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Hazardous Waste Management

Hazardous wastes come in all shapes and forms.

They may be liquids, solids, or sludges. They may be the end products of a science teaching lab, a research project, photographic development, an art class, Facility Services operations or simply commercial by-products — such as household cleaning fluids or used batteries and fluorescent tubes — that have been discarded. Whatever their form, proper management and disposal of hazardous wastes are essential to protect our environment and comply with existing State and Federal Laws. In order to regulate hazardous wastes, State and Federal Governments first had to determine which specific wastes are hazardous since there are tens of thousands of wastes that can be hazardous for many different reasons. Only wastes determined to be hazardous are subject to such regulations.

Environmental Protection Agency Regulations identify hazardous wastes based on their characteristics and also provide a list of specific hazardous wastes. The list is extensive. Determining which wastes are hazardous is a dynamic process, influenced by new concerns, research data, and test development. The list is constantly expanding. The EPA is now adding certain types and classes of wastes to its hazardous waste lists, and is deciding whether to identify additional hazardous characteristics. The best source of information about chemicals or products and any associated waste can be obtained from its Material Safety Data Sheet.

The Office of Environmental Health & Safety within the Human Resources department manages hazardous waste for the College. Hazardous Waste generated by the College is recycled or disposed of by a licensed (State and Federal) specialty contractor. Questions regarding chemicals or products and their waste must be addressed to the EH&S Coordinator at 786-6413 or 786-6140. Mismanagement of hazardous waste represents significant regulatory and financial liability for Bates as well as potential personnel injury, environmental harm, or property damage.

Source: Section 505, Bates College Employee Handbook.


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