Waste Management Procedures

Waste Management Procedures

Table of Contents

Regulatory Requirements Overview

Waste Management Procedures

Dangerous Materials Storage Facility

Regulatory Requirements Overview (Back to Top)

The Missouri University of Science and Technology endeavors to comply with all applicable local, state, and federal regulations including those set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). Noncompliance with Federal and/or State statutes and their associated regulations can result in significant penalties and fines to the university and its employees. Applicable statues include, but are not limited to, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) protects human health and the environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal, conserves energy and natural resources, reduces the amount of waste generated, and ensures that wastes are managed in an environmentally sound manner. (http://www.epa.gov/superfund/)


Waste Management Procedures (Back to Top)

Chemical Waste

Chemical Waste Storage

A satellite accumulation area is an area at or near the process that generates the waste. A common example for labs or maintenance shops is the chemical/hazardous waste collection area. In this area all incompatible wastes must be separated to the greatest extent possible.

Containers - During storage all waste containers must be kept closed except when it is necessary to add or remove waste. Evaporation of wastes in fume hoods is prohibited. Containers must be maintained in good condition (i.e. no rust, dents or leaks, etc.) and must be compatible with the wastes they contain. Poly type containers are preferred. If glass containers are used, spill procedures must be followed in the event of breakage.

Labeling - Federal and State laws require labels listing the container contents. The University has specially designed tags (pictured below) that help meet this requirement. Once a waste is placed into a container, a chemical waste tag must be attached to the waste container. The label must then be marked with a waste accumulation start date, generator name, room location, and container contents. By meeting these labeling requirements the university can avoid most lab violations.

Volume Limit -" Federal law allows generators to store up to 55 gallons of chemical waste or 1 quart of a particular acutely hazardous waste ( see a list of acutely hazardous chemicals ) in the satellite accumulation area. Due to limited space in labs and for safer handling, we ask that all waste in laboratories be collected in containers not larger than 5 gallons/20 liters.

Holding Times -" Maximum storage time of waste is 1 year provided the volume restrictions have not been exceeded. However, we strongly recommend limiting the storage to 90 days. Once a container is full, a chemical pick-up request form must be submitted to Environmental Health and Safety immediately, so waste can be removed from the labs within 72 hours.

Chemical Waste Pick-Up & Disposal

To insure the timely pickup and proper disposal of chemical waste a "Chemical Materials Pickup Request‌" form is filled out and is either dropped off or sent through campus mail to: Environmental Health & Safety, 108 Campus Support Facility

If you have questions pertaining to the storage or disposal of chemical waste, please contact EHS at (573)-341-4305.

Spill Response Procedures (Back to Top)

Despite the best efforts of anyone, to practice safe handling of hazardous chemicals, accidents resulting in the release of chemicals will occur. For this reason, it is essential that all laboratories and shops have a spill response plan that includes appropriate procedures and materials to adequately contain and clean up a chemical spill. Prior to the use of any product or chemical a review of the SDS for guidance on PPE & spill cleanup would be of great importance. The following procedures should be used as a guide to help laboratories and shops design an effective spill control plan.

Minor Spills (Back to Top)

In the event of a spill involving the release of a type or quantity of a chemical which does not pose an immediate risk to health and does not involve chemical contamination to the body:

  • Notify lab or shop personnel and neighbors of the accident.
  • Isolate the area by closing lab or shop doors.
  • Locate spill kit and choose appropriate PPE.
  • Confine and contain the spill with appropriate absorbent material. Acid and base spills should be neutralized prior to cleanup.
  • Sweep solid material into a plastic dustpan and place in a sealed container.
  • Establish exhaust ventilation and vent vapors to outside by turning on fume hoods or opening windows.
  • Put all contaminated items (gloves, clothing, etc.) into a sealed container or plastic bag. Label container with tag pictured below:


  • Call EHS at (573) 341-4305 for special pickup if necessary.

CALL EHS at (573) 341-4305 IF SPILL IS:

  • Greater than 1 gallon
  • Very toxic
  • Poses a fire hazard
  • If you need assistance
  • If chemical is unknown

Major Spills (Back to Top)

In the event of a chemical spill which: 1) involves the release of a type or quantity of a chemical that poses an immediate risk to life and health; or 2) involves an uncontrolled fire or explosion:

  • Evacuate the building by activating the nearest fire alarm.
  • Dial 911 and give details of the accident including location, types of hazardous materials involved, and whether there is personal injury.

If the accident involves personal injury or chemical contamination, follow the above steps as appropriate and at the same time:

  • Move the victim from the immediate area of fire, explosion, or spill (if this can be done without further injury to victim or you).
  • Locate nearest emergency eyewash or safety shower. Remove any contaminated clothing from the victim and flush all areas of the body contacted by chemicals with copious amounts of water for 15 minutes.
  • Administer first aid as appropriate and seek medical attention.

