Berkeley Lab


General – For Cleanup Organizers

How do I get started? What resources are available to help me?

The Division Cleanup Planning Guide is a good place to start. You may also contact your EHS Division Liaison and the Facilities Work Request Center, x6274, for assistance in planning your division’s cleanup.

How far in advance should I plan?

Planning lead time depends on the cleanup scope.  For instance, divisions can organize an office cleanup day in much less time than a lab cleanup day. Refer to the The Division Cleanup Planning Guide for example planning steps and timeline.

Who pays for cleanup activities?

In general, keeping your space clean and safe is an important part of being a responsible steward of the Laboratory.  If you have questions about which accounts are appropriate for you to charge your time and other clean up costs to, contact your Division Business Office.

Do I need additional containers (trash, recycling, metal hoppers) and how do I get them?

Large office and lab cleanups typically require extra recycling and waste containers. Your Generator Assistant will arrange for hazardous, radioactive and medical waste containers. The Facilities Work Request Center (x6274) will arrange for extra trash and recycling containers. Property will coordinate salvage hopper delivery and removal.

General – For Workers

When is the cleanup day and time? Am I required to participate?

Your division cleanup point of contact will schedule the cleanup day and time. Your division management will determine which groups participate.

What if I have an important project, conference, or meeting occurring on the cleanup day? Can I cleanup at another time?

Consult with your division management and division cleanup point of contact to make alternate arrangements.

Why do I have to take a day off from research to clean?

It is incumbent upon all Berkeley Lab employees to be good stewards of the public trust.  LBNL is a publicly funded institution, and keeping the spaces you use and occupy clean and safe is part of being a responsible steward.  Additionally, participating in a clean up helps our community and will ultimately enable you to better carry out your job responsibilities.

Who will be my point of contact for cleanup day?

Your division will designate a division cleanup point of contact. Operations will also provide cleanup day coordination support.

Who will be doing the cleanup work?

Division personnel are responsible for cleaning their spaces.

Who pays for cleanup activities?

In general, keeping your space clean and safe is an important part of being a responsible steward of the Laboratory. If you have questions about which accounts are appropriate for you to charge your time and other clean up costs to, contact your supervisor.

How can I reduce my lab cleanup burden?

You can reduce your lab cleanup burden by periodically excessing equipment you no longer need. See the Courtesy Salvage Pickup Factsheet

How do I know what can be recycle or reuse?

Your division cleanup point of contact and the Operations team will assist you in determining which items can be recycled or reused. The Waste Diversion Guide for Laboratory Waste at LBNL provides comprehensive waste diversion information.

Who will arrange for items to be removed?

Your division cleanup point of contact and the Operations team will arrange for items to be removed.

Will there be someone there to answer my questions about chemical safety, property management, other?

Yes.  Operations provides onsite support during your division’s cleanup day.

What is e-waste and how do I dispose of it?

E-waste is a popular, informal name for electronic products nearing the end of their “useful life.” Computers, televisions, cell phones, stereos, printers and copiers are common electronic products. Many of these products can be reused, refurbished, or recycled.

All electronic products should be placed on a pallet and kept in a covered area. Electronic products should not be placed in the scrap metal hoppers.

Property, Salvage and Scrap Metal

How do I order metal scrap hoppers?  What can go in a metal scrap hopper?

Metal scrap hoppers should be scheduled through Facilities Work Request Center (x6274) several days prior to the cleanup day.

Only scrap metal can go into metal scrap hoppers; no electronic equipment, equipment with DOE tags, chemicals, waste or garbage

What items require EHS attention prior to sending them to Salvage?

Refer to the Excess Property for Salvage fact sheet.

Hazardous Materials and Waste

Who is responsible for discarded hazardous materials?

Work activity owners or division operations personnel are responsible for identifying and characterizing hazardous materials.

Why do I need to dispose of discarded hazardous materials?

To ensure compliance with applicable regulations, DOE orders, and LBNL policies, personnel must follow waste management requirements to identify, characterize, store, treat, and dispose of waste.

