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Chemical Waste

Hazardous chemical waste may be generated from laboratory operations, facilities operations and maintenance, construction and renovation activities, photo processing, and a variety of other activities at the Institute.


Chemical Waste Collection Form

What makes a waste hazardous? The simplest explanation is anything that would hurt people, the environment, and wildlife if just thrown away in the normal trash or discharged into our water or air.

Common Hazardous Wastes

Common hazardous wastes generated at the Institute include:

  • Used solvents
  • Waste oils and lubricants generated by a variety of operations including motor vehicles, elevators, plant maintenance, etc
  • Unused chemicals and other hazardous substances, such as strong acids & bases, paints, aerosol cans, etc. that are no longer needed or unusable
  • Used ethylene glycol and other coolants
  • PCBs, batteries, lead paint and other miscellaneous materials including, contaminated rags and wipes, broken mercury-containing lamps (i.e. fluorescent lamps) and thermometers

The Environmental Management Program (EMP) is responsible for assisting Institute personnel with hazardous waste management procedures including disposal. EMP is available to assist with waste identification and storage issues.

Characteristics of Hazardous Wastes

The more complicated explanation of what makes a waste hazardous is based on two factors:

  1. Some waste chemicals are listed by the EPA  or Department of Environmental Protection as dangerous and therefore must be collected and disposed of as hazardous,
  2. Some waste meet one of four characteristics that qualify them as hazardous

The four characteristics are:

Overview of Regulatory Requirements

The following is applicable to most generators of hazardous waste.

Labeling

Containers, which store hazardous waste, must be properly and clearly labeled.

Labels must include:

  • The words “Hazardous Waste”
  • The container contents (e.g. “Waste Oil, Ethanol, Acetone, etc.”)
  • The hazards associated with the waste (e.g. “Toxic”)
  • The approximate percentages (%) for mixtures, if possible, should be provided
  • Bldg/Room#, Generator, PI

Once a satellite accumulation container becomes filled, the date must be written on the label; and collected within three days (consecutive).

The EHS Office Environmental Program (EMP) provides Hazardous Waste (HW) labels (red tags), however other labels might be used as well with EMP approval.

Accumulation and Storage

Hazardous waste regulations establish a two-tiered waste accumulation and storage system:

  • Satellite accumulation
  • Storage areas

Disposal

Where available, full hazardous waste containers can be transferred from the satellite accumulation area to the storage area.  If your DLC does not have a storage area you can request one.

A waste chemist will come to your lab and pick up your waste. Please be very specific about the waste, adding notes about the waste and specifically where it is located in the lab in the comments section. You can also request supplies you may need through the chemical waste pick up form, like replacement five-gallon pails, secondary containers, or labels/red tags.

Emergency Preparedness & Prevention

In accordance with regulatory requirements, the Institute maintains Hazardous Waste Contingency Plan for the Cambridge campus. MIT has also implemented preparedness and prevention procedures to minimize threat of fire or explosion and has developed hazardous waste contingency plan addressing emergency response.

To ensure your own safety and the safety of those around you:

  • Be aware of the dangers associated with each hazardous waste stream you generate and know the locations of spill control equipment available in your area
  • Familiarize yourself with your site-specific emergency response and evacuation plan.
  • Review spill kit information and ensure you have one on hand

Training

Anyone involved in the management of hazardous waste must complete a training program, which covers applicable hazardous waste regulations. EMP provides hazardous waste training sessions.

Inspections

Regulations require that hazardous waste areas (SAA and storage areas) be inspected on a weekly basis.

Personnel managing satellite accumulation areas are responsible for conducting their area’s inspection. EMP conducts the weekly inspection of all less than 90-day storage areas.

Hazardous Waste Streams

This section outlines management regulations for the following waste streams:

What makes a waste hazardous? The simplest explanation is anything that would hurt people, the environment, and wildlife if just thrown away in the normal trash or discharged into our water or air.

Common Hazardous Wastes

Common hazardous wastes generated at the Institute include:

  • Used solvents
  • Waste oils and lubricants generated by a variety of operations including motor vehicles, elevators, plant maintenance, etc
  • Unused chemicals and other hazardous substances, such as strong acids & bases, paints, aerosol cans, etc. that are no longer needed or unusable
  • Used ethylene glycol and other coolants
  • PCBs, batteries, lead paint and other miscellaneous materials including, contaminated rags and wipes, broken mercury-containing lamps (i.e. fluorescent lamps) and thermometers

The Environmental Management Program (EMP) is responsible for assisting Institute personnel with hazardous waste management procedures including disposal. EMP is available to assist with waste identification and storage issues.

Characteristics of Hazardous Wastes

The more complicated explanation of what makes a waste hazardous is based on two factors:

  1. Some waste chemicals are listed by the EPA  or Department of Environmental Protection as dangerous and therefore must be collected and disposed of as hazardous,
  2. Some waste meet one of four characteristics that qualify them as hazardous

The four characteristics are:

Overview of Regulatory Requirements

The following is applicable to most generators of hazardous waste.

Labeling

Containers, which store hazardous waste, must be properly and clearly labeled.

Labels must include:

  • The words “Hazardous Waste”
  • The container contents (e.g. “Waste Oil, Ethanol, Acetone, etc.”)
  • The hazards associated with the waste (e.g. “Toxic”)
  • The approximate percentages (%) for mixtures, if possible, should be provided
  • Bldg/Room#, Generator, PI

Once a satellite accumulation container becomes filled, the date must be written on the label; and collected within three days (consecutive).

The EHS Office Environmental Program (EMP) provides Hazardous Waste (HW) labels (red tags), however other labels might be used as well with EMP approval.

Accumulation and Storage

Hazardous waste regulations establish a two-tiered waste accumulation and storage system:

  • Satellite accumulation
  • Storage areas

Disposal

Where available, full hazardous waste containers can be transferred from the satellite accumulation area to the storage area.  If your DLC does not have a storage area you can request one.

A waste chemist will come to your lab and pick up your waste. Please be very specific about the waste, adding notes about the waste and specifically where it is located in the lab in the comments section. You can also request supplies you may need through the chemical waste pick up form, like replacement five-gallon pails, secondary containers, or labels/red tags.

Emergency Preparedness & Prevention

In accordance with regulatory requirements, the Institute maintains Hazardous Waste Contingency Plan for the Cambridge campus. MIT has also implemented preparedness and prevention procedures to minimize threat of fire or explosion and has developed hazardous waste contingency plan addressing emergency response.

To ensure your own safety and the safety of those around you:

  • Be aware of the dangers associated with each hazardous waste stream you generate and know the locations of spill control equipment available in your area
  • Familiarize yourself with your site-specific emergency response and evacuation plan.
  • Review spill kit information and ensure you have one on hand

Training

Anyone involved in the management of hazardous waste must complete a training program, which covers applicable hazardous waste regulations. EMP provides hazardous waste training sessions.

Inspections

Regulations require that hazardous waste areas (SAA and storage areas) be inspected on a weekly basis.

Personnel managing satellite accumulation areas are responsible for conducting their area’s inspection. EMP conducts the weekly inspection of all less than 90-day storage areas.

Hazardous Waste Streams

This section outlines management regulations for the following waste streams: