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Universal Waste Policy Statement

Title: Universal Waste Disposal Policy 

POLICY: 

FLUORESCENT LAMPS
All used or unwanted lamps and compacts generated at Columbia University must be disposed of as Universal Waste.  Lamps are considered Universal Wastes when discarded and to be handled in accordance with Subpart 374-3.  If a lamp is cracked or broken the lamp must be managed as Hazardous Waste. 

BATTERIES:
All used or unwanted batteries generated at Columbia University must be disposed as either Universal Waste or Hazardous Waste.  Spent lead-acid batteries along with all other types of batteries, such as alkaline, nickel cadmium, nickel iron, nickel metal hydride, carbon zinc, zinc air, mercuric oxide, button cells, silver oxide, zinc carbon (mercury-containing), mercury, alkaline (mercury-containing), lithium metal, ion and magnesium, lead-acid and sealed lead -acid (non-automotive), are all considered to be Universal wastes when discarded and to be handled in accordance with Subpart 374-3.  If a battery is cracked or leaking the battery must be managed as Hazardous Waste. 

To dispose of used or unwanted batteries, several containers have been placed around the campus for battery collection.  If no container is available or if a battery is cracked or leaking contact EH&S using their chemical waste pickup form: http://vesta.cumc.columbia.edu/ehs/wastepickup/ to have EH&S pickup within 3 business days.

Used Electronics:
Columbia University recycles all computer monitors and electronic components/equipment.  These devices may contain heavy metals, such as lead, that are hazardous to the environment when disposed of incorrectly.  If you have unwanted equipment, please contact facilities at (212) 854-2222 (MS) or (212)305-7367 (CUMC) to have it picked up. http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8788.html

PURPOSE:  To dispose of Universal Waste in the most environmentally friendly manner possible.

RESPONSIBILITY:  All parties handing Universal Waste at Columbia University.

APPLICABILITY:  Columbia University in the City of New York.

PROCEDURE:
A. Lamps

  1. Place all lamps inside of the appropriate containers located in the lamp cage in the tunnel area.
  2. Do not break lamps, broken lamps must be properly containerized and handled as Hazardous Waste.  Broken lamps must be swept up and put inside of the white bucket labeled Hazardous Waste located inside of the lamp cage.
  3. Once lamps are placed in their appropriate containers they must be properly capped.
  4. All empty containers are located on the left side of the cage.  Once lamps are placed in a container the container must be moved to the right side of the cage.

B. Batteries

  1. Place batteries inside of either the plastic drum (small batteries) or the roll out container (large batteries) located in the battery cage in the grove tunnel.
  2. Broken or leaking batteries must be properly containerized and handled as Hazardous Waste.  Contact EH&S at (212)854-8749 (MS) or (212)305-6780 (CUMC) to handle broken or leaking batteries

C. Electronics

  1. Place electronics inside of the computer cage located in the grove tunnel.
  2. Do not throw or break electronics

D. Ballasts

  1. Place all ballasts in 55 gallon drum located in the battery cage in the grove tunnel or universal waste storage area.

FAQ:

Q: How do I properly dispose of my batteries?
A: Batteries must be collected for proper disposal in accordance with Hazardous Waste collection procedures.  Please collect batteries in a suitable container such as poly pail, cardboard box or salable plastic bag.    Please follow all the Hazardous Waste requirements when handling leaking batteries.  To have batteries picked up submit a Chemical Waste Pickup Form.  The online form is available by visiting the Chemical Waste Pickup Request Form link at:   http://vesta.cumc.columbia.edu/ehs/wastepickup/ A Hazardous Materials Officer will pick up the requested material within three business days from the date of the request
Q: Can I throw my old computer in the trash?
A: No, computer equipment (including monitors and CPUs) must be recycled.  Computers are manufactured using various heavy metals, such as Lead and Cadmium that may pose a threat to the environment if disposed of in landfills.  Contact the Facilities Operations Department (212)854-2222 (MS) or (212)305-7367 (CUMC) for assistance in collecting and recycling of your unwanted computer equipment.

LINKS:

Chemical waste pickup request form:
http://vesta.cumc.columbia.edu/ehs/wastepickup/

NY DEC:
http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8788.html

Contacts:
Morningside campus Facilities Operations Department (212)-854-2222 (MS) (212)305-7367 (CUMC)
EH&S (212)-854-8749 (MS) (212)305-6780 (CUMC)