Hazardous Waste Management (Environmental Management)

Applies to: All USC faculty, staff, students, and visitors who engage in activities that generate chemical, biohazardous, and/or radioactive waste.

1. Hazardous Waste Management (Environmental Management)

Issued: March 15, 2004
Last Revised: March 15, 2004
Last Reviewed: March 16, 2022                                                          

2. Policy Purpose

·     To protect the health and safety of USC faculty, staff, students and visitors through safe handling and disposal of chemical, infectious, and radioactive wastes;

·     To reduce the potential environmental liabilities and costs of hazardous waste disposal; and

·     To help ensure that hazardous wastes are disposed of in accordance with all applicable governmental regulations.

3. Scope and Application

This policy applies to all USC schools, departments, personnel, and operations located on university-owned or leased property, and/or University-sponsored activities taking place in off-site locations. 

4. Definitions

Hazardous WasteWaste with properties that make it dangerous or capable of having a harmful effect on human health or the environment.
Chemical WasteSee: https://ehs.usc.edu/hazmat/waste/chem/ 
Biomedical WasteSee: https://ehs.usc.edu/hazmat/waste/bio/
Radioactive WasteSee: https://ehs.usc.edu/hazmat/waste/rad/
Universal WasteSee: https://ehs.usc.edu/hazmat/waste/universal/
GeneratorAny person, by site, whose act or process produces hazardous waste

5. Policy Details

Schools, departments, and individuals who engage in activities that generate chemical, biohazardous or radioactive wastes are responsible for collecting the waste, packaging, labeling and temporarily staging it in accordance with all applicable government regulations and university procedures. USC Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) is responsible for collecting and disposing of hazardous wastes.

Additionally, schools, departments, and individuals using chemicals and/or other hazardous materials are required to implement appropriate waste minimization techniques that result in (a) the reduction of total volume or quantity of hazardous waste, and/or (b) the reduction of toxicity of the hazardous waste. EH&S will assist departments and units in developing and reviewing waste minimization techniques. Generators who do not show a reduction in waste volume will be given additional training in waste minimization techniques and may be subject to additional disposal costs.

In no case may hazardous chemical, biological, or radioactive waste be disposed of through municipal solid waste, sanitary sewers, or industrial wastewater streams without prior written approval from USC EH&S.

For additional information, please visit the EH&S website or contact EH&S at (323) 442-2200, EHS@usc.edu.

6. Procedures

In all cases, hazardous waste must be properly packaged and labeled, and appropriately documented. When these requirements have been completed, an EH&S Technician will remove the waste and assume responsibility for appropriate disposal. Waste is collected in accordance with regular pick-up schedules, or within 48 hours of any request received by EH&S during normal business hours. For chemical, biomedical, and radioactive wastes, please request a pickup directly through the online EHS Assistant (EHSA).

For universal waste, request pickup using this online form. Please see the following links for additional information on hazardous waste management procedures:

Hazardous Materials & Waste Management Overview: https://ehs.usc.edu/hazmat/waste/

Hazardous Waste Management Manual: http://tiny.cc/usc-hazwaste-mgmt

Biomedical Waste Management Plan: https://ehs.usc.edu/hazmat/waste/bio/ 

Radiation Safety Manual: http://tiny.cc/usc-RSM

7. Forms

Hazardous Waste Pickup Request Form (via EHSA): https://adminsafety.usc.edu/ehsaweb/login

Universal Waste Pickup Request Form: https://ehs.usc.edu/hazmat/pickup/hazardous-waste-pickup-request-form/

8. Responsibilities

EH&SProvides guidance, recommendations, and training on what constitutes hazardous waste, and acceptable waste handling and disposal practices. Facilitates the collection and disposal of hazardous waste
Principal Investigators, Department Leaders, Directors, Managers, and Supervisors (persons with ultimate authority for a department and/or project(s) generating hazardous waste)Determines which chemical, biological and radioactive wastes are potentially hazardous, and institutes procedures to manage hazardous wastes in accordance with all regulatory and University requirements. Coordinates with EH&S to facilitate appropriate waste collection and disposal.Implements waste mitigation strategies and techniques whenever possible.

9. Related Information

USC EH&S: https://ehs.usc.edu/about/

Environmental Compliance Programs: https://ehs.usc.edu/hazmat/ec/

Hazardous Materials & Waste Management Program: https://ehs.usc.edu/hazmat/

Hazardous Materials / Environmental Compliance Guidance / Fact Sheets: https://ehs.usc.edu/fact-sheets/#hazmat

10. Contacts

Please direct any questions regarding this policy to:

USC EH&S(323) 442-2200EHS@usc.edu

11. Policy URL