Use of chemicals and hazardous materials in research at CU Boulder is overseen by the Hazardous Materials and Waste Management unit (Hazmat) and the Environmental Compliance (EC) and Industrial Hygiene (IH) units.

Often, the discoveries and accomplishments made at a prestigious research and teaching institution such as the University of Colorado Boulder require the use of materials that are hazardous to human health and the environment, and thus necessitate proper management, waste minimization, and eventual disposal.

The Hazardous Materials and Waste Management (Hazmat) unit serves the CU Boulder campus community through the education, minimization, and appropriate disposal of hazardous materials.  Our goal is to ensure that all hazardous materials used on campus are legally and responsibly managed and properly disposed. In addition, our objective is to minimize the generation of hazardous wastes where possible. With the continued support of the administration and the cooperative efforts of all the great faculty and staff on campus, we can ensure that when the use of hazardous materials is necessary, the university can reap the benefits while minimizing the risks.

The Hazmat unit also manages the disposal of certified non-biohazardous wastes; manages a campus battery recycling program; operates a chemical treatment facility; assists with an acetone recycling program and an ethanol reuse program; and responds to spills of hazardous materials. Other services we provide include guidance on equipment disposal/remediation and pollution prevention and spill prevention.

The disposal of hazardous waste is strictly governed by federal and state regulations. In order to properly manage hazardous wastes generated from all CU Boulder properties, the Hazmat unit maintains and operates a state permitted Treatment, Storage, and Disposal (TSD) Facility. The TSD facility allows the hazmat unit to handle the diverse waste streams generated from campus research operations and be as efficient as possible while doing this work. Additionally, we strive to be a leader in waste reduction among universities through the operation of the CU Boulder Chemical Waste Treatment Facility, resulting in reduced costs associated with disposal, reduced long-term liabilities, and, most importantly, a reduced impact on the environment.

We look forward to the future challenges posed by the constantly evolving regulations by which we are governed while at the same time getting the most cost effective, compliant disposal methods available to ensure the university’s continued commitment to the preservation of the environment for this generation and beyond.

Services provided by the Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Unit include:

  • Chemical waste management
  • Chemical treatment and waste minimization
  • Chemical emergency response
  • Pharmaceutical and controlled substance disposal
  • Battery collection and recycling
  • Equipment disposal/remediation assistance
  • Laboratory cleanout assistance
  • Non-biohazardous waste management
  • Pollution prevention and spill prevention