The Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Center for Safe Schools and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education joined together to create this wonderful opportunity for schools to dispose of their unsafe chemicals throughout the state at very little cost.  This project will not only ensure a safe learning space for Missouri’s students, but also a safe environment.

Schools selected for project participation will be required to pay a $100 nonrefundable registration fee as a hazardous waste generator.  Depending on the amount of hazardous waste the school is disposing of, the school could also be required to pay the In-State Waste Fee.  The minimum In-State Waste Fee is $150.  However, if you have more than 30 tons of waste the rate is $5 per ton or portion of a ton.  The department will bill the school for this fee, if applicable.  This billing will be based on the reporting information that is required to submit after the waste is shipped from a school.

On two separate occasions the state of Tennessee was confronted with school lab explosions, and fortunately no one was injured in these events.  The resulting cleanups cost nearly $300,000.  Tennessee took the lead in addressing the issue.  Missouri is taking a proactive approach to clean out school labs before a similar incident occurs in Missouri.

This project will make great strides in reducing and eliminating potential environmental and safety risks and encourage the environmentally sound use of chemicals as teaching tools.  Through this project schools will also be given the chance to educate themselves on proper chemical management and safety procedures.

Purpose of the Project

A cooperative project has been created with the Center for Safe Schools to aid Missouri schools in school chemical cleanouts. The goal of this project is to remove outdated, dangerous and unstable laboratory chemicals from science and chemistry laboratories or stockrooms and other instructional use chemicals from our elementary, middle, vocational and/or high schools.  Some of these chemicals pose a significant public safety and health threat to Missouri's students and faculty.  Safe and proper disposal of these chemicals will also result in a much improved environment.

The project will be conducted in two phases.  The Center for Safe Schools will conduct the first phase with nearly 100 schools they have already been in contact with and begun chemical inventories.  The Department of Natural Resources will conduct the second phase of the project with an open application process, and hopes to assist in the cleanout of chemicals from another 200 schools. 

School Lab Clean Out Project Information

Picture of desk covered in chemicals.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources currently has a limited amount of one time funding available to use in assisting Missouri schools to properly dispose of outdated, dangerous and unstable laboratory chemicals from schools within the state.

The department intends to use the funding to pay 100 percent of the disposal cost of the chemicals for those schools that apply and are accepted in to the project. In order to participate in the project, the school willingly accepts responsibility to complete the Notification of Regulated Waste Activity Form (MO 780-1164 (01-08)); sign as the generator; and upon acceptance into the project, pay a non-refundable registration fee of $100 unless already registered as a hazardous waste generator. In addition, the school will be responsible for completion of the Generator's Hazardous Waste Summary Report, Part I and II, (Form MO780-1097 (11/07)) required reporting and payment of any applicable hazardous waