Hazardous Waste Accumulation-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hazardous Waste Accumulation

Recent EH&S inspections have found a significant increase in deficiencies related to hazardous waste accumulation in our labs.  Compliance with the very specific EPA requirements for this task has been a problem off and on at the University for many years, and it seems like time to reinforce them yet again.  Every individual violation of the specifics noted below can produce a $5000 fine for the university, if it is noted during an enforcement inspection by either the state or the federal government.  So, please read and learn these details!

hazardous waste

  • The waste container MUST be in good condition and sealable with a screw-top lid
  • The container MUST remain closed unless waste is being placed into it
  • There MUST be a label indicating the contents by name (not formula or code number)
  • The label MUST contain the words "Hazardous Waste"-there are no exceptions to this wording
  • The container MUST be in secondary containment, such as the plastic bin shown here, to collect waste should the container fail

Assistance in compliance is available on this Environmental Health and Safety web page:


EH&S offers the following things to assist you in compliance:

  • Waste accumulation containers, appropriate for the materials you are collecting
  • Secondary containment bins in which to place your accumulation bottles
  • Properly-worded "Hazardous Waste" labels to affix on your containers
  • Disposal tags to be attached to the containers when they are ready to be picked-up
  • The annual schedule of waste pick-up dates for all buildings on campus.
  • Posters reminding lab users of all the requirements, available in English, Mandarin, Korean and Spanish.

All of these items are found at the web link above.