Waste Disposal Options For Colleges and Universities

Managing hazardous waste streams in compliance with all federal and state regulations is a difficult task for any organization, but add in the complexities of a very large organization with a wide variety of disposal needs and it becomes important to find the right partner to keep things manageable.


An institution of higher learning is the type of large organization that has very diverse needs. It’s important to work with experienced vendors to find the right waste disposal options for colleges and universities.


Here are some of the campus disposal needs that require extra attention that a good environmental disposal company can handle.


Laboratory Chemical Removal


One of the primary challenges for an institution of higher education is managing the variety of chemicals used in laboratories on campus.  With rotating faculty, varied curriculum and many different chemicals in use in labs throughout the campus, it can be a challenge to keep up.


waste_disposal_options_for_colleges_and_universitiesThe stakes are high!


Failure to properly manage these resources so can result in massive fines and punitive actions being taken against the educational institution.


Lab pack services are extremely crucial to proper chemical management.


What is a lab pack?


A lab pack is a process of managing hazardous and non-hazardous materials (including laboratory chemicals and samples, cleaning supplies and maintenance supplies) of five gallons or less for transportation and disposal.


 Lab packing allows chemicals to be properly disposed of under federal regulation. 


The lab pack disposal process involves first identifying, categorizing, and segregating each chemical by type (solvent, acid, or base), re-packaging them, then depositing the packaged chemicals into a drum that is no larger than 110 gallons in size.


Managing Varied Hazardous Waste Streams


Another significant obstacle of working with a college and university is the variety of hazardous waste streams on campus.  From laboratories, to the athletic department, to the campus maintenance crews there are a variety of hazardous waste streams that need to be effectively managed and disposed of.


To effectively store and dispose of these toxic substances, it is important that vendors have a thorough understanding of your operations, and experience with a wide variety of substances.


Typical hazardous waste streams found on campus are cleaning solvents and degreasers in the maintenance department, chemicals used with pool maintenance, and substances used in automotive and equipment maintenance around campus.


Animal Specimen Disposal


waste_disposal_options_for_colleges_and_universitiesMany educators strongly feel there is no substitute for the hands-on learning derived from dissection in the classroom. Animals are still also used extensively in research laboratories on campuses throughout the United States.


Disposal of preserved specimens and preservation fluids after use is not complicated but does require some thoughtful planning. Dealing with the remains of animal tissue, organs, fluids, chemicals and carcasses associated with this type of usage vary widely from state to state.


Having a well thought out plan from the selection of animals and a vendor that is experienced in the proper techniques of disposal is crucial.


Finding the Right Vendor


Because of the variety of needs on campus, it would be wise to consult a RCRA-approved hazardous waste disposal company that can handle your school lab waste and chemical removal in accordance with the law. 


The stakes for proper hazardous waste management are high.  EPA Fines have increased, so proper administration is critical. EPA-compliance, proper licenses and certifications and up-to-date and thorough regulatory knowledge are the musts to look for in a prospective company to handle your lab packs, hazardous waste, and animal specimen disposal.


To select the right vendor, be sure to also to ask whether the hazardous waste removal company has the required training, experience, skilled technicians, detailed cleanup crews, and experience filling out the paperwork necessary to keep you in regulatory compliance.


By making sure your disposal company  adheres to these criteria, you can ensure your campus waste streams will be picked up on a routine schedule when you need it, transported and safely disposed of, all while offering the best possible price.