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Principles of Hazardous Waste

The School of the Arts can generate a number of different waste streams.  Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) can aid in the proper identification of these wastes.  All materials that are characteristically corrosive, ignitable, reactive, or toxic must be collected.  It is important to consult a material’s Data Safety Sheet (SDS) for information on the materials hazards and proper disposal methods.  For additional clarification consult the Safety Coordinator or EH&S.
 
Hazardous waste determinations are required to be made for waste streams that are not going to be managed as a hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA).  Simply stated, this means making a decision as to when a product has outlived its usefulness and determining how the material will be disposed of.  EH&S has a team of dedicated Hazardous Materials experts to aid in these waste determinations.  For example, solvent contaminated rags are managed by EH&S as a nonhazardous waste upon removal from the Hazardous Waste Satellite Accumulation Areas.  However, we recommend that the solvent contaminated rags still be managed according to our general waste handling guidelines, the 5Ls, upon generation. 


Hazardous Waste Accumulation Areas:

Hazardous waste accumulation areas, depending on the location’s generator status, may be a satellite accumulation area.  These areas are designated and outfitted for the proper collection and storage of hazardous waste before it is collected by EH&S.  Artists working in these areas are responsible for the regulatory compliance of these areas. 

Each hazardous waste accumulation area is managed differently according to the generator status of the particular location.  For example, Dodge Hall is part of a Large Quantity Generator (LQG) status location at the Morningside Campus, therefore the waste must not be moved from the point of generation, which would mean the area where material was used.  Thus, EH&S has established SAAs immediately in the art work area associated with the generation of a particular waste such as rags or paint thinners.  At Prentis and Watson these locations are classified as Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQG).  As CESQGs, the rules pertaining to satellite accumulation areas do not apply and more flexibility within the regulations is granted. However, as a best management practice, EH&S has established hazardous waste accumulation areas located near the point of generation.  Prentis & Watson are the only two locations that permit for the movement of waste away from the immediate point of generation. EH&S has set up hazardous waste accumulation areas in the three School of the Arts buildings.  They are located at:

  • Prentis Hall:  3rd floor alcove by the kiln; 2nd floor foyer.
    • Solvent contaminated rags, aerosols, paint tubes, sharps,  paint thinner collection
  • Watson: 2nd floor by wood shop
    • Solvent contaminated rags, aerosols, paint tubes, sharps,  paint thinner collection
  • Dodge Hall:  2nd and 3rd floor Print shops have established satellite accumulation areas outfitted with rag collection containers and solvent collection containers at their respective points of generation.  Additionally, the 4th floor paint studio in the northwest corner has an established satellite accumulation area for solvent, paint tube, and solvent contaminated rag collection.

It is important for the artist to consider all of the chemicals used when disposing of chemicals.  Hazardous waste accumulation or satellite accumulation areas are set up by EH&S to properly collect hazardous and nonhazardous wastes. These areas are inspected by EH&S on a quarterly basis for regulatory compliance.  However, if you have any questions such as:

  • how to dispose of your materials
  • what to do with a potentially new waste
  • how to request additional or different containers

Please consult your Safety Coordinator or EH&S at x4-8749.  

Art materials that may be considered hazardous waste include:

For additional information, please refer to the guide:
Environmental Health & Safety in the Arts: A Guide for K-12 Schools, Colleges and Artisans
This manual was prepared by the Pratt Institute for the EPA and contains detailed guidance on topics  related to the arts such as:

  • Hazardous Waste Management Basics
  • Sources of Hazardous Waste in Art Studios
  • Pollution Prevention and Waste Minimization
  • Characteristic Waste and Listed Wastes
  • Potentially Hazardous Chemicals in Art Studios(Appendix C in the Guide) – this is an excellent source of information

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