Hazardous Waste

The disposal of regulated waste and other unwanted chemicals has become increasingly complicated.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state laws regulate the treatment and disposal of chemical wastes in New York.  The purpose of this section is to help you better understand exactly what is and isn't regulated chemical waste.  In providing this section we encourage you to design experiments with waste minimization in mind.  EHOS expects that you will dispose of chemical waste generated in your laboratory in a manner consistent with the legal requirements of federal and state laws.

Hazardous Waste Pickups

Biological and chemical hazardous waste produced by research laboratories at CCNY is handled by the EHOS department. In order to schedule a pickup for biological or hazardous waste, send an email to ehos@ccny.cuny.edu and include a completed hazardous waste disposal manifest. Biological hazardous waste does not require the completion of a manifest.

Biological Waste

Biological waste must be packed in designated red plastic bags, which are then placed in marked cardboard boxes. The box must be taped closed and labeled with the room number of the laboratory it was generated in. Custodial and EHOS staff are not permitted to pick up biological waste unless it is packed in the manner described, and waste boxes can only store up to 30 lbs. Additional boxes can be requested from EHOS at the listed email address.

Sharps containers may be picked up by custodial staff if the containers are locked and filled only to the designated allowable level. EHOS does not supply additional sharps containers.

All biological waste is stored on campus in the Main Accumulation Areas of the Marshak building and the Center for Discovery and Innovation to be removed by a waste management service on a biweekly basis.

Chemical Waste

Chemical waste produced by lab processes should be accumulated in compatible, sealable containers, such as glass or plastic bottles, plastic buckets and carboys. Wastes must be compatible when stored in the same container. Incompatibilities can be identified by referring to the respective Safety Data Sheets for the chemical constituents.
Store chemical waste containers together in secondary containment near the point of generation. The waste storage area must be labeled as a Satellite Waste Accumulation Area (SAA), and all waste containers must be labeled with the words Hazardous Waste, along with the hazards present. EHOS will provide additional printed Hazardous Waste labels at the request of lab personnel. The hazardous waste label should include the names of stored chemicals, hazard characteristics of the waste chemicals, the location of generation (e.g., room number), principal investigator name and the date the waste is removed from the lab (to be completed upon pickup). Ideal SAA locations are underneath fume hoods and in chemically resistant cabinets. A lab may not store more than 55 gallons of hazardous waste or 1 quart of acutely hazardous waste (P-listed wastes⧉) in the SAA. If this threshold is reached, contact EHOS immediately for a waste pickup.

In addition to chemical waste generated by a lab, waste-like chemicals that have been stored past expiration or are in poor condition may also be disposed of upon inspection by lab personnel or EHOS staff. Waste-like chemicals have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Rusted containers
  • Cracked bottles
  • Corroded or missing labels
  • Missing, broken or corroded lids and bottle caps
  • Visible crystallization around container opening

Contact EHOS to remove waste-like containers when identified in the lab. All waste containers will be kept in the Main Accumulation Area (MAA) and stored for a maximum of 90 days before removal to an external waste management facility.

Hazardous Waste Management Training

RCRA hazardous waste management training is required for individuals working in research laboratories that produce any quantity of hazardous chemical or biological waste. This training is offered on a monthly basis by the EHOS department. Additional information on RCRA and all other trainings is found on the EHOS training page.



Last Updated: 07/13/2023 13:38