Environmental Health Services
141 General Services Building
1251 MASON ST.
Ft. Collins, CO 80523-6021
Ph: 970-491-6745
Fax: 970-491-4804
email: EHS@ColoState.edu

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Chemical Management Office

Hazardous Waste Division

Introduction:



The Chemical Management Office - Hazardous Waste Division (CMO-Haz) is dedicated to ensuring proper management and disposal of all hazardous wastes generated by research, teaching and facilities operations at Colorado State University (CSU). Safe and environmentally sound management of hazardous waste is an integral part of the CMO-Haz mission. This commitment allows CSU to meet its compliance obligations concerning federal, state, and local regulations pertaining to the management of chemical hazardous waste.


CMO-Haz provides assistance for the disposal of hazardous waste generated at CSU. We provide training on hazardous waste management and regulate the proper handling and accumulation of all hazardous waste. The service we provide is free of charge to all individuals who work at CSU and generate normal waste.


Responsibility for compliance with hazardous waste regulations begins with the individual researchers and employees who generate the waste material, and continues through the transportation and disposal process.

Hazwaste Accident Procedures

  1. If you witness an incident where hazardous materials may be involved, call 911 and/or pull the alarm station in the building. At Colorado State University the responders are:

  1. If you hear a siren or note unusual activity in your building, contact your supervisor, office manager, or building proctor for further information. Follow all instructions carefully.

  2. If you hear a building alarm evacuate the building immediately according to the established evacuation routes and then contact your supervisor, office manager, or building proctor for further information.

  3. Stay away from the incident site and try to keep others from going into the area to minimize the risk of contamination.

  4. If you are caught outside during an incident, try to stay upstream, uphill and upwind --hazardous materials can quickly be transported by water and wind. Initially, try to go at least 100-200 yards from the danger area; you may need to go much further.

  5. If you are in a car, close windows and shut off ventilation. This will reduce the risk of contamination.

  6. If you are asked to evacuate a building or area, please cooperate with officials and follow all instructions carefully.

  7. If requested to stay in your office or at any other site, please follow all instructions carefully.

  8. Avoid contact with any spilled liquid materials, airborne mist or condensed solid chemical deposits. Keep your body fully covered and wear gloves, socks and shoes. These measures may offer some protection.

  9. Do not eat or drink any food or water that may have been contaminated.

  10. If you have been contaminated, or suspect you may have been, minimize contact with the hazardous material as much as possible by use of any means available such as eye-wash, safety showers, and removal of contaminated clothing. Notify the first emergency responder you see.

  11. Do not return to your home, office or work area until officials say it is safe.

  12. Upon returning, open windows, vents and turn on fans to provide ventilation or follow directions given by the emergency responders.

  13. A person or item that has been exposed to a hazardous chemical may be contaminated and could contaminate other people or items. If you have come into contact with or have been exposed to hazardous chemicals, you should: follow decontamination instructions from the emergency responders, seek medical help if unusual conditions develop, place exposed clothes & shoes in a plastic bag and contact university officials for proper disposal methods.

  14. Find out from university officials how to clean up your work area and dispose of the contaminated materials. If an incident should occur at your residence you can contact Larimer County Department of Natural Resources Household Hazardous Waste Program at (970) 498-5773 for disposal options.

  15. Report any noticeable odors or any other hazards or concerns to Environmental Health Services at (970) 491-6745.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I know if I'm currently trained?

Call the EHS Office at 491-6745. We can look up your current status on our database or check out our web site and enter your user name and password.
Remember you and your Principal Investigator must complete refresher training annually to remain currently trained. EHS will only accept waste from currently trained generators and PIs.

2. How do I get my waste picked up?

Submit an Electronic Request for Disposal (eRFD). Print your eRFD labels and put each label onto the containers and place all items into a box. Check the confirmation email that was sent when you submitted your waste or logon to the eRFD website to find the date when EHS will pickup the waste.

