Waste Management and Disposal
There are three steps necessary to properly manage waste:
Members of the University community must be aware of the wastes that they produce and the appropriate University management system for each type of waste. The diverse University of Minnesota community generates an equally diverse range of wastes that must be properly managed. Individual community members are responsible for the proper management of their waste. The University provides safe, effective and efficient waste management services to each student and staff for all types of waste.
Example: A University employee may produce ("generate") various types of waste and employ a few waste management mechanisms. Unwanted office paper and newspaper go to the paper recycling bins. Candy wrappers and apple cores go into the solid waste trash basket. Dead batteries go into the battery recycling bucket. The old personal computer contains lead and other toxins in its components so it should be collected for electronics recycling by established collection systems.
Contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (612-626-6002) for assistance in identifying wastes.
Members of the University community must evaluate their waste for its physical, chemical, and biological characteristics to determine how it is to be properly managed. Mismanaged waste may endanger human health and the environment.
Consider reuse, recycling or composting as part of a waste minimization and pollution prevention strategy. Strategies also include answering the following questions. Why is the waste being generated? Can the waste be eliminated? If the waste is hazardous, can it be replaced by something non-hazardous or can the process generating the waste be modified to render the waste non-hazardous?
A waste may be:
- Recyclable material (e.g., paper, soda cans)
- Compostable organic waste (e.g. food, animal bedding, biodegradable plastics)
- Non-hazardous solid waste
- Hazardous Radioactive Waste: waste containing or contaminated with a radioactive isotope
- Hazardous Biological Waste: waste containing or contaminated with an infectious or potentially infectious agent, a biological toxin, an animal carcass, a genetically modified organism, recombinant DNA, etc.
- Hazardous Chemical Waste: waste chemicals, products which are chemical in nature (cleaning agents, paint, motor oil, and pharmaceutics), products that contain chemicals (fluorescent lamps, thermometers) or materials contaminated with chemicals (contaminated soil or rags)
- Otherwise Regulated Material (asbestos, car batteries, contaminated soil and construction debris)
Once the waste has been identified and evaluated, generators must manage their waste according to applicable University of Minnesota waste management instructions. These waste management instructions have been developed to keep the University in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and to induce a safe and healthy workplace.
Contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (612-626-6002) for guidance, instructions and to ensure compliance with University programs.
Waste Management Programs:
- Non-hazardous Waste (i.e., regular solid waste): contact Facilities Management on each campus; in the Twin Cities, call FM Waste Customer Service at 612-624-2900; in Duluth contact Waste Disposal and Recycling at 218-726-8144
- ReUse and Redistribution: contact the ReUse Program Warehouse at 612-626-9152.
- Hazardous Radioactive Waste: call DEHS Radiation Protection at 612-626-6002.
- Hazardous Biological Waste: call DEHS Biosafety Program at 612-626-6002.
- Hazardous Chemical Waste: call DEHS Chemical Waste Program at 612-626-6002.
- Electronic Waste: in the Twin Cities, schedule a pick up through the Office of Information Technology or contact FM Recycling Program at 612-624-8084; in Duluth contact Information Technology Systems and Services.
- Otherwise Regulated Waste (e.g., asbestos, lead, construction debris): contact Facilities Management on each campus; in the Twin Cities, call FM Waste Abatement Services at 612-624-2900.