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Art/Theatre

Hazardous waste management is an important aspect in the Arts and Theatre Departments, especially activities involving paints and glazes.  All personnel working with chemicals should be trained on the associated hazards, methods to reduce waste, and how to appropriately respond to spills or accidents.  Additionally, when working with hazardous chemicals such as acids or developers, personnel should wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), i.e. goggles and gloves and make sure acids are handled only in an acid hood with adequate ventilation.  Personnel who generate hazardous waste from the use of waste paint thinner, waste solvents, paint waste, and latex paint must be aware of the storage and disposal regulations established by federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the implementing federal regulations at 40 CFR Parts 260-272.  The intent of RCRA is to manage hazardous waste as soon as it is generated.  The waste generator is responsible for knowing the storage and disposal requirements for waste that is generated.  Simply discarding hazardous waste into the sink could do damage to the municipal waste disposal system and must be avoided unless authorized by Hazardous Materials Management.  Please reference the Hazardous Materials Management policy for guidance on purchasing chemicals, managing chemical waste, and controlling spills.

Darkrooms

The use of acids in darkrooms can be potentially hazardous.  Listed below are best management practices that should be followed during darkroom activities that involve waste handling and disposal of hazardous waste:

  • Perform regular housekeeping activities in waste storage areas.
  • Reuse or recycle materials whenever possible.
  • When feasible, replace highly toxic developers with less toxic developers.
  • Label containers of photochemicals.
  • Inspect waste management areas for spills and waste management containers for leaks.
  • Track waste generated, evaluate the process that generates waste and look for ways to reduce waste generation.
  • Segregate and separate wastes.
  • Do not dispose of liquid wastes such as oils or hazardous materials into dumpsters or drains.
  • Maintain adequate supplies of spill response equipment and materials.  Ensure spill kits are accessible and near areas where spills may be likely to occur.
  • Notify Hazardous Materials Management for hazardous waste disposal.
  • Neutralize any acid spills using a buffering agent prior to cleaning up with inert orother non-reactive adsorbents; use acid spill kits for small to medium size spills.
  • Use a damp towel or sponge to clean up spills of dusts and powders.
  • Avoid flushing any chemical down the drain unless authorized by Hazardous Materials Management.

Paints/Ceramic Glazes

The hazards of paints and glazes vary greatly depending on the constituents.  Prior to use, you should know how toxic or flammable the material is and how to handle the material.  Follow these best management practices for paints and glazes:

  • Perform regular housekeeping activities in waste storage areas.
  • Use water based paint instead of oil-based paint whenever possible.
  • Buy only the quantity of material that you need to complete your project.
  • If paint or other materials are left over see if someone else can use them.
  • Bulk compatible paints into approved containers and transport to an approved paint recycler.
  • Establish an agreement with the paint distributor to take any unused paint.
  • Store paint properly to extend its useful life.
  • Dry up small quantities of latex paint that don't meet the hazardous waste definition and dispose it in the regular trash.
  • Investigate the use of non-heavy metal-based glazes.

Printing

Hazardous waste generated from printing rooms is typically from inks or liquid solvents used to clean the printing press.  Use caution with inks because some of them contain hazardous solvents and hazardous elements such as chromium and lead.  Here are some tips to minimize waste:

  • Dedicate presses to specific colors or inks, to reduce the number of cleanings required for each press.
  • Dispose of solvents by sending them to a fuel blending service, which combines these and other wastes for burning at industrial boilers or kilns.
  • Clean ink fountains only when changing colors, or when there is a risk of the ink drying.
  • Isolate inks contaminated with hazardous cleanup solvents from non-contaminated inks.
  • For rags and disposable wipers contaminated with solvents send them to laundry service as long as the material is not characteristically hazardous or not a listed solvent under RCRA.  Check with Hazardous Materials Management to see if this is acceptable.
  • Use organic solvent alternatives, such as detergent or soap, non-hazardous blanket washes, and less toxic acetic acid solvents, if possible.
  • Squeegee or wipe surfaces clean before washing with solvent.
  • Implement inventory controls to avoid overstocking of inks, solvents, and otherprinting chemicals.

Etching

Acids used in etching are severely corrosive and reactive with many other chemicals.  Nitric acid etching is particularly hazardous due to the potential release of toxic nitrogen oxides.  It is very important to perform this type of etching in a hood.  Follow these best management practices for waste handling and disposal:

  • Perform regular housekeeping activities in waste storage areas.
  • Reuse or recycle materials whenever possible.
  • Inspect waste management areas for spills and waste management containers for leaks.
  • Track waste generated, evaluate the process that generates the waste and look for ways to reduce waste generation.
  • Find substitutes for harmful chemicals.
  • Segregate and separate wastes.
  • Do not dispose of liquid wastes such as oils or hazardous materials into dumpsters or drains.
  • Maintain adequate supplies of spill response materials in accessible locations near areas where spills may be likely to occur.
  • Notify Hazardous Materials Management for hazardous waste disposal.