Oregon State University

Ex3: Waste Categories

Safety Policy & Procedure Manual
Section 000: Introductory Material
Revised: 10/01/2001

Chemical Waste

Hazardous chemical wastes are disposed through a hazardous waste disposal program managed by EH&S.  The designation "hazardous" refers to chemicals or materials that are corrosive, flammable, reactive (including explosive), or toxic.  The regulatory definition of hazardous waste, in a broad interpretation, includes the majority of known chemicals when they are to be discarded.

The hazardous waste disposal program is managed in accordance with the regulations of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  These regulations dictate specific methods for disposal of the different types of hazardous chemical waste.  Therefore, EH&S has specific guidelines that must be followed regarding packaging, labeling, and disposal of hazardous waste.  EH&S has developed guidelines for recycling and waste minimization since generators may be charged for the costs associated with waste disposal.

Radioactive Waste

The Radioactive Waste Disposal Program is managed by RS.  Radioactive waste disposal should be carried out in accordance with the guidelines established by the Radiation Safety Committee as described in the Radiation Safety Manual.

Biohazardous Waste

Biohazard or biological hazard means those infectious agents presenting a risk of death, injury or illness to individuals who handle them.  Any waste materials that contain such agents must be autoclaved or chemically sterilized prior to disposal into the normal trash.  A control, such as sterilizer indicator tape, must be employed to assure the efficacy of treatment.  Other hazards, such as toxicity or radioactivity, should not be ignored when disposing of sterilized materials.  If sterilization is not practical, then biohazardous material must be incinerated in a DEQ-permitted infectious waste incinerator.  Contact EH&S for additional information.

Sharp Materials

Materials that are sharp, including needles, broken glass, and razor blades, provide a danger both to the initial users and to subsequent personnel who may handle them.  In addition to causing physical damage, such materials, when contaminated, can provide an entry route into the body for toxic or infectious substances.  A sharp material should be enclosed in a rigid container that the material cannot penetrate.  Contact EH&S for approved Sharps containers and disposal of sharp material.  Materials meeting the regulatory definition of "sharps"; (i.e., needles, syringes with or without needles, lancets).

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