Universal Waste Management Plan



The State of Connecticut has adopted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's rule governing the management of certain hazardous wastes. Although still considered "hazardous," these items are used everywhere, and applying the rigorous EPA hazardous waste rules would not be practical. This "Universal Waste" rule provides for reduced management and record keeping requirements regarding these common hazardous wastestreams.

Universal Waste Management Requirements

  1. Connecticut College cannot accumulate and store on-site more than 10,000 lbs. of Universal Waste.
  2. Universal Wastes cannot be stored on-site longer than 365 days.
  3. Labels clearly marked with the words "Universal Waste" must be affixed to the storage container, (Plastic pail, cardboard barrel, Gaylord box, etc.), or to individual batteries or electronic component placed in storage. The date of disposal must be annotated on the label. (This label will be affixed at the waste storage area.)

In Connecticut, there are five categories of Universal Waste:

  1. Used Electronics - Computers, monitors, televisions, keyboards, printers, cell phones, calculators, etc. (Anything that has a circuit board or a CRT.) Electronic equipment contains lead, mercury, cadmium, silver and many other hazardous components.
  2. Fluorescent Lamps, Bulbs and Ballasts - Includes all mercury containing lamps, such as high pressure sodium, mercury vapor and metal halide.)
  3. Thermostats - Contains a Mercury switch.
  4. Unused Pesticides
  5. Batteries - Rechargeable batteries, and some non-rechargeable, contain hazardous components, including lead, nickle, silver, lithium, mercury and others metals. Lead acid batteries also contain sulfuric acid.)

If you need to discard any of these items, please DO NOT throw it into the regular trash!

To make it easier for the campus community to properly dispose some of these items, the student run "Energy Conservation Organization" (ECO) has set up "E-Cycle" bins at several locations around campus:

     ‌- Harris Dinning Hall, Front Vestibule
     - Crozier-Williams Student Center, Post Office
     - Shain Library, Front Vestibule
     - Cummings Art Center, First Floor Hallway, Near Elevator

(NOTE: During the library renovation, the E-Cycle bin will be moved to the first  floor lobby of Blaustein Humanities Center.)

Periodically, student employees of the Office of Sustainability will safely transport regulated items to the Service Building Stockroom, to be sorted into the appropriate wastestream for disposal.

Below are the procedures for managing and disposing of Universal Waste, and other commonly discarded items at Connecticut College. Detailed descriptions and identification information can be found in the Universal and Household Hazardous Waste Management Guide‌.

Disposal Procedures

Lamps

  • Fluorescent & UV Tubes - Facilities Management personnel will return replaced lamps to the Service Building Stockroom, and place them in the appropriate fiber drum.
  • Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL's) - The Campus Community should wrap CFL’s in a plastic bag for protection, then gently place it in a “E-Cycling” bin pending transport to the Service Building.
  • High Pressure Sodium, Metal Halide and Mercury Vapor - Facilities Management personnel will return replaced lamps to the Service Building Stockroom, and place them in the appropriate fiber drum.
  • Lighting Ballasts - Facilities Management personnel will return waste ballasts to the Service Building Stockroom, and place them in the appropriate (PCB or Non-PCB containing) steel drum.

Batteries - Refer to the Universal and Household Hazardous Waste Management Guide for help in identifying the various types of batteries.

(NOTE: Unprotected battery terminals pose a risk of short circuiting and causing fires. The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued a Battery Safety Compliance Advisory on this issue.)

  • Lead Acid - After replacement, Facilities Management personnel will label, tape the terminals, then store used batteries on containment in the Hazardous Waste Trailer.
  • Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) and Nickel Cadmium (Ni-CAD) - Place each battery in a Ziploc bag or tape the terminals, then deposit in an “E-Cycling” bin pending transport to the Service Building.
  • Lithium, Lithium-Ion (Li Ion) & Lithium Polymer (Li Poly) - Place each battery in a Ziploc bag or tape the terminals, then deposit in an “E-Cycling” bin pending transport to the Service Building.
  • Zinc Air (Rechargeable and Non-rechargeable) - Recycling is optional. Place each battery in a Ziploc bag or tape the terminals, then deposit in an “E-cycling” bin pending transport to the Service Building for disposal. May also be discarded into the regular trash.
  • Alkaline and Zinc Carbon (Rechargeable and Non-rechargeable) - Recycling is optional. Place each battery in a Ziploc bag or tape the terminals, then deposit in an “E-cycling” bin pending transport to the Service Building for disposal. May also be discarded into the regular trash.
  • Silver Oxide and Mercuric Oxide Button Batteries -Place each battery in a Ziploc bag or tape the terminals, then deposit in an “E-Cycling” bin pending transport to the Service Building.

Used Electronics (“E-Waste”)

(NOTE: Used electronics are stored in large Gaylord boxes in the garage of College House. Please do not leave items on the ground outside the garage. This is a violation of EPA and CT DEEP regulations.)

