HAZARDOUS WASTE

HOW TO PROPERLY DISPOSE OF HAZARDOUS WASTE

All departments and official functions of Goshen College are to dispose of hazardous waste through the Chemical Hygiene Office (CHO). This is a requirement of the Goshen College Hazardous Waste Disposal Plan, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Disposing of waste through the CHO is a very easy process.

  • Contact the CHO (x7314 or calvinfs@goshen.edu) and indicate that you have hazardous waste to be picked up.
  • Please give the following information:
    • Identity of waste(s)
    • Approximate quantity – Person responsible for generating waste(s) (for recordkeeping)
    • Location of waste(s)
    • Best time to pick up waste

The identity, hazards, name of originator, and date must also appear on the waste containers. Unfortunately, Goshen College may not accept waste from outside individuals, organizations, or firms. Goshen College also may not accept waste generated by employees at their homes or other location if it is not directly related to their work functions. In this case, it is recommended that you dispose of hazardous waste at one of the Elkhart County Hazardous Waste Disposal Days. These collections are usually held three or four times per year on Saturdays at various sites around the county. It is free for Elkhart County residents. For more information, call the Elkhart County Solid Waste Management District at 523-2390 or the Environmental Health Department at 875-3391.

STORING SMALL AMOUNTS OF WASTE UNTIL DISPOSAL TIME

Most departments an persons accumulate small quantities of waste over a long period of time. Disposal of these waste whenever they are produced may not always be practical. Follow these guidelines when storing waste:

  • Keep chemicals in their orginal containers. Do not consolidate containers.
  • Flammable materials should be stored in an area which is away from heat, sparks, and open flames.
  • Corrosive materials should be stored in an area that will not be severely damaged should a spill occur. Acids and bases attack wood and metal, and masonry and concrete to some extent. Plastic offers the best resistance.
  • ALL WASTE CONTAINERS MUST BE PROPERLY LABELED, INCLUDING IDENTITY, HAZARDS, CLEAN-UP INSTRUCTIONS, NAME OF ORIGINATOR, AND DATE WASTE WAS PRODUCED.

It is your best interest to dispose of hazardous waste as soon as possible. The hassles of caring for hazardous waste will no longer be your problem to deal with. In general, if an accidental spill or release of your quantity of hazardous waste at your site would constitute an emergency or major clean-up effort, you have to much and it is time to dispose of it.

HOW TO DETERMINE WHAT WASTE IS HAZARDOUS

Many wastes produced at home and in the workplace are now considered hazardous. The official definition of a hazardous waste is any material that has the potential to cause harm to persons, animals, or the environment if disposed of incorrectly.The easiest way to determine if a waste is hazardous is to read the disosal instructions that comes with the material. If the instructions state that disposal in regular trash is permitted, then your waste is not hazardous. For hazardous waste, instructions will usually state that the material must be disposed of in an EPA-certified hazardous waste landfill or be treated by an EPA-certified waste disposal firm. If disposal instructions are not present, the following criteria will generally assist in identifying hazardous waste.

If any of the following are true, the material is hazardous:

  • The warnings POISON, TOXIC, FLAMMABLE, EXPLOSIVE, or CORROSIVE appear on the container.
  • The warning DO NOT BURN OR INCINERATE appears on the container.
  • The material contains strong acids, strong bases, or flammable solvents thinner, and laquers.
  • The material would cause injury to persons, animals, or the environment. The following are examples of hazardous waste:
    • Used motor oil
    • Gasoline
    • Paints (except latex), stains, and finishes
    • Solvents, thinners
    • Old batteries
    • Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides – Fertilizer
    • Old prescripton medicines
    • Any appliance tha contains Freon
    • Cleaning supplies

IF IN DOUBT, ASSUME THE WASTE TO BE HAZARDOUS