Revised on
01/08/19 10:58am
SafetyNet #

Why Didn't the Custodian Pick Up My Trash?

Contact information

A. Summary

Regular trash and other waste will not be picked up by Custodial Services if it contains hazardous materials or anything that looks like hazardous materials, or if it is not properly labeled and packaged. These restrictions serve to protect custodians and other waste handlers from exposure to hazardous materials, and to protect the interest of campus.

Waste handling procedures minimize the handling of trash and require that employees wear gloves and other personal protection; however, exposures may still occur if laboratory waste is not properly disposed of. Employees have received puncture wounds from sharp objects or broken glass protruding through the plastic trash bags. Unknown powders and liquids loose in the regular trash have spilled or splashed onto employees during trash collection. These can be dangerous and frightening accidents.

The Yolo County Environmental Health Department performs monthly landfill inspections and checks waste loads to keep hazardous materials out of the campus landfill. Inappropriate materials found in the landfill or collection vehicles may result in campus personnel retrieving the material from the load, and reporting the improper disposal to other regulatory agencies and/or the Yolo County District Attorney’s office.

The following lists are materials that custodians will not pick up, and that need to be properly disposed of.

B. Medical Waste and Biohazards

  • Red medical waste bags with medical/biohazardous waste that are not treated using a CDPH-approved method will not be accepted at the landfill.
  • Bloodstained items in regular trash must be properly bagged and sealed and treated as Medical waste.
  • Biological cultures must be properly autoclaved and bagged prior to disposal. Cultures of human pathogen are considered medical waste and must be properly handled and disposed of. See: Medical Waste Management Plan for more information.
  • Dead animals or animal parts must be bagged and placed in specific containers for off-campus disposal.
  • Animal bedding and/or fur in regular waste must be properly bagged and sealed.
  • Liquid medical/biohazardous wastes should be decontaminated and disposed of via the sanitary sewer. Non-medical/non-biohazardous liquids can be disposed of via sanitary sewer. Do not pour any liquids in the storm drain. See: Biological Waste for more information.

C. Chemicals

  • Chemical bottles or cans left for collection that are not completely empty, are still capped, or have labels that have not been defaced will not be collected. Glass and plastic containers should be recycled through the campus R-4 program if possible. Alternatively, empty glass and plastic containers may be disposed of in a sturdy, sealed, dry lab glass box. See: SafetyNet #124: Empty Container Management for more detailed information about the management of empty chemical containers.
  • Unknown powder in regular waste containers must be double-bagged and sealed.
  • Liquid remaining in containers and centrifuge vessels will not be collected.
  • Any containers with hazardous waste labels will not be collected. See: SafetyNet #8: Chemical Waste Disposal Guidelines for more information.

D. Laboratory Glassware

  • Lab glass in regular waste container will not be collected.
  • Lab glass box not sturdy, sealed, and dry (wet bottom) will not be collected.
  • Lab glass boxes that weigh more than 40 pounds will not be collected.
  • Lab glass boxes must be properly marked with “clean lab glass”. See: SafetyNet #3: Sharps Safety Guidelines for more information.

E. Radiation

  • The laboratory is responsible for ensuring that no radioactive material is improperly disposed of. Once the item has been surveyed and declared clean, all labels and markings must be defaced. See: SafetyNet #9: Radioactive Waste Disposal Guidelines for more information.

F. Sharps

  • Sharps such as needles, syringes, lancets, scalpels and razor blades in regular waste containers will not be collected.
  • Sharps containers must not be placed in regular waste receptacle. See: SafetyNet #3: Sharps Safety Guidelines for more information.