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Hazardous Waste

What is Hazardous Waste?

A hazardous material is any solid, liquid, or contained gaseous material that is capable of producing harmful physical or health effects and pose a threat to the environment (i.e., land, air, or water).  When we are ready to discard these materials, they become a hazardous waste that must be managed according to established guidelines.

These materials can be chemicals that we use for various tasks, or they can be contained in equipment or other products, making them less obvious to identify. There are hazardous materials in common everyday products like batteries, spray cans, cleaning agents, vehicle maintenance products, computers, fluorescent bulbs, toner cartridges, mercury-containing thermostats & thermometers, photographic films & papers, pesticides, paints, solvents and many other products we might not suspect as containing such hazards.

FAQs

Emergency Procedures

  1. If you witness an incident or spill where hazardous materials may be involved, call 911 and/or pull the alarm station in the building. At Colorado State University-Pueblo the responders are:
  2. If you hear a siren or note unusual activity in your building, contact your supervisor, office manager, or building proctor for further information. Follow all instructions carefully.
  3. If you hear a building alarm evacuate the building immediately according to the established evacuation routes and then contact your supervisor, office manager, or building proctor for further information.
  4. Stay away from the incident site and try to keep others from going into the area to minimize the risk of contamination.
  5. If you are caught outside during an incident, try to stay upstream, uphill and upwind --hazardous materials can quickly be transported by water and wind. Initially, try to go at least 100-200 yards from the danger area; you may need to go much further.
  6. If you are in a car, close windows and shut off ventilation. This will reduce the risk of contamination.
  7. If you are asked to evacuate a building or area, please cooperate with officials and follow all instructions carefully.
  8. If requested to stay in your office or at any other site, please follow all instructions carefully.
  9. Avoid contact with any spilled liquid materials, airborne mist or condensed solid chemical deposits. Keep your body fully covered and wear gloves, socks and shoes. These measures may offer some protection.
  10. Do not eat or drink any food or water that may have been contaminated.
  11. If you have been contaminated, or suspect you may have been, minimize contact with the hazardous material as much as possible by use of any means available such as eye-wash, safety showers, and removal of contaminated clothing. Notify the first emergency responder you see.
  12. Do not return to your home, office or work area until officials say it is safe.
  13. Upon returning, open windows, vents and turn on fans to provide ventilation or follow directions given by the emergency responders.
  14. A person or item that has been exposed to a hazardous chemical may be contaminated and could contaminate other people or items. If you have come into contact with or have been exposed to hazardous chemicals, you should: follow decontamination instructions from the emergency responders, seek medical help if unusual conditions develop, place exposed clothes & shoes in a plastic bag and contact university officials for proper disposal methods.
  15. Find out from university officials how to clean up your work area and dispose of the contaminated materials. If an incident should occur at your residence you can contact Pueblo City - County Health Department at 719.583.4300 for disposal options.
  16. Report any noticeable odors or any other hazards or concerns to Environmental Health Services at 719.549.2747.

Generators Responsibilities

  1. Attend a Hazardous Waste training seminar and complete retraining at least once every twelve (12) months.
  2. Determine if the waste material you generate can be shared, reused, or minimized in the laboratory.
  3. Determine whether the waste may be disposed to the sanitary sewer system or the landfill LEGALLY. Please contact EHS at 719.549.2211 for information on what can and cannot be disposed of in this manner.
  4. If the waste cannot be recycled or disposed to the sewer or landfill treat it as hazardous waste.
  5. Label hazardous waste properly with the following:
    • Complete chemical description of the material (NO ABBREVIATIONS).
    • Quantity of the waste.
    • Name and department of the generator.
    • Accumulation start date (the date when the material was first declared a waste.
    • The words: HAZARDOUS WASTE.
  6. Close the container and store the waste in a secure satellite accumulation area which is registered with Environmental Health Services (EHS). (All containers must be in good condition and compatible with their contents.)
  7. Inspect the satellite accumulation area weekly and record the results of the inspection in a notebook at the storage location.
  8. Review your procedures to see how the waste may be minimized in the future.
  9. Spread the word. Encourage responsible waste management.

Environmental Health & Safety Director

Staff

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