The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) outlines proper hazardous waste management, placing special emphasis on waste reduction and recycling. Through waste minimization, you can help reduce unnecessary expenditure of university funds on waste disposal and material procurement by following the guidelines below.
Inventory your chemicals: The most important step you can take toward waste minimization is to maintain a running inventory of chemicals present in your lab. An inventory will prevent you from ordering more of what you already have. It also helps you to store chemicals properly and can be an invaluable tool in emergency situations.
Order only what you need: Please consider that the economy of larger sizes may be offset by the cost of disposing your excess. Before ordering chemicals, check your current stock; and it may be possible to borrow small amounts of chemicals from other labs. It pays to take the time to check.
Substitute non-hazardous or less hazardous materials: There are many non-hazardous substitutes for commonly used chemicals, such as chromic acid. Other alternatives may be much less toxic. These substitutions can be done with satisfactory results in most cases.
Do not mix hazardous and non-hazardous waste: Non-hazardous waste, when mixed with hazardous waste, will become hazardous itself. Do not mix small quantities of hazardous waste with non-hazardous waste because it will increase the volume of hazardous waste produced. Likewise, high concentration waste should not be mixed with low concentration waste.
Biohazardous Waste Disposal
The Office of Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for ensuring the proper management and disposal of all biohazardous waste generated on the IU South Bend campus. Biohazardous waste is broadly defined as all biological waste (or biologically contaminated waste) that could have the potential to cause harm to humans, domestic or wild animals, or plants. Specific examples of biohazardous waste include cell cultures or animal tissues containing infectious agents or recombinant DNA; or human tissue, blood, or fluids.
Hazardous Waste Management
IU South Bend generates a wide variety of hazardous wastes. An institution this size has a diverse set of operations ranging from academics to the maintenance of buildings. Nearly all facets of the university community generate some form of hazardous waste.
Household Hazardous Wastes
Many common household products have hazardous properties. Look for the words Danger, Warning or Caution on the product label. They are used in cleaning, home improvement projects, automobile maintenance, lawn and garden care, and a variety of other tasks. In order to protect our health and the environment, we must know how to properly use, store and dispose of these products. You can contact your local Solid Waste Management District for more information.
Recycling is a series of activities that includes collecting recyclable materials that would otherwise be considered waste, sorting and processing recyclables into raw materials such as fibers, and manufacturing raw materials into new products.