The proper disposal of chemicals is important for the protection of employee health and
the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforces strict laws that
govern the proper management of hazardous waste. The EPA often levies steep fines
against institutions and sometimes brings criminal charges against individuals who fail to
follow proper procedures. Government institutions like NMSU are not immune.
Environmental Health and Safety has developed a
hazardous waste manual as a guide for waste disposal.
information on identification, labeling, segregation, storage, packaging, and turn-in of
hazardous waste. This guide is currently available on the EH&S website
Bottom line: If you need assistance in determining whether or
not you are producing a hazardous waste, call EH&S (646-3327) for assistance.
The following is a general list, non-inclusive, of common materials at NMSU that become
hazardous wastes when they can no longer be used for their intended purpose. These
wastes must be turned into EH&S for proper disposal; they cannot be poured down the
drain or placed in a dumpster.
- Most laboratory chemicals
- Pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides
- Special metal batteries (Ni-Cad, Lithium,
- All elemental mercury and mercury
- Paint, thinners/solvents, and adhesives
- Maintenance materials such as degreasing and
lubricating agents and fuels
- Janitorial materials such as floor waxes and
- All spill clean-up materials involving the above
EH&S Waste material
tracking forms need to be completed and attached to each waste
container. The form needs to be filled out with ALL chemical names
and best estimate of the amount of each in the container, to include
ALL diluents (water, alcohols, etc.). This form should be attached to
the waste container as soon as waste starts to be collected and can
serve as the container label.
Place waste materials in compatible containers. When possible avoid
mixing waste chemicals from different waste streams. If mixing must
occur, always ensure chemicals are compatible.
Waste containers must be tightly closed at all times when not in use.
Store waste containers only in designated areas.
When waste containers are 75% full, package compatible wastes in boxes
with packaging materials so that they will not break during
transportation. Department of Transportation (DOT) approved shipping
boxes are required for liquids.
Call the EH&S office (646-3327) to schedule a hazardous waste pick-up.
There is no cost to the department for normal waste disposal. However,
analytical fees for unlabeled or abandoned wastes may be charged to
the responsible department.
Container for waste collection are available free of charge.