Who is responsible for characterizing and paying for analysis of unknown hazardous materials?

If you find a container of unknown material you suspect is hazardous, contact your division safety representative if the container cannot be safely handled. If it is safe to do so, mark the container with the date of discovery and the words “Unknown Waste – pending characterization.” The Generator Assistant will initiate any required sampling and analysis of the waste and ensure proper management of the waste upon completion of the waste characterization and hazardous waste determination. Generators and/or responsible divisions are accountable for characterizing and paying for analysis of “unknowns.”

Who is responsible for developing inventories of hazardous products for disposal and updating the Chemical Management System?

The chemical owner is responsible for identifying surplus hazardous materials, inventorying items for disposal, and updating the Chemical Management System.

Who are the Operations contacts to help me with regulated and unregulated waste removal?

Contact your division’s Generator Assistant for assistance with waste characterization, segregation, packaging, and removal.

How do I know if my waste is hazardous?

A waste is a by-product of your work or research that has no further use. If you work with chemicals, you are probably a hazardous-waste generator. A hazardous waste is any waste regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the state of California. Some examples of hazardous waste are flammable liquids, corrosive liquids, such as strong acids and bases, solid oxidizers, wastes that contain heavy metals and halogenated organics, greases and oils)

How do I dispose of hazardous waste?

Hazardous-waste regulations dictate that you, as the generator, are responsible for the complete and accurate characterization of your waste. You should request a pickup of your hazardous waste when: your container is full; the age of the container is approaching 275 days (nine months); or you no longer need the container to accumulate waste. Submit hazardous waste pickup requests via the Electronic Hazardous Waste Requisition System .

How do I set up a Satellite Accumulation Area (SAA?) or Waste Accumulation Area (WAA)?

The Waste Management Group provides guidelines and assistance in setting up SAAs (section 1.3.1) and WAAs for the temporary staging of hazardous waste. Contact your Generator Assistant for support in setting up and maintaining a SAA or WAA.

What do I do with empty bottles that previously contained hazardous materials?

Certain empty containers that previously held hazardous materials are exempt from hazardous-waste regulations and can be discarded as solid sanitary waste (trash) under the following conditions:

  • The container must be less than 5-gallons in size.
  • The container did not contain an extremely or acutely hazardous material.
  • Without rinsing, the container contains no drainable or pourable liquid when held in any orientation.
  • Without rinsing, the container contains no removable solids other than a thin, uniform layer of dried material or powder.

If your container meets the criteria listed above, the container may be thrown in the trash, and the following steps must be completed:

  1. The container must be deleted from the Chemical Management System, and the bar code must be removed from the container.
  2. The original label must be crossed out or marked with the word “EMPTY” to notify custodial staff, recyclers, or sanitary-waste engineers that it no longer contains hazardous materials, and can be discarded as solid sanitary waste.

What hazardous waste containers will I need and how do I obtain them?

LBNL’s Waste Management assists in providing an assortment of regulatory compliant containers for collecting waste. Information on containers is included on this list. For inquiry on ordering containers and disposing of the waste, contact your Generator Assistant. Information on obtaining medical/biowaste containers can also be provided by your Generator Assistant. Secondary containment and labels are also essential in collecting waste in containers. Your Generator Assistant can also help with providing these appropriate items, assist you with delivery times, and ensure you have compliant storage conditions.

How do I handle spills or leaks?

In the event of a chemical spill, follow the S.W.I.M.S. procedure:

STOP and think: Stop working, Stop the spill, Assess the situation.

WARN others.

ISOLATE the area.

MONITOR yourself carefully and completely.

STAY in the area until help arrives.

Refer to the Chemical Hygiene and Safety Plan for more detailed emergency procedures.

Who do I call for removal of compressed gas cylinders?

Contact routine compressed gas suppliers (Praxair/Alliance or Progressive/Airgas) for removal of their cylinders.  For non-routine compressed gas cylinder removal, contact your Division Safety Coordinator or complete the Non-routine Cylinder Return Request form.