Drain Disposal of Chemical Waste

The Environmental Health and Safety Office administers a Hazardous Waste Disposal contract that provides a safe and legal means for the proper disposal of chemical waste through EPA permitted waste disposal companies. This arrangement has been in effect for many years and the procedures in the various Science, Engineering,
and Facilities departments for getting your waste into this system are well established.

The University does not charge either the department or individual users for any of the costs of routine chemical waste disposal. The decision not to charge back these costs was made, in part, to avoid providing an incentive for improper disposal via laboratory hoods or the sanitary sewer.

The Stony Brook Regional Sewerage Authority (SBRSA) has stringent rules concerning drain disposal of:

  • "known toxic compounds"
  • commercial solvents
  • flammable liquids, solids, or gases
  • corrosives
  • metals
  • cyanides

These restrictions, in addition to New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination Rules, effectively preclude drain disposal of most wastes. There are a few wastes for which either drain disposal via the sanitary sewer or disposal via laboratory trash is safe and permissible. Check the list to determine which substances may be disposed of in this way. For any other wastes, do not dispose via the drain without express permission from EHS (609-258-5294) or Bob Ortego (609-258-1841), Environmental Compliance Manager.

NEVER dispose of chemical waste via a storm sewer.

The SBRSA has initiated a program of sampling sanitary sewer lines immediately downstream from its industrial and other large users (including Princeton University). The implications of any adverse findings from this program are obvious.

Please take a close look at the procedures for handling chemical wastes in your laboratory or work area and avail yourself of the existing chemical waste disposal system. Seek ways to minimize wastes as much as possible. If you have specific questions about waste disposal contact EHS at 609-258-5294.


Steve Elwood
Associate Director for Laboratory Safety

Bob Ortego
Environmental Compliance Officer
Facilities Operations