  • Small Items (Cell phones, iPods/MP3 players, etc.) - Cell phones and other small electronic items should be deposited into an “E-Cycling bin, pending transport to the Service Building.
  • Large Items (Televisions, Monitors, Computers, Keyboards, etc.) - Faculty and Staff should call the Work Control Desk at Ext-2253 to request a pickup of College owned/leased equipment, which must be taken to Information Services in Hamilton Basement to be removed from inventory and/or returned to the lessor.

    Students can schedule a pick up of personally owned (large) electronics from Residential Halls by emailing or calling the Office of Sustainability, at Ext-5218.

Other Items

  • Inkjet Printer Cartridges - Not a regulated waste. Deposit Inkjet printer cartridges in an “E-Cycling” bin pending recycling by the Office of Sustainability.
  • Toner Cartridges and Laserjet Printer Cartridges - Not a regulated waste. Faculty and Staff should bring empty cartridges to the Print Shop for Recycling.
  • Aerosol Cans - Not a "Universal Waste", but may be regulated because of the hazards of the contents. Aerosol cans should be deposited in the "Battery" compartment of an "E-Cycle"bin. These cans will be taken to the Facilities Management Stockroom for depressurizing and draining of the hazardous contents. The empty can will be recycled.
  • Microwave Ovens - Not a regulated waste. Microwaves should be transported to the Facilites Management Stockroom, pending recycling at the Transfer Station with other white goods.

Universal Waste Spill Procedures

Fluorescent Lamps and CFL's:

  • Don't throw mercury containing lamps, broken or unbroken, into the regular trash.
  • Ventilate the area where the breakage occurred. When a fluorescent lamp or tube is broken, most of the mercury vapor is released immediately.
  • Wear appropriate PPE. At a minimum wear a pair of latex gloves.
  • Carefully pick up the larger glass fragments, then thoroughly and carefully clean the spill with a damp disposable sponge or paper towels, to remove the phosphorus powder and any remaining glass fragments.
  • Never vacuum debris from broken fluorescent lamps with a standard vacuum cleaner, or sweep with a broom. Use only moist sponges or paper towels when cleaning phosphorus powder from a broken fluorescent lamp.
  • Dispose of the broken glass, phosphorus powder, contaminated gloves, paper towels and and other clean up materials in a  plastic pail with a tight fitting lid. (Plastic pails are available from the Storeroom Manager at Facilities (Ext-2257), or the Director of EH&S at Facilities (Ext-2252).
  • Contact the Stockroom Manager at the Service Building, or the Director of EH&S for disposal assistance. They will ensure that a properly filled out "Hazardous Waste" label is affixed to the pail before it is placed in storage.
Lead Acid Batteries:
  • Don appropriate PPE (At a minimum, heavy duty nitrile gloves and splash goggles).
  • Prevent the spread of sulfuric acid by creating a berm around the spill with kitty litter or "Speedi-dri".
  • Place the broken battery into a 5-gallon plastic pail with a tight fitting cover/lid. (Plastic pails are available from the Storeroom Manager at Facilities (Ext-2257), or the Director of EH&S at Facilities (Ext-2252).
  • Neutralize the spilled acid with "Ampho-Mag", found in chemical spill kits. Campus Safety has a supply of this material, as does the Garage at Facilities Management.
  • Clean the neutralized spill, and place the cleanup materials into the plastic pail with the broken battery.
  • Fill out an orange "Hazardous Waste" label and affix it to the box.
  • Contact the Director of Director of EH&S at Ext-2252 to coordinate transport to the hazardous waste storage facility.

Lithium Batteries

  • Place the broken battery into a plastic pail with a tight fitting lid. (Plastic pails are available from the Storeroom Manager at Facilities (Ext-2257), or the Director of EH&S at Facilities (Ext-2252).
  • Sweep up any residual, and place it in the pail. DO NOT use water.
  • Fill out an orange "Hazardous Waste" label and affix it to the pail.
  • Contact the Director of Director of EH&S at Ext-2252 to coordinate transport to the hazardous waste storage facility.

Mercury Containing Devices

  • Because of safety and environmental requirements for liquid mercury, the Director of Environmental Health & Safety will respond to all elemental mercury spills.
  • The individual discovering or reporting the spill should determine the extent of the spill, evacuate and secure the area so the mercury does not get "tracked" or "kicked" around, then contact the Director of EH&S at Ext-2252. (After hours call Campus Safety at Ext-2222.)
  • The Director of EH&S will evaluate and clean the spill if it is small (i.e., less than what is contained in a thermometer). Larger mercury spills require emergency response from a HAZMAT spill response contractor.
Broken Computers and Other Electronics
  • Wear personal protective attire appropriate to prevent injury when cleaning up broken CRT glass and debris. Recommended attire includes safety glasses, puncture resistant gloves (e.g. leather or other heavy duty work gloves), protective clothing such as long sleeve shirt and pants.
  • Sweep up the broken glass and dispose of in large heavy duty plastic bags. Double bag the waste, then place the bag into a cardboard box, and tape it shut. Do not attempt to remove any portion of the CRT from its housing or television cabinet.
  • Fill out an orange "Hazardous Waste" label and affix it to the box.
  • Contact the Director of Director of EH&S at Ext-2252 to coordinate transport to the hazardous waste storage facility.