Special Waste

Each of these special wastes must be stored and disposed of in accordance with the procedures described in this section.


Used kitchen grease is generated on a periodic basis by the food services vendors. Used kitchen grease that is generated each day is required to be stored in dedicated kitchen grease drums. These drums are located in areas adjacent to the food services kitchens. When full, these drums are emptied under contract by a local waste hauler.

To minimize the potential for spills and releases to the environment, these storage drums are to be kept closed, except when being filled or emptied. The exterior of each drum must be kept clean in order to minimize the attraction of rodents and other pests. Used kitchen grease that is spilled in the process of transferring it to a drum must be cleaned up immediately by the person responsible for the spill. Reports of all spills must be made to the Director, EH&S.

Ballasts from fluorescent lights may contain PCBs. PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are a group of environmentally toxic and persistent chemicals that were commonly used in electrical equipment. Light ballasts manufactured before 1978 or those, which are not stamped “No PCBs”, must be considered as containing PCBs, and must be handled according to strict USEPA procedures.

PCB ballasts must be packaged in a manner that prevents them from leaking. Ballasts should be placed in a lined, steel drum containing an absorbent material. If ballasts are leaking, extra precautions must be taken when handling and disposing of the ballasts. Individuals responsible for packaging leaking ballasts must wear protective gloves and clothing to prevent skin contact with the PCBs. Leaking ballasts should be double-bagged prior to placement in a drum. Protective clothing and gloves that come in contact with leaking oil from ballasts must be managed in same manner as the ballasts.

Once packaged, contact Facility Services for proper disposal as described below:

  • Queens Campus contact Facilities Services at (718) 990-6254
  • Manhattan Campus contact Facilities Services at (212) 815-9280
  • Staten island campus contact Facilities Services at (718) 390-4478
  • Oakdale Campus contact Facilities Services at (631) 872-0309

All containers used to store PCB Ballasts must be labeled with a USEPA required “PCB label” (PCB labels are available from University EH&S personnel). Containers may be stored for a maximum of thirty (30) days prior to disposal by an EH&S approved contractor. If the concentration of PCBs in the ballasts equals or exceeds 50 parts per million (ppm), off-campus shipment of the ballasts must be accompanied by a completed Hazardous Waste manifest. [Wastes containing 50 ppm or more of PCBs are regulated under USEPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Such wastes must be accompanied by a completed hazardous waste manifest during transportation.

Used oil is defined by the USEPA as crude or synthetic oil that has been used and is contaminated by physical or chemical impurities. USEPA regulations on the management of Used Oil are focused on recycling of the used oil rather than disposal.

Examples of Used Oil found at St. John’s University include:

  • Engine/Motor Oil
  • Metal Working Oils
  • Hydraulic Fluids

Used Oil must be collected in drums or containers that are clearly labeled with the words “Used Oil.” In order to ensure that used oil can be recycled, only oil that is not contaminated with other chemicals (such as solvents or antifreeze) is to be placed in designated Used Oil drums. It is imperative that no other chemicals are placed in used oil drums!

(For oil that HAS been contaminated with solvents, antifreeze of other materials, view these Storage/Disposal Requirements.)

Used oil filters must be punctured and drained for twenty-four (24) hours before disposal. The filters must begin the draining process while they are still hot. After draining, the filters may be disposed of in the regular trash. Oil accumulated from draining should be added to the Used Oil drum.

All containers of Used Oil must be kept closed unless oil is being added to the container. All Used Oil containers must be in good condition. Containers that are rusted, deteriorated or otherwise damaged are not to be used. When the container is full, contact the EH&S Department for proper transport and disposal.

Any deviation from this policy and associated procedures will result in additional analytical and disposal costs to the University.