Spills Requiring Special Procedures (Back to Top)

Acid Chlorides

  • Use Oil-Dri, Zorb-All, or dry sand.
  • Avoid water and avoid sodium bicarbonate.

Alkali Metals (lithium, sodium, magnesium, potassium)

  • Smother with dry sand or cover with contents from a class "D" fire extinguisher.
  • Avoid contact with water.


  • Neutralize spill with a 5% solution of sodium thiosulfate.
  • Absorb with inert absorbent material.

Hydrofluoric Acid


  • Use aspirator bulb or suction device to collect mercury beads (Do not use a vacuum cleaner). By using a scraper or a piece of cardboard you can consolidate the mercury beads.
  • Mop up mercury with Hg decontaminating powder. Commercial mercury spill cleanup sponges and spill kits are available through various laboratory safety equipment suppliers.
  • Call EHS at (573) 341-4305 and ask for assistance if you are unable to accomplish adequate clean up.

White or Yellow Phosphorus

  • Blanket with wet sand or wet absorbent.

Label spill cleanup waste with Hazardous Chemical Waste Tag and either call EHS at (573) 341-4305 or fill out the Chemical Materials Waste Pickup form and send the form to EHS at 108 Campus Support Facility.


Biohazardous Waste (Back to Top)

Biohazardous Waste Storage

Storage of any Biohazardous waste should be done in a manner to prevent unnecessary contact. All Biohazardous waste collection areas must be pre-approved by EHS at (573) 341-4305 prior to use.


The contracted Disposal Company provides the large waste containers for the pre-approved waste collection area. Biohazardous waste containers consist of either a cardboard box lined with a red trash bag labeled with words infectious waste or a red poly-drum labeled with the words infectious waste. All needles, syringes or other sharp Biohazardous waste must be placed into a puncture-resistant sharps disposal box prior to placing waste into contractor's waste containers. The sharps disposal box can be purchased through most safety suppliers. During storage all waste containers must be kept closed except when it is necessary to add or remove waste.


If Biohazardous waste is placed into contractor's waste containers, no labeling requirements are necessary.

Biohazardous Waste Pickup & Disposal

Once a month the contracted Disposal Company will pick up all full Biohazardous waste containers at the approved Biohazardous waste collection area. After waste is weighed and loaded onto truck the driver will provide a packing receipt, and a copy of the signed regulated waste manifest to the bio waste generator. Both originals should be forwarded to EH&S, Campus Support Facility, Room 108. The waste generator should maintain a copy of both records.

Spill Response Procedures

Contain liquid and mop up waste with absorbent material or paper towel. Then wash contaminated area with a bleach solution. Place all cleanup materials into bio waste containers for proper disposal.

If at any time you feel the spill is too large for an individual to clean up, please contact EHS at (573) 341-4305 for assistance.

Non-Biological Wastes (Sharps)

Storage of non-biological syringes and needles. The needles are to be separated from the syringe and placed in a wide mouth plastic jar. The jar should be marked "sharps--non-biological waste" and disposed of, when full, in the same box as waste glass. Glass syringes are to be cleaned and reused, whereas plastic syringes are to be rinsed with acetone, dried in the hood and then disposed of in the standard trash container.


Universal Wastes & Special Wastes(Back to Top)

There are many everyday items that are used in offices, shops and laboratories that contain hazardous components or characteristics that do not allow them to be disposed of in the "normal" trash. If handled properly most of these items can be recycled to help reduce the overall cost of waste disposal. These items that fall within the "Universal/Special Wastes" include:

Aerosol Cans (Back to Top)

Aerosol cans which still contain product and/or propellant should be handled according to the procedures outlined in the Chemical Waste section of this manual. Aerosol cans which contain no product or propellant are considered "empty" and may be disposed of in the regular trash. If you are unsure about the condition of the aerosol can, please contact EHS at (573) 341-4305.

Batteries (Back to Top)

Most batteries are restricted from normal trash and land fill disposal. The following types of batteries should be disposed of using the procedures outlined in the Chemical Waste section of this manual.

  • Lithium
  • Mercury Oxide (typically a button battery)
  • Silver Oxide (typically a button battery)
  • Nickel Cadmium
  • Lead Acid
  • Mixed dry cell
  • Metal Hydride

Contact EHS at (573) 341-4305 if there are any questions regarding the proper disposal of a specific type battery

Broken Glass (Back to Top)

All broken glassware should be placed in a sturdy cardboard box with words "BROKEN GLASS" written on the outside. Close the box with tape when full or if the box is getting heavy, then have custodial staff remove the box.