3. Do you have a large drum I can put my waste in?

EHS does have 55 gallon drums, but rarely does a generator actually need one. In additon to this, several safety factors must be in place to store 55 gallon drums i.e. (secondary containment up to 55 gals, fire sprinklers...)
Remember, once you put a drop of waste in a container you have ninety (90) days to get rid of the container. Few generators can fill a 55-gallon drum in 90 days (thank goodness)! It's best to pick a container that you will fill in about 75 days (11 weeks).

4. Does EHS provide containers to put my waste in?

If EHS has the desired containers, they can be provided, free of charge we keep stock of 4L bottles, 5 gal metal cans, 5 gal plastic cans. However, it is the responsibility of the generator’s department to provide all equipment and supplies necessary for proper waste disposal.

5. Why can't I use styrofoam peanuts to package waste?

Two reasons. One, they tend to build up static electricity which makes it difficult to get them off the containers. Two, newspapers packed around the containers offer better absorbency characteristics in case the container is leaking or breaks during transit.

6. How long does it take to pickup my waste?

If you submitted an eRFD the estimated removal date will be listed on the website and on the confirmation email sent to you. Make sure to have your waste labeled, in boxes and in your designated waste site prior to the date in order for EHS to pick up your waste.

7. How do I get rid of Unknown containers of waste?

CSU's RCRA Hazardous Waste permit issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that we are prohibited from taking unknown wastes. For safety, health and disposal purposes, EHS must only accept waste properly identified by chemical name or its hazardous characteristics. It is the responsibility of the generator's department to identify the waste. The two best methods are: (1) determine who generated the waste, who operated the lab in which the unknown waste was found or who may have knowledge of the activities conducted in the lab. Ask them to identify the waste. (2) have a small sample analyzed by a competent laboratory to determine its hazardous constituents ~$100 a sample. The first option may be time-consuming, however, you should NEVER guess at the waste contents. Since some of the materials picked up by EHS are combined into bulk containers, reactions can occur if the waste is improperly labeled.

Contact: Andy Borchert
970-491-2705

8. Can I pour chemicals down the drain with lots of extra water?

NO!!! It is not permissible by federal regulations to take waste that is the end product of a process and treat it to render it "non-hazardous." Also, federal regulations state the mixing of a hazardous waste with a non-hazardous waste creates waste which is still considered hazardous. So you cannot dilute a waste with water to make it non-hazardous. "Dilution is NOT the solution to pollution."

9. How do I get the required Hazardous waste training?

You must register for one of the listed training classes, click the link to see training schedule: Haz-Waste Training Signup

10. How do I get rid of latex paint?

Please do not submit latex paint to EHS for hazardous waste collections.

Thousands of tax dollars are spent each year disposing of latex paint as hazardous when, in fact, it is not hazardous. Use it up!

Please open and read the following PDF Document.

How to dispose of latex paint!!



Waste Area Weekly Inspections FAQ's


Print Instructions for Weekly Inspections

1. I will be out of town for a few weeks and unable to perform weekly satellite accumulation area inspections for my waste sites – what should I do?

If you will be out of town, first check if any of your trained generators will be able to perform the weekly inspection. If you have no trained generators or your trained generators will also be out of town or unable to perform the inspection, logon to Hazardous Waste Online and inactivate the site. Find the waste site(s) then select the "edit" next the waste site’s name. The update waste site page will open change the status form "Active" to "Inactive" this removes the waste site form your project. To reactivate click the "Add New Waste Site" button and add the site to your project.

During the inactivation you are declaring that no hazardous waste is present or will be generated. You will not be able to submit waste from an inactive site.

2. What if I am using another PI’s Satellite Accumulation Area site to store my waste for pick-up each week? Do I also need to inspect this site?

No, if you are using a shared waste site, meaning you drop your waste off in another PI’s location for pick-up you are not responsible for inspections of this site. You are only responsible for inspecting those sites which are listed directly under you or your PI.

3. I received a Notice of Non-Compliance after I didn’t complete my weekly satellite accumulation area inspection. What does this mean and is there any way I can have this removed from my record?

The notice of Non-Compliance you received is our way of keeping track of who is not completing their weekly satellite accumulation area inspections. As you are aware f ailure to complete a weekly satellite accumulation area inspection results in a non-compliance notification being saved in your permanent record. This record is given to the CDPHE and EPA during inspections. We cannot remove a non-compliance notification from your record once it has been issued.

