SEC-004: Collection and Disposal of Regulated Hazardous Materials & Hazardous (Chemical) Waste

Date: 06/30/2005 Status: Pending
Last Revised: 01/24/2020
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Vice President for Research
Applies To: Academic Division and the Medical Center.
Reason for Policy:

The University is committed to complying with applicable federal and state regulations governing the storage, collection and disposal, of regulated hazardous materials and hazardous (chemical) waste generated at the University of Virginia.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Hazardous (Chemical) Waste:

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, any waste or combination of wastes which pose a substantial, present or potential, hazard to human health or living organisms because such wastes are non-degradable or persistent in nature or because they can be biologically magnified, or because they can be lethal, or because they may otherwise cause or tend to cause detrimental cumulative effects.

    Hazardous (Chemical) Waste at the University of Virginia may include but is not limited to the following:

    • Out of date chemicals.
    • Waste from laboratory processes.
    • Waste from maintenance processes.
    • Waste from landscaping and turf management processes (e.g. fertilizers and pesticides).
    • Waste from construction processes.
    • Spent batteries, aerosol cans, fluorescent light bulbs, and ballasts.
    • Spent or discarded pharmaceuticals.
  • Regulated Hazardous Materials (RHM):

    Chemicals, biological agents, and radioactive materials subject to Virginia or federal regulations.

  • University Facility:

    Any defined space of the University, including a room, lab, series of labs, building, or controlled outdoor area.

Policy Statement:

It is a violation of state and federal law to improperly store and/or dispose of regulated hazardous materials and hazardous waste. Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) manages all aspects of hazardous waste collection and disposal at UVA. All hazardous waste must be reported to EHS to facilitate proper collection and disposal. EHS is available to assist with questions, concerns, and compliance issues regarding regulated hazardous materials and hazardous waste regulations.

  1. Use, Storage, and Disposal of Regulated Hazardous Materials (RHM):
    The use, storage, and disposal of Regulated Hazardous Materials in University facilities is governed by the following:

    1. It is the responsibility of the faculty member or supervisor in charge of a University facility to assure that federal and state regulations on the use, storage, and disposal of RHM are obeyed. In the case of teaching laboratories and facilities, the department chair is responsible.

    2. EHS must be contacted to determine if wastes are subject to regulation and to answer any questions about the classification of waste, proper storage, handling, and disposal.

    3. EHS will provide hazardous waste containers and labels at no cost to the laboratory, department, or school. Subject to the limitations cited below, EHS will arrange for the disposal of unwanted or unneeded RHM at no cost to the laboratory, department, or school.

    4. Before a facility where RHM has been utilized is vacated for renovation, for new occupants, or upon the retirement of faculty members, the department responsible for the area must notify EHS to conduct an inspection of the facility. Any RHM remaining in the facility must either be transferred to a facility where it can be used, or it must be disposed of as hazardous waste prior to the departure of the occupant. EHS staff can provide guidance regarding the proper disposal of any RHM present.

      There will be no cost for waste removal services if EHS is notified well in advance (at least 60 days before the facility is to be vacated) and if the occupants are able to accurately identify wastes and other RHM. If EHS is not notified in a timely manner and is forced to make arrangements with a waste contractor for emergency services, or if materials in a facility cannot be identified, the department will be required to pay the cost of disposal services. If renovations are made or new occupants move into an area that contains old or unwanted RHM or unlabeled hazardous waste, the department will be held responsible for any disposal costs. Facilities Management must notify EHS if they encounter RHM or unlabeled hazardous waste in an area to be renovated. New occupants who move into a facility and find RHM left by their predecessors must contact EHS as soon as possible.

    5. EHS may conduct periodic, unannounced inspections of University facilities. If RHM is not stored and labeled in a proper manner, occupants will be cited for a RHM violation and the responsible individual will be notified. If the violation is not corrected in a timely fashion, the department chair or supervisor, the dean or director of an administrative department, and/or the appropriate vice president will be notified. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, and/or the Virginia Office of Radiological Health will also periodically inspect facilities.

  2. Compliance with Policy:
    Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion in accordance with relevant University policies and may result in prosecution in accordance with federal and state law.

    Violations of federal or state law may result in significant financial penalties. Such penalties will not be paid from central University resources but must be borne by the laboratory, department, College, or School responsible for the facility in violation.

    Questions about this policy should be directed to Environmental Health & Safety.

Related Information:

Available resources: To assist faculty, staff and students, EHS provides the following:

  • Guidance in the classification of waste, and the proper handling, storage and disposal of regulated hazardous materials and hazardous waste (see Environmental Health & Safety).
  • Containers for hazardous waste collection.
  • Labels for hazardous waste containers.
  • Pick-up of hazardous waste containers.

SEC-003, Chemical Safety & Waste Training
SEC-019, University Health & Safety Program

Major Category: Safety, Security and Environmental Quality
Next Scheduled Review: 01/24/2023
Approved by, Date: Policy Review Committee, 06/30/2005
Revision History: Merged & Updated 1/24/20.
Supersedes (previous policy):
Merged SEC-004: Disposal of Regulated (Hazardous) Materials & SEC-005: Hazardous (Chemical) Waste Collection and Disposal; XV.E.6: Disposal of Regulated (Hazardous) Materials