Satellite Accumulation Areas
WHAT IS A HAZARDOUS WASTE?
Federal and state regulations prohibit the disposal of hazardous chemicals. A chemical is described as "hazardous" if it exhibits one or more of the following characteristics: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity or toxicity as defined in 40 CFR 261 Subpart C and 310 CMR 30.120 through 30.125. The easiest places to confirm that a chemical is hazardous is from either the container label or the Material Safety Data Sheet. The Environmental Health & Safety Office can also provide this information.
The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority prohibits disposal of hazardous materials, as well as many other materials, into the sanitary sewer (360 CMR 10.000).
Unwanted hazardous materials must be either treated, disposed of in a chemical landfill or burned in a hazardous waste incinerator approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. Hazardous chemicals cannot be poured into sink drains and must not be placed in waste baskets for disposal. The Agency also regulates disposal of some "empty" containers which previously contained hazardous materials (40 CFR 261.7). For more information on disposal of "empty" containers please contact the EH&S Office. Please keep in mind that many chemicals which may have been once considered harmless are now regulated by the Agency. Since the list of chemicals which are considered hazardous is constantly changing, please feel free to call the EH&S Office to obtain answers to any questions that you may have.
The EH&S Office currently has an extensive program to safely and legally dispose or redistribute all hazardous materials at no direct cost to the laboratory. However, in an effort to reduce hazardous wastes and their associated costs, all hazardous materials users are urged to substitute with non or less hazardous materials and/or use smaller quantities. More efficient process design is also encouraged to reduce volumes and concentrations or hazardous wastes.
SATELLITE ACCUMULATION AREAS
ALL LABORATORIES THAT GENERATE HAZARDOUS WASTE MUST SET UP SATELLITE ACCUMULATION AREAS
A satellite accumulation area (310 CMR 30.351(4)) is a designated area within the laboratory or point of generation of the hazardous waste which will store the waste until it is sent out for processing. This area can be a bench top, small section of the hood, a combination of the both or even a previously empty cabinet.
A key staff person must be designated to be responsible for the process resulting in the generation of these wastes. To assist this key person, a representative from the EH&S Office will inspect the satellite accumulation area to make sure it is up to compliance standards and answer any questions that may arise.
In order for a hazardous material to be in compliance within the satellite area it must be in a screw-capped compatible container that is tightly sealed (310 CMR 685(1)). This container must then be properly labelled as defined by Section 3.0.
LABELING CONTAINERS PROPERLY
Regardless of the amount of chemical in a container, if it is within the boundaries of the accumulation area then it must be labelled properly (310 CMR 30.682).
Each label must have the following:
- The words "Hazardous Waste";
- The hazardous waste chemical name in words (e.g.,toluene, chloroform, water) not formula or structure;
- The type of hazard(s) associated with the waste (e.g., ignitable, dangerous when wet, toxic);
- The date upon which each container becomes full.
These labels must be placed on the containers so that they are readily seen for inspection (310 CMR 685(4)).
Note: Chemical mixtures must be identified by percent or volume compositions of every component, even those that are not hazardous.
*Labels are available from EH&S for all types of hardware waste.
HAZARDOUS WASTE DISPOSAL
Prior to scheduled pickups, a designated person from each laboratory must generate a request for a pickup, including a list of materials to be disposed of and forward it to the EH&S office. On scheduled pickup days, a member of the EH&S staff will collect material from all satellite storage areas that have requested a pickup.