Generators Responsibility

  1. Attend a Hazardous Waste training seminar and complete retraining at least once every twelve (12) months.

  2. Determine if the waste material you generate can be shared, reused, or minimized in the laboratory.

  3. Determine whether the waste may be disposed to the sanitary sewer system or the landfill LEGALLY. Please contact EHS for information on what can and cannot be disposed of in this manner.

  4. If the waste cannot be recycled or disposed to the sewer or landfill treat it as hazardous waste.

  5. Label hazardous waste properly with the following:

    • Complete chemical description of the material
      (NO ABBREVIATIONS)
    • Quantity of the waste
    • Name of the generator
    • Accumulation start date
      (the date when the material was first declared a waste)
    • The words: HAZARDOUS WASTE
  6. Close the container and store the waste in a secure satellite accumulation area which is registered with Environmental Health Services (EHS). (All containers must be in good condition and compatible with their contents).

  7. Prepare a REQUEST FOR DISPOSAL FORM and send it to EHS.

  8. Inspect the satellite accumulation area weekly and record the results of the inspection in a notebook at the storage location.

  9. Review your procedures to see how the waste may be minimized in the future.

  10. Spread the word. Encourage responsible waste management.

What is Hazardous Waste?

A hazardous material is any material that, because of its quantity, concentration, or physical or chemical characteristics, poses a significant present or potential hazard to human health and safety or to the environment if released into the home, workplace, or the environment.

From industrial chemicals and toxic waste to household detergents and air fresheners, hazardous materials are part of our everyday lives. Affecting urban, suburban and rural areas, hazardous materials incidents can range from a major chemical spill on a highway or at a chemical plant to accidental or intentional spills, leaks, or releases of hazardous materials in our offices or homes to groundwater contamination by naturally occurring methane gas.

These substances are hazardous because of their chemical, physical or biological nature and may pose a potential risk to life, health or property if they are improperly handled or are released. Hazards exist during production, storage, transportation, use and disposal.

Chemical plants are one source of hazardous materials, but there are many others. Your local service station stores gasoline and diesel fuel, and the university stores and uses a wide range of hazardous materials. Of course hazardous materials are found in laboratories and research areas but they can also be found in offices, maintenance areas, storage areas, and many others on the university campus. There are many hazardous materials typically found in our homes.

Drain cleaners, solvents, pesticides, paints, motor oil, dyes, and antifreeze are all hazardous materials that may be found in the home. In the office, furniture cleaners, paint, office cleaners, thinners such as rubber cement thinners and white-out thinners, white-out, and even the fluorescent bulbs can be hazardous materials. All these materials and more, need to be used, stored, and disposed of in a safe and proper manner.

When these products need to be disposed of they are considered a hazardous waste. Improper disposal of hazardous waste has caused many problems to both human health and safety and the environment. For instance, workers have been injured by fires from hazardous waste which were improperly put in trash bins. Hazardous waste that is illegally poured down drains has caused damage to water treatment plants resulting in contaminated drinking water supplies. Improper storage, use and disposal of volatile materials has resulted in many people being exposed to hazardous materials in the air we breathe.

Hazardous wastes can be either liquid, solid or gas. Hazardous wastes are classified as toxic, corrosive, ignitable or reactive.

Highly Toxic Can make humans and animals sick
Corrsive Can eat through metal, leather, wood or cloth and do damage to the skin or eyes
Flammable Can burst into flame
Explosive Can release heat or toxic materials or may explode under certain conditions

A hazardous waste cannot be identified by sight alone - hazardous wastes can occur as liquids, solids or gases and may resemble harmless substances. However, the following materials or situations indicate the potential for hazardous wastes:

  • Piles of trash or containers
  • Substances leaking from tanks or barrels
  • Substances that smell bad
  • Bags or piles of powder or granulated material
  • Discolored water or other liquids
  • Substances found in boxes marked flammable, corrosive, or explosive
  • Substances found in containers marked with the traditional poison insignia - the skull and cross bones
  • Any group of unmarked containers such as plastic jugs or milk cartons empty and/or containing unknown substances