Proper electrical light ballast disposal will safeguard the health and safety of workers and building occupants, minimize potential negative impacts to the environment, and ensure adherence to the various regulatory issues concerning disposal.
The purpose of this procedure is to provide guidance for the disposal of electrical light ballasts that are removed from service during routine maintenance at various North and South campus locations. This policy applies to both non-PCB and PCB type ballasts. On the North campus, encountering PCB type ballasts will be rare as their use was discontinued prior to most of the building construction. The South campus has gone though various relamping projects over the years and most of the PCB ballasts have been removed. However, since it is an older campus, they still may be encountered.
This procedure applies to all university facilities staff including electricians, laborers or any other individual that may remove an electrical ballast from service. It also applies to all outside electrical contractors performing work in any University at Buffalo building or on University at Buffalo property.
The primary responsibility for following this procedure falls with the person removing ballasts from electrical equipment. However, the individual supervising the electricians removing the ballasts from service must also be aware of this policy. Outside contractors are also obligated to follow this policy.
An electrical light ballast is a device intended to limit the amount of current in an electrical circuit. These are commonly used to light fluorescent bulbs. Light ballasts present at UB will fall into one of two categories, Non PCB or PCB type.
PCBs are a class of organic compounds that were used as dielectric fluids in electrical components such as transformers, capacitors and ballasts. Production of PCBs was halted in 1979.
Ballasts of this type can be identified by referring to the label on the ballast. If the label reads “contains no PCBs” or “no PCBs” it is a non PCB ballast. If that phrase is not located on the label, you must assume the ballast to be the PCB type. Contact the UB EHS Hazardous Waste Manager if assistance is required to properly identify a type of ballast.
Certain older ballasts (pre 1979) contain PCBs internally and must be collected separate from the non PCB type. Some PCB type ballasts are still in service on the South Campus. They are unlikely to be encountered on the North Campus.
Area set aside within a building for the temporary storage of small amounts hazardous waste. Storage is limited to less than 55 gallons at any one time. PCB ballasts are considered hazardous waste in New York State and must be stored according to regulations pertaining to SAAs outlined by the USEPA and NYSDEC.
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