All Hazardous and Universal Waste (H/U) issues shall be presented to the UNC Environment, Health and Safety Department (EHS). Contacts are:

  • Mike Long: 919-962-5723
  • Steve Parker: 919-962-5509
  • EHS Dept.: 919-962-5507

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.

Contact EHS for a list of University approved disposal vendors, or visit our website at for more information.

EHS requires a written plan to be submitted for approval at the beginning of the project that outlines which H/U wastes have been identified and the proposed disposal venues to be utilized.

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

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

Disposal Procedures

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 box inside, and away from any water.
  5. EHS does not approve of the use of a fluorescent bulb crusher.

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.

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. This includes mercury containing switches, devices, and sink traps.

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.

Non-PCB Ballasts will have “Non-PCB Ballasts” written on the ballasts. These should be placed in a separate drum, (UN Approved), for recycling. For larger quantities, use a 20y3, covered roll-off that you can send to the recycler.

When planning storage, keep in mind that a full ballast drum weighs approximately 700 pounds.

Fluorescent bulbs, HIDs, or U-tubes that are unintentionally broken shall be placed into a UN approved poly drum. These are 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.
See the construction specifications on Asbestos Abatement.
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.

Core samples from suspected Lead Based Paint containing materials such as walls, windows, 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.

All sampling results shall be sent to EHS for proper waste disposal determination.

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 Mike Long at 919-962-5723.
** Do not ship any Hazardous/Universal Wastes without EHS notification and approval.

Hazardous and Universal Construction Waste Process

Additional Information