This guide has been prepared by the Department of Environmental Health & Radiation Safety (EHRS). Its purpose is to provide related information for users and generators to comply with Federal, State, Local regulations and institutional policy for managing hazardous and other regulated wastes. Areas and individuals who generate waste have access to this guide. The information, practices, and procedures discussed in this guide shall be implemented by all generators of waste.
EHRS through this guide and its handbook provides detailed information regarding waste management and disposal practices.
Over 15,000 pages of Federal, State, and Local regulations have been published specifying the manner waste materials must be handled. The City of Philadelphia (Water Department) also has restriction on the amount can be discharged into the sanitary sewer system. Philadelphia Air Management (Phila. Air Management), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) , the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ( PADEP) regulate the type of materials and their quantities that can be discharged into the atmosphere, water, and land that include radioactive, chemical, biological, pathological or medical wastes.
Responsibilities & Liability
All personnel generating or disposing of wastes must comply with applicable elements of this manual.
Departments, individuals, laboratories, research centers, maintenance facilities, etc., that disposes of materials regulated as waste are considered a generator. Each generator may be liable for civil or criminal penalties for regulatory infractions.
Department chairs/directors, faculty, managers, supervisors, and staff have the following responsibilities regarding safe waste management:
- Become familiar with chemical selection and usage in their area;
- Identify, segregate, collect, and properly store the wastes;
- Develop and implement an active waste minimization program by investigating material substitution, scale reduction, chemical exchange, and purchase control within each department;
- Encourage personnel to seek waste handling guidance from the EHRS and their supervisors;
- Insure that no wastes are abandoned (biological, chemical, radioactive, controlled substance, chemotherapy, etc) due to personnel departure, retirement, graduation, etc.; and,
- Provide staff and student training as required by regulation and as stated in the EHRS handbook.
Requirements for Personnel Leaving the University
The abandonment of wastes without proper disposal or identification is a regulatory violation and also creates both a dangerous storage situation and an expensive disposal problem.
Policy 1.5-Vacating Laboratory Spaces or spaces that once contained hazardous materials mandates that all researchers, supervisors or occupants planning to leave campus properly identify all waste material and arrange for their disposal before departing the University. Department chairs and principal investigators must take responsibility for insuring that all personnel properly identify all waste material and arrange for waste disposal before leaving the campus.