Waste Management

The Environmental Unit operates the chemical, radioactive and universal waste (i.e. lamps and batteries) disposal program for Emory University, Emory College, Oxford College, Emory University Hospital and the Emory Clinic (Clifton campus). Regulated waste is routinely generated as a result of clinical, research, teaching and maintenance operations and is highly regulated by several government agencies.


New Waste Collection Request Platform

EHSO will transition its Waste Collection Request process to a new platform, EHS Assist (EHSA), on 08/01/23.

Please review the following training materials for the new process and contact us at chemwaste@emory.edu if you have any questions or need help.

Requesting Waste Collection in EHSA (PDF)

EHSA Profile Template Descriptions (PDF)

How to Create a Waste Profile in EHSA (Video)

How to Create and Request Pickup of EHSO Provided Waste Containers in EHSA (Video)

How to Request Pickup for Expired/Unwanted Chemicals, Batteries, Cylinders and Aerosols (Video)

Request Waste Collection

Print GHS Pictograms (DOC)

View EHS-201 Regulated Waste Guidelines (PDF)

The Regulated Waste Guidelines advise how to properly manage and dispose of the following waste materials and more.

Aerosol Cans are non-refillable containers that contain a product that is gas compressed. The sole purpose of aerosol cans is to expel a liquid, paste, or powder for its intended use. They are fitted with a self-closing release device allowing the contents to be ejected by the gas. These can be in a variety of types and sizes. Examples of Aerosol Cans include:

  • Paints: Spray Paint
  • Solvents: Adhesive Remover, Lubricant
  • Pesticides: Bug Repellent, Insect Control
  • Food Products: Cooking Spray, Whip Cream
  • Personal Care Products: Deodorant, Sunblock, Hair Spray

Used Aerosol Can(s) must be handled, labeled, and disposed of according to current federal, state, and local regulations. In order to maintain compliance to these rules, all Used Aerosol Can(s) must be disposed of at the nearest Hard-To-Recycle (HTR) station (Clifton Campus only), or through EHSO's Online Waste Request System for Clifton Campus and University locations. All other Healthcare locations should follow their site-specific procedures. For additional information on proper management and disposal of Used Aerosol Can(s) please see the documents below.


Ballasts can contain a variety of different hazardous components that requires them to be disposed of in a special way. 

View Ballast Recycling Poster (PDF)

Used batteries must be handled, labeled, and disposed of according to regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Batteries are considered hazardous because they contain various heavy metals that are harmful to the environment and toxic to humans. Examples of different types of batteries include: alkaline, carbon zinc, lithium, lithium-ion, mercury, silver oxide, zinc air, lead acid, nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, large flooded cell, nickel iron, wet nickel cadmium, steep case, un-interruptible power supply (UPS), hybrid automotive, VRLA, and more.

All used batteries at Emory are recycled, regardless of the type. For Campus Services, used batteries should be collected, stored and labeled appropriately, and collected by EHSO within 6 months. For others at the University, used batteries should be brought to the nearest Hard-to-Recycle (HTR) station (Excel File), or contact EHSO directly .

Battery Collection Pail Locations

  • 1599 Clifton – Mail Room – B160
  • 1762 Clifton – Lobby outside EHSO Suite 1200
  • Briarcliff Campus – Building A Lobby
  • Campus Services – Building B Break Room
  • Emory Clinics (A, B, & C) – Facilities Management Lobby
  • EPC – Left Entrance
  • N. Decatur Genetics Building – Second Floor Hallway
  • Oxford Campus – Student Center
  • Student Activity and Academic Center (SAAC) – Lobby
  • White Hall – 2nd floor Lobby
  • Whitehead Research Building – Lobby
  • Woodruff Library – Left entrance by the magazine stands
  • Woodruff Memorial Building – Lobby

View Emory's campus map to find locations.


