substance to another individual must be received from DEA. If controlled substances for which the licensee is unknown are found, contact EH&S. Notify the Department Head of any disposition of controlled substances. There is no easy legal method to dispose of a controlled substance unless the permit is available. Information on the permit is required for regulatory reporting.
When returning compressed gas cylinders to the vendor, remove the gas connections, replace cylinder caps, and return cylinders to suppliers by calling NC State Central Stores 515-2197. Lecture bottles are generally not returnable to the vendor and may need to be disposed of as hazardous waste through EH&S. It is recommended that lecture bottles not be used because of high disposal costs that may be charged back to the waste generator.
Environmental Health and Safety performs hazardous waste inspections twice a calendar year of all areas that possess, store and/or use any hazardous materials. During each inspection, specific items are reviewed:
Detailed explanation of each category and corrective action examples are provided as additional guidance in HAZARDOUS WASTE INSPECTION GUIDANCE
It is University practice that routine waste removal and disposal charges will be paid by the University and/or college through indirect cost recovery. Routine waste removal and disposal includes chemical wastes, radioactive wastes, and mixed wastes. Large lab cleanouts will be handled as a routine waste stream when waste forms are submitted electronically and disposal can be managed as part of a regular waste pick-up schedule. A fiscal report listing waste generation and costs for each college and department is provided to University Administration as a basis for cost recovery.
Specific costs for “non-routine” services, including all contractor costs, will be billed to the department or college that generates the waste through IDTs immediately upon billing from vendors, or incorporated in fiscal year cost reports. “Non-routine” services may include material collection from sites outside of Wake County, testing of unknowns, stabilization of chemicals/wastes, and spill response services by contractors. Large laboratory or stockroom cleanouts that require contractors or EH&S personnel to complete inventories, or to enter forms into the University chemical waste management system, or hazardous waste streams that require time critical disposal, are non-routine waste and will be billed through IDTs or fiscal reports. All costs including contract labor will be recovered.
EQUIPMENT DECONTAMINATION - If laboratory equipment is to be left for the next occupant, clean or decontaminate it before departing the laboratory. If equipment is to be sold or given away, it must be decontaminated by the user. If exhaust or filtration equipment has been used with extremely hazardous substances or organisms, please contact EH&S. EHSC can also collect miscellaneous articles, equipment, and debris not suitable for disposal through the campus solid waste program (trash).
If laboratory operations cease and equipment is to be discarded, be aware that capacitors, transformers, mercury switches, mercury thermometers, radioactive sources and chemicals must be removed before disposal.
SHARED STORAGE AREAS - One of the most problematic situations is the sharing of storage units such as refrigerators, freezers, cold rooms, stock rooms, waste collection areas etc., particularly if no one has been assigned to manage the unit. Departing researchers must carefully survey any shared facility in order to locate and appropriately dispose of their hazardous materials.
SHARPS - Used sharps should be placed in a sturdy, puncture-resistant, package. Complete a chemical waste disposal form on-line in HazTrak for each container.
The RCRA regulations are contained in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 239 through 299. The CFR is a collection of all federal regulations codified and enforced by all federal agencies. Title 40 – Protection of the Environment contains all of the regulations governing EPA's programs.