Hazardous Waste Information

New Hazardous Waste Labels Available

The new hazardous waste labels are available below, along with an instruction sheet for your use.

Waste disposal guide

With over 150 teaching and research labs, as well as other areas such as fine arts studios and operational activities, at Creighton University, a variety of waste is generated each day. This guide is intended to help Creighton personnel determine how best to handle waste generated in their spaces across campus.

Creighton University Waste Disposal Guide

What is hazardous waste?

Hazardous waste is a waste with properties that make it dangerous or potentially harmful to human health or the environment.  In regulatory terms, a RCRA hazardous waste is a waste that appears on one of the four hazardous wastes lists (F-list, K-list, P-list, or U-list), or exhibits at least one of four characteristics—ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity. Most of our wastes at Creighton are "characteristic" wastes.  Hazardous waste is regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C.

More information can be found on the EPA's Hazardous Waste information site.

Please note that bottles that contained P-listed chemicals are also considered to be hazardous waste and must be disposed of as such.  Common P-list lab chemicals include sodium azide, potassium ferricyanide, nicotine, 2,4-dinitrophenol, potassium cyanide (and other cyanide compounds).  Please see the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations for complete details.  The link may change so please see 40 CFR §261.33 if necessary.  The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center keeps a good list that also explains the necessity of disposing of the empty containers properly.

Hazardous waste is picked up on a quarterly basis. Your waste inventories will be due approximately 1 1/2 weeks prior to the pickup , and we will be around the week before the actual pickup date to collect your waste.

An email is sent to people wishing to be informed of this and other chemical issues.  Please contact Mary Duda to be added to that list.  EH&S personnel will be around the week before the scheduled pickup to collect your waste for labpack by the waste contractor.

A few things to keep in mind about hazardous waste:

All containers must be labeled with the following information

  •       The words "Hazardous Waste"
  •       Contents of the container (in words).  If there are multiple components, list by percentage or volume
  •       Hazards of the contents
  •       Dates that you started and finished filling the container
  •       Name/location of generator

Labels are available here for your convenience (Word document).  They can be printed on to standard Avery labels or plain paper and attached to your bottles.

Waste containers must be closed except when material is being added.  This includes HPLC machines.  Parafilm is not considered an appropriate lid for containers.

Keep hazardous waste in a specially designated area that is not on the floor.  Consider using secondary containment -- place your waste bottles in a storage bin or a tray with a lip around the edge.  This will contain your waste in the event of a spill or broken bottle.

Make sure a proper lid is always on the container, except when filling it.

Hazardous waste disposal is at no cost to generators

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety is pleased to announce that it will no longer be charging generators for their hazardous waste shipments. Please understand, however, that in cases of willful neglect, hoarding, or materials that are extremely difficult to dispose properly, charges may still apply. A document outlining these special circumstances is available here.

This only applies to chemical hazardous waste; individual departments will continue to contract directly with Stericycle for medical and/or biohazardous waste disposal.

Generator information

Creighton is a Small Quantity Generator of hazardous waste. Training and more information is available in this webinar produced by the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE).

Waste minimization

One way to reduce the amount of waste is to order less to begin with. If possible, determine how much of a substance you will actually use in your research, and only order as much as you will need. Try to find less hazardous alternatives, if possible. 

Check out the EPA's Enforcement Alert regarding the management of Laboratory Waste.