Gas Cylinders (Back to Top)

University personnel using cylinders must make every attempt to return them to the supplier when empty. The best approach is to check with the supplier before purchasing any cylinders to see if empty cylinders will be picked up when new ones are delivered. If cylinders cannot be returned to a supplier, they may be disposed of according to the procedures outlined in the Chemical Waste section of this manual.

Fluorescent Lamps/Tubes (Back to Top)

Storage of Fluorescent Lamps

The Storage of any fluorescent lamp/tube, new or used, must be done in a manner that will prevent the accidental breakage of the bulbs.


To reduce breakage during storage and transportation, place all used lamps/tubes into original cartons. Remove all filler or cardboard debris from cartons prior to packing any used 4 ft. or 8 ft. fluorescent tubes. Once the carton is full seal the end with packing tape.


All packing cartons containing used lamps/tubes must be labeled with the following information prior to transportation to building T-32: Used Lamps, Date, Building Name, and Number of Lamps in Carton.

Fluorescent Lamp Pickup & Disposal                                             

All properly packaged used bulbs must be transported to building T-32, located near 121 General Services Building. Large cardboard packing tubes are available at building T-32 for individually transported bulbs.

Spill Response - Clean Up Procedures

If lamps are broken, care must be taken to minimize exposure to the dust and broken glass. Maintain a lamp spill kit consisting of a plastic bucket with lid, trash bags, small hand broom, dustpan, safety goggles and gloves near the used lamps. This will facilitate in the cleanup in the event of a breakage.


If an individual fluorescent lamp is broken, retrieve lamp spill kit. Put on safety goggles and gloves. Using small hand broom, sweep all glass and lamp debris into dustpan. Double line bucket with trash bags, then place lamp into pail. Transport the bucket, containing the broken bulb, to building T-32. Remove trash bag and place into cardboard box reserved for broken lamps. Return spill bucket to original location. If a box of lamps break, place entire box into a plastic bag, covering both side, and seal it with packing tape and transport the box to building T-32. If broken lamps come in contact with clothing or skin, remove powder residue then launder clothing, wash exposed skin with soap and water. If broken lamps come in contact with carpet or upholstery call EHS at (573) 341-4305 for assistance.


If at any time you feel the lamp breakage is too large for an individual to cleanup, please contact your supervisor and have them call EHS at (573) 341-4305 for assistance.

Mercury (Back to Top)

There are many products such as thermometers, thermostats, manometers and other pressure gauges that contain mercury. All these instruments including elemental mercury must be disposed of using the procedures outlined in the Chemical Waste section of this manual. In the event of a mercury spill, follow the steps outlines in the Spill Response Procedures Section of this manual pertaining to chemical wastes.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) (Back to Top)

PCB's were once widely used in electrical components but were found to be extremely toxic. Most production and use of PCB's was discontinued in 1979. PCB's can still be found in transformers, capacitors and light ballasts.

Because of the special handling and disposal requirements of electrical components containing or suspected of containing PCB's, please contact EHS at (573) 341-4305 for proper waste disposal procedures. Storage containers used for PCB-containing and non PCB-containing light ballasts are located at the DMSF for use by authorized personnel.  

Smoke Detectors (Back to Top)

Most smoke detectors contain a small radioactive source, this source is necessary for the operation of the smoke detector. Because of this, smoke detectors may not be placed into the regular trash. When replacing smoke detectors in campus buildings please contact the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Department (573-341-4305) and EHS will come collect the smoke detectors for proper disposal.

Used Oil (Back to Top)

Any used petroleum oil from research labs, maintenance shops, pumps, equipment, and machinery should be handled following the procedures outlined in the Chemical Waste section of this manual.

If at all possible, do not mix any other material with the used oil and do not allow water to enter waste oil containers. Used oils can usually be transferred to a recycler at a lower cost to the university. However, waste oil which has been mixed with water, solvents, heavy metals, toxics, PCB's, or other chemical substances may result in substantial costs to the university due to it's inherent hazardous characteristics.


Containers used for accumulating used oils should be clearly marked with the words "USED OIL". This will help prevent oil contamination.


Small quantities of used oil should be labeled and stored according to the Waste Management Procedures outlined in this manual.

The contracted oil recycling company will provide on-site pickup for those departments that generate a large quantity (200 gallons per year) of used oil, such as Physical Facilities and the Power Plant. If your department generates a one-time large quantity of used oil, and would need an on-site pickup by Gateway Petroleum Oil Recycler, please contact EHS at (573) 341-4305. All large quantity used oil generators should follow the "Used Oil Checklist" to lessen the risk of ground water contamination resulting from a petroleum oil spill.


Dangerous Materials Storage Facility (Back to Top)

Chemical waste generated by Missouri S&T operations are transported to the Dangerous Materials Storage Facilitiy (DMSF) for storage pending final disposition.