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Hazardous Waste Policies and Procedures Manual - 2003 Edition
This manual was prepared for use within ISU.  It is intended for use by, and applies to, ISU employees, staff, visitors, and students.  If this manual or any portion of it is used elsewhere, neither its authors nor the University accept responsibility for its contents.

9.0  HAZARDOUS WASTE MINIMIZATION PROGRAMS

     Disposal of hazardous waste is not without potentially adverse environmental impacts.  Disposal costs for some categories of material continue to increase due to pressure to regulate more substances at lower concentrations and limitations on the kinds of wastes that can be disposed of in landfills.  For these reasons it is important to minimize the amount of material that must be disposed of as hazardous wastes, as discussed below. 
 Disposal costs are not charged directly to specific departments or projects, but are borne at the institutional level.  The objective of this system is to allow each department, researcher, and staff member to manage their hazardous wastes properly without direct economic penalty.

9.1  Materials Exchange
    Whenever you have an excess of materials, try to find someone within the ISU community who can use the material, rather than declare it as waste.  Whenever you need a material, try to find someone within the ISU community that has an excess of that material, rather than to purchase more.  The Chemical Swap program on the TSO’s website can be used to locate chemicals that may be available for exchange.  The TSO staff will also facilitate exchanges or help locate excess chemicals.

9.2  Less Is Better
    Whenever possible, limit the amount of material you purchase to that which you can reasonably expect to use.  Disposal costs for hazardous materials are frequently higher than the initial purchase price.

9.3  Alternative Material 
    In some circumstances, there are alternative materials or methods to carry out a procedure that results in less hazardous waste than others.  These methods should be used whenever possible to minimize the volume (and costs) of disposal at ISU.  Please take time to plan waste minimization activities by careful consideration of alternative methods of achieving the same result.  Your waste may turn out to be the material which moves ISU from a small quantity generator to a large quantity generator.  DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN!!

9.4  Experimental Quantities
    Whenever possible, use the minimum quantity of materials for your work.  Alternatives to full scale experiments include:

  • microscale quantities of material to perform experiments;
  • team versus individual performance of experiments; and
  • instructor demonstrations versus team or individual performance.
9.5  The Final Steps
    According to interpretations of federal regulations, it is permissible to minimize waste by steps that are part of the actual process.  These steps must be documented (written) as part of the procedure for an experiment and represents an important way to minimize the amount of hazardous waste generated.  TSO personnel can provide information to assist in these efforts.


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Technical Safety Office
Idaho State University
Campus Box 8106
785 S. 8th St. PS Rm 101 
Pocatello, ID 83209
Phone: (208) 282-2310 or 282-2311
Fax: (208) 282-4649