Biohazardous waste is sometimes also referred to as infectious waste, biomedical waste, or biological waste and is regulated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Biohazardous waste may contain bodily fluids, which could potentially be infectious. Therefore, regulations are in place for proper management and disposal. All handlers of biomedical waste must complete Bloodborne Pathogens Training and practice Universal Precautions.

Departments must set up accounts with Emory-approved vendors for biohazardous waste. EHSO does not collect biohazardous waste for disposal. For more information on how to set up an account, visit EHSO's Contact Us page, and select the "Research Building Liaisons" panel. From there, contact the corresponding EHSO staff member to assist with your questions.


Waste or unwanted chemicals are regulated by the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA). The Environmental Compliance Program manages all regulated wastes at Emory. This includes waste or spent chemicals and unwanted or obsolete chemicals. No chemical, regulated or not, should enter any landfill or be poured down the drain. Consult EHSO's Regulated Waste Guidelines for instructions regarding all regulated wastes.


All Emory University owned electronic waste must be returned to Emory for proper handling and processing. Electronic waste may contain Emory proprietary or patient data, and may contain materials that are regulated under environmental, health and safety laws; and therefore, may not be disposed of outside of Emory’s process. In addition, Emory rigorously seeks to reuse or recycle all electronic waste.

What is Electronic Waste?

Electronic waste is defined by the EPA as “electrical and electronic equipment that is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to function (including all components, subassemblies, and consumables from the original equipment at the time of discarding).”

Emory distinguishes between two types of electronic waste:

  • IT-related electronic waste that contain data, such as PCs, laptops and peripherals.
  • Electronic waste that does not contain data, such as microwave ovens, refrigerators and lab/clinic equipment.

All Emory electronics must follow these protocols for disposal. For the full list of acceptable items and details on procedures for disposing of electronic waste, please visit OIT - Electronic Waste.

Electronic waste is subject to regulations because of heavy metals present in components such as circuit boards.

For more information read Emory’s policy and procedures for managing Electronic Waste.


Mercury can be toxic and is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Elemental mercury can be found in thermostats, thermometers, barometers, switches, and more.

Mercury-containing devices must be handled in a manner to prevent breakage or a release to the environment. For example, remove ampules over a containment tray to contain mercury in case of breakage. When dropped, mercury breaks apart into small droplets, making cleanup difficult. If elemental mercury is released, immediately call EHSO’s 24/7 Spill Response Team at 404-727-2888.

To correctly dispose of mercury-containing equipment, place the items in a sturdy, closeable container. Label the container "Used Mercury Containing Equipment" with the accumulation start date. If possible, place the container in a secondary container to prevent release if the container is damaged. Submit a waste collection request with EHSO within one year of the accumulation start date, or as soon as reasonable.


Pesticides are regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Expired or unwanted pesticides and empty containers that previously contained pesticides may not be disposed of in the regular trash or recycled. These must be collected by EHSO. Pesticides can be identified by having an EPA-registered identification number.


Used oil has specific disposal requirements. When used oil is generated, it must be placed in its own container and never mixed with other hazardous waste; otherwise, the entire contents will need to be managed as a hazardous waste which has stricter requirements. The container should be closed when not actively being filled, and the container must be labeled, "Used Oil." In addition, used oil must also be managed according to the SPCC Plan.


Lamps are the bulb or tube portion of an electric lighting device that is designed to produce radiant energy. These can be in a variety of types and sizes. Examples of lamps include:

  • Fluorescent: Lighting Fixtures
  • Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL): Lighting Fixtures
  • Incandescent: Lighting Fixtures, Photo sensors
  • Halogen: Light Emitting Diode (LED), High Intensity Discharge (HID)
  • Ultra Violet (UV): Backlight, Insect Traps, Sun Tanning
  • High-Intensity Discharge (HID): Mercury Halide, High-Pressure Sodium, Mercury Vapor
  • Metal Halide: Mercury-Vapor, Sodium Vapor

Used lamps must be handled, labeled, and disposed of according to regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Lamps are considered hazardous because of mercury content. For proper management and disposal of used lamps consult EHSO's Regulated Waste Guidelines.