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How to have unwanted chemicals and chemical waste removed

During the course of your annual chemical inventory take note of any chemicals that should be considered for removal. Any and all mercury and mercury containing devices should be included in removal as per the 2004 New York State law which prohibits the storage, use and purchase of mercury and mercury-containing devices in primary and secondary schools.

  • Read this DOE Mercury Fact Sheet for more information about mercury.
  • Inform your Assistant Principal of any chemicals that are old, in excess of what is needed, and/or have deteriorating containers.
  • Biological specimens that are not properly sealed and are off gassing should be included with other unwanted chemicals.
  • Confer with the Assistant Principal and grade leaders/teachers to ascertain which chemicals and specimens need to be removed and disposed of properly. Any and all mercury must be removed.
  • Use the Chemical Removal Form to complete the list. 
  • When completing the form be as specific as possible as to the number, and sizes of containers that are to be removed. Any unidentified chemicals should be included on the list as “ unknown” or waste.
  • Do not pack or move the chemicals or mercury containing devices yourself. Identify the container for removal with a mark or tag. Once tagged/marked the assistant principal and custodian should be shown where these items are located.
  • When the list is completed the Assistant Principal will ask the custodian to prepare a PO 18 request for chemical removal, attaching the prepared list(s) of chemicals.
  • PO 18 request should use Trade Code 75 Crew # IN27 Job type EB.
  • The custodian then contacts the DOE Deputy Director of Facilities (DDF) to prepare a work order for removal.
  • Keep a copy of the request and list(s) in your files.

In the event of a chemical release or spill (for example mercury) immediately call the UFT Health and Safety Department at 212-701-9407, the DOE Office of Occupational Safety and Health at 718-935-2319, and the DOE Division of School Facilities Environmental Safety and Health Department at 718-361-3808. Follow notification procedures for your school.