Special Wastes

Batteries

The campus is no longer allowed to place most batteries in the normal trash. Current policies on battery disposal apply only to businesses (such as UW-Green Bay). Homeowners are encouraged to bring their waste batteries to Brown County Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 2561 S. Broadway, Green Bay (492-4950) for proper disposal.

The following is a battery disposal guide for batteries generated by campus operations:
  1. Alkaline Batteries
    • Alkaline batteries include AAA, AA, A, C, D and 9 volt.
    • Disposal: Normal Trash
  2. Lead Acid Batteries
    • Lead acid batteries are found in autos, trucks, etc.
    • Disposal: Do not place in normal trash. Exchange old battery for new one at dealer or contact Jill Fermanich, ext. 2273, for recycling.
  3. Button Batteries
    • Button batteries are found in watches, calculators, cameras and other small equipment. They can contain silver oxide, mercury, lithium or cadmium. These materials are considered hazardous waste. Contents can be determined by reading original battery packaging.
    • Disposal: Do not place in normal trash. Either return to dealer, who sold the battery, for recycling (prior arrangement required) or contact Jill Fermanich, ext. 2273, for hazardous waste disposal. Button batteries can only be recycled if they are segregated on the basis of metal content. To facilitate this, try to get into the habit of keeping the original packaging to refer to once the battery is spent.
  4. Lithium Batteries
    • Lithium batteries are found in some electronic equipment. See original packaging for content information.
    • Disposal: Do not place in normal trash. Either return to dealer, who sold the battery, for recycling (prior arrangement required) or contact Jill Fermanich, ext. 2273 for hazardous waste disposal. Keep lithium batteries separate from other batteries when collecting.
  5. Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) Batteries
    • NiCad batteries are found in items including medical equipment, pagers, and cellular telephones. Check original packaging for content information.
    • Disposal: Do not place in normal trash. Either return to dealer, who sold the battery, for recycling (prior arrangement required) or contact Jill Fermanich, ext. 2273 for hazardous waste disposal. Keep NiCad batteries separate from other batteries when collecting.

Fluorescent Lamps

Fluorescent lamps contain small quantities of mercury and other metals that are harmful to the environment and to human health. If these lamps are burned or thrown into landfills, the mercury and lead in them can be released into the environment, where contamination problems may occur. UW-Green Bay sends the following lamps off campus for recycling:

  • fluorescent lamps
  • sodium-vapor lamps
  • high- and low-pressure mercury vapor lamps
  • high intensity discharge (HID) lamps

Collection of used fluorescent lamps is handled by Operations since they are responsible for bulb replacement. If your department generates any of the above lamps which should be sent out for recycling please contact Operations or Jill Fermanich. Avoid breakage of lamps. Similar to battery disposal policies, fluorescent lamp disposal requirements apply to businesses. Homeowners are encouraged to bring their spent fluorescent lamps to the Brown County Household Hazardous Waste Facility, 2561 S. Broadway, Green Bay (492-4950) for recycling.

Infectious Waste

Infectious waste is regulated under the recently enacted Chapter NR 526, Medical Waste Management. A waste is considered to be an infectious waste if it falls in one of the following categories:

  1. Sharps, as follows:
    1. Contaminated sharps which are both infectious and may easily cause punctures or cuts in the skin, including but not limited to: hypodermic needles, syringes with needles attached, scalpel blades, lancets, broken glass vials, broken rigid plastic vials and laboratory slides. Contaminated means they have come in contact with blood or other potentially infectious material.
    2. Unused or disinfected sharps which are being discarded, including hypodermic needles, scalpel blades, lancets and syringes with needles attached. Note: Only "contaminated" broken glass, plastic vials, laboratory slides, etc. are considered infectious waste. However, all discarded sharps (contaminated or not) such as hypodermic needles, scalpel blades, lancets and syringes with needles attached are considered infectious was
  2. Bulk blood and body fluids from humans. "Bulk blood and body fluids" means drippable or pourable quantities or items saturated with blood or other potentially infectious materials. In making this determination ask yourself whether blood or other potentially infectious material is drippable, squeezable, pourable or flakeable.
  3. Human Tissue
  4. Microbiological laboratory waste
    Note: Microbiological waste means cultures derived from clinical specimens or laboratory equipment which has come in contact with these cultures.
  5. Tissue, bulk blood or body fluids from an animal which is carrying a zoonotic infectious agent.
 

Items which generally are not considered infectious waste include the following:

  1. Items soiled but not saturate with blood of body fluids from humans (application of the drippable, squeezable, pourable, flakeable rule).
  2. Tissue, blood, body fluids or cultures from an animal which is not known to be carrying or experimentally infected with a zoonotic infectious agent.
  3. Animal manure and bedding.
 
Treatment Options

More than one treatment option is available for infectious waste. Sharps are collected and sent off campus for incineration to comply with Chapter NR 526. The remaining infectious waste is autoclaved (steam sterilization) and then disposed of as normal trash.

Collection and Handling
  1. Infectious waste should be segregated and contained in an enclosed area until it is treated.
  2. Sharps should be placed in a puncture-proof and leak-proof container with a sealable lid. The outside container must be labeled with a visible biohazard emblem (fluorescent orange background with contrasting color - typically black - biohazard symbol). Red sharps containers are commercially available.
  3. Other infectious waste should be placed in an infectious waste bag (leak proof) with a biohazard label.
  4. Contact either Mark Damie, Biology Lab Technician, or Health Services to arrange for disposal.
 

Photographic Waste

The campus reclaims silver from photographic waste. Although the Metropolitan Sewerage District currently does not limit silver discharge, the campus does silver reclamation to prevent possible contamination of our natural resources. If your department generates photographic waste which contains silver, please contact Jill Fermanich, ext. 2273, to arrange for reclamation. There is no charge to departments for this service. Generally all other photographic waste can be disposed via the sanitary sewer. 

Radioactive Waste

Radioactive waste cannot be disposed of via typical hazardous waste disposal options such as incineration. Very few sites will accept radioactive waste for disposal. As a result, disposing of radioactive waste is expensive. Before generating any radioactive waste, please contact Jill Fermanich to discuss disposal options and costs. In addition to potential waste disposal requirements, work with radioactive isotopes requires compliance with our NRC license and prior approval from the Campus Radiation Safety Committee.