Art Department


Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste will be specific to each studio area, but generally means materials used by artists that constitute potential health and environmental dangers. Things like solvent soaked rags covered in oil paint, dry pigments and glazes, flammables and chemicals must be disposed of with care.  Area faculty takes primary responsibility for overseeing each classroom and for giving proper instruction to students of what to do with such materials.  Use proper safety gear such as respirators and nitrile gloves when appropriate.

Self-Closing Red Cans must be used to contain materials (solids) that are flammable or emit dangerous fumes such as palette scrapings and oily, solvent soaked paint rags. Do not put trash, empty paint cans, boxes or solid objects in the red cans.

Painting and printmaking studios have red cans labeled either ‘IN USE’ or ‘STORAGE’.  Bags full of rag waste should be tied closed, labeled with a fluorescent hazardous waste tag and put into a storage can to await disposal by the Office of Safety.  Tags should contain the following information:  Contents, Department (“Art”), Generator (“Painting”, “Design”, and so on), and phone number (“4-5248”).  Do not fill out “accumulation start date”.

Bags of waste must absolutely stay inside the red cans and never piled in classrooms or hallways.   When storage cans are full, fill out the Chemical Waste Removal Form and fax it to the Office of Safety (x4-4206) to arrange pick-up.  Call the Building Manager (Christopher Thomas x4-5669) for hazardous waste tags, forms or assistance.

Solvent Washers in the Painting and Printmaking areas contain mineral spirits to clean oil-based inks and paints from tools, brushes, plates, etc.  Students may use solvent during work sessions, but must return dirty solvent to the washer when finished to maintain the proper level.  (The units circulate solvent letting solids settle so liquid can be reused.)

Lids should be kept closed and machines switched off when not in use to minimize fumes, especially during class sessions. There is an aqueous washer located in Room 134 for all water-based paint cleanup.

Plastic Carboys and blue barrels are for the disposal of all liquid waste from things like acrylics and inks as well as other liquid waste including spent oil painting mediums, varnishes, etc. as long as a hazards label is affixed declaring the contents. Always use a funnel to pour.  Any and all spills and drips on or around a barrel must be cleaned up immediately as it violates university policy and state law. Lids are to be tightly sealed after each use with the wrench provided.


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