Hazardous waste (or dangerous waste - the term used by the Washington State Department of Ecology) is waste material that has toxic, reactive, flammable or corrosive characteristics (as defined by various state and federal regulations) which requires rigorous disposal and documentation procedures. Universal waste is a special class of hazardous waste that has some hazardous characteristics, but if managed appropriately is not fully regulated as hazardous waste. Examples of universal waste include fluorescent lamp tubes, cathode ray tubes (old computer monitors and televisions), all types of batteries and mercury-containing equipment such as old thermostats.
Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) works with and trains hazardous waste generating departments, collects and stores the waste, and coordinates the transportation and disposal of the waste through various disposal companies. Universal waste is almost completely recycled while hazardous waste is disposed via a variety of methods including recycling, incineration and landfill (rarely).
CWU generates and disposes of approximately 9000 pounds of hazardous waste and 24,000 pounds of universal waste per year.
CWU has been safely and appropriately managing hazardous/universal waste for over 25 years. Periodic inspections by the Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection Agency have found CWU to be in significant compliance with all aspects of the regulations.
EHS encourages all departments to periodically survey and evaluate chemical use and dispose of any chemicals not needed. Please feel free to contact EHS at 963-2252 or 963-2338 if you have questions about chemical use or disposal procedures.