Skip to main content

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to a policy for hazardous waste management that places a high priority on waste minimization and pollution prevention. In accordance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines, the University has developed a waste minimization program.


Contractor Guidelines for Hazardous and Universal Wastes

All Hazardous and Universal Waste (H/U) issues shall be presented to the department of Environment, Health and Safety (EHS).


Do not ship any Hazardous or Universal Wastes without EHS notification and approval. EHS must be notified to ensure that the proper paperwork, with the correct EPA ID number, addresses, and emergency contact information is used.

Bills of Lading, Manifests and LDRs must also be signed by a representative of EHS for all shipments of hazardous or universal waste, excluding asbestos.

All H/U waste shall be handled using applicable Federal and State laws, including EPA regulations codified in the 40 CFR. For assistance, contact EHS.

UNC’s approved disposal vendors are listed below, or contact EHS for additional information.

If you are unsure if you have a hazardous waste, contact EHS.

  1. Bulbs: The following procedure is to be used for 4 and 8-foot fluorescent bulbs, High Intensity Discharge Bulbs (mercury bulbs), and U-Tubes.
    1. Bulbs should be placed in manufactured boxes.
    2. When you put the first bulb in the box, a Universal Waste label shall be placed on the outside of the box. Fill in contents and date.
    3. When not actively putting bulbs in the box, the lid shall be closed and sealed.
    4. Keep boxes inside, and away from any water.
    5. EHS does not approve of the use of a fluorescent bulb crusher.
  2. Mercury-Contaminated Materials
    1. All mercury contamination must be treated as hazardous waste and disposed of according to State and Federal regulations. All sink traps located within research buildings are suspected to be contaminated with some mercury. Immediately contact the UNC Environment, Health and Safety Department if and/or when these items are discovered for a copy of the University’s Mercury Plumbing Removal procedure.
    2. Contractor shall contact a reputable hazardous waste disposal firm for removal, shipping, and disposal needs. Mercury items shall be sent to a facility within the U.S. for retort. UNC cannot ship any materials out of the country for disposal, recycle, or retort. This includes mercury containing switches, devices, and sink traps.
  3. Ballasts: PCB and Non-PCB Ballast
    1. PCB Ballasts shall be placed into UN approved 55-gallon drums for disposal, and shipped on a Hazardous Waste Manifest. Also, the lid on the drum shall be secured unless actively adding to the drum. There is a one-year time limit to dispose of the drum from when the first ballast went into it. A ballast is considered to be a PCB ballast if the label says it is, or the label does not say at all.
    2. Non-PCB Ballasts will have “No-PCBs” written on the ballasts. These should be placed in a separate drum, (UN Approved), for recycling.
    3. When planning storage, keep in mind that a full ballast drum weighs approximately 700 pounds.
  4. Broken Fluorescent Tubes
    1. Fluorescent bulbs, HID’s, or U-tubes that are unintentionally broken, shall be placed into a UN approved poly drum. These may be considered Hazardous Waste and should be treated as such due to the possible release of mercury vapors. When not actively adding to the drum, the lid shall be on, and secure. Also, the drum needs to have a label that says Broken Fluorescent Bulbs, and the date the first item was placed inside the drum. The one-year time limit for disposal applies to this waste as well.
  5. Asbestos: See the construction specifications on Asbestos Abatement.
  6. Lead Paint
    1. Lead Paint waste from scraping, grinding, or peeling is considered hazardous waste and shall be stored in a UN approved drum with the lid securely fastened. This drum must be labeled as Lead Paint Chips and locked in an area away from public access.
    2. Core samples from suspected Lead Based Paint containing materials such as walls, doors, and door casings shall be taken prior to demolition and sent for TCLP analysis. An EHS representative shall be present for any sampling activities.
    3. All sampling results shall be sent to EHS for proper waste disposal determination.
  7. Miscellaneous Chemicals
    1. Any chemicals found during demolition shall be handled as hazardous waste. Examples include: cylinders, bottles, cans with liquid, spill clean-ups etc.
When in doubt, contact EHS at 919-962-5507 or Hazardous Materials staff.

Erosion and Sedimentation Requirements

Please visit the Erosion and Sedimentation Guidelines section of the Stormwater Management section.

Associated Departments: