This page provides guidance and applicable links to pages on minimizing environmental impacts and maintaining compliance with environmental regulations within the University’s educational, research, and dental facilities.
DEA Controlled Substances
A controlled substance or DEA drug is any substance listed in the Controlled Substances Act, in the Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR, Part 1300). Disposal of a controlled substance that is outdated, excess or no longer intended for use. Disposal also refers to controlled substance that is residual (often referred to as waste) or has been contaminated through use or spills. All Registrant must make arrangement for disposal by contacting RLS. Abandonment of a controlled substance is a violation of the DEA permit under which it was held.
Empty containers that once held hazardous waste are not regulated as hazardous waste if they meet the definition of "empty" as defined in 40CFR 261.7. A container is "empty" if all waste has been removed to the extent possible by common practices (e.g., by pouring, pumping, or aspiration) and less than one inch of residue or 3% by weight of the total capacity of the container remains on the bottom of container.
Containers that held acutely hazardous waste (DOC: 81KB) are considered empty only after being triple rinsed with a solvent capable of removing the acutely hazardous waste residue. The solvent rinsate then must be managed as acutely hazardous waste. Due to the complexity of triple rinsing and collection of all the rinsateResearch and Lab Safety recommends that containers that one contained accutely hazardous waste be disposed of as hazardous waste.
Gas Cylinders require special handling, storage and disposal procedures since they are pressurized vessels and can contain potentially toxic gases. See the Gas Cylinders SOP template (DOC: 77KB) for information on the hazards of gas cylinders and the requirements for storage and handling. For further information view the Safe Storage, Handling, Use and Disposal of Compressed Gas Cylinders Policy.
NOTE: Gas cylinders should be purchased in returnable cylinders so that they can be returned to the vendor when empty or no longer needed. Disposal of cylinders that are non-returnable is difficult and costly, due to pressurized nature of the container. Information on vendor contacts can be obtained through Research and Laboratory Safety or NYU's Purchasing Department (x81030).
Laboratory Glassware is any item that could puncture regular waste bags and therefore endanger waste handlers. It includes cleaned and emptied, whole or broken glassware, bottles, flasks or vials. All lab glass boxes must be "certified' clean by affixing and signing the lab glass label (DOC: 12KB), before it can be disposed.
Please remember that any laboratory glass that cannot be sufficiently cleaned or deodorized should be disposed of as Hazardous Waste through EHS and not placed in the Laboratory Glassware boxes.
When segregating or storing chemicals, do not use containers that may react with the chemicals or which may burn, such as cardboard or styrofoam. In general, combustible material should be stored away from chemicals due to it’s ability to react to chemicals or to promote fires. Instead, make sure that the container is made of a corrosive resistant material, such as nalgene.
Unknown chemicals or waste presents a problem both in safe handling and in the disposal of the material. It is extremely important to notify Research and Lab Safety as soon as any unknown chemicals are discovered.
Every effort must be made to identify the unknown. Where the unknown is the result of experimental work, and the exact composition cannot be determined, the Principal Investigator (or Department) must provide Research and Lab Safety with the following information:
- Name of PI, primary research goal, materials used in research, and the building name, floor and room where the research was conducted;
- The reagents and protocols used which produced the hazardous waste;
- Any special hazards of the research compound(s) (e.g., air reactive, water reactive, temperature sensitive, carcinogenic, etc.); and
- Any special handling instructions (e.g., shock sensitive, keep refrigerated, etc.)
Disposal or Removal of Contaminated Equipment
Prior to cleaning or decontaminating walk-in cold or warm rooms or any similarly non-ventilated, confined area contact RLS because prolonged presence in these areas, particularly when using cleaning agents, may present health hazards.
Remove biological material from the equipment. Clean the equipment with warm, soapy water and scrub as necessary. Sanitize with a 1:10 bleach solution. After 10 minutes contact time, rinse metal surfaces as bleach is corrosive.
When cleaning incubators in the event of bacterial or fungal contamination, flasks and culture plates shall be moved to a Biological Safety Cabinet. Shelves shall be moved to sink for wipe down with 10% bleach followed by a thorough wipe down with disposable towels soaked in 70% ethanol to prevent corrosion.
Once the equipment no longer poses any hazard, remove or deface warning stickers. Please fill out and attach the “Notice of Equipment Decontamination” Label (PDF: 168KB)
For decontamination of biological safety cabinets, call 212-998-1420 or RLS@nyu.edu. If relocating the biosafety cabinet it must be recertified.
Safely remove, drain, or discharge chemicals from the equipment. Collect the material for reuse or for hazardous waste disposal. For assistance in what type of cleaner or cleaning material to use and how to dispose of materials used to clean contaminated surfaces, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once the equipment no longer poses any hazard, Remove or deface warning stickers. Please fill out and attach the “Notice of Equipment Decontamination” Label (PDF: 168KB)
Any equipment in the laboratory which could have been contaminated with radioactive material must be surveyed before removal to another laboratory, transfer for repair, or disposal. The following should be performed:
- Thoroughly decontaminated all surfaces
- Perform wipe tests and document the test in the Radiation Safety handbook for possible future inspection
- Remove all radioactive labels and signs when wipe tests indicate that no contamination is present.
Once the equipment no longer poses any radiation hazard, please fill out and attach the “Notice of Equipment Decontamination” Label (PDF: 168KB). For further information contact the NYU Radiation Safety Officer (212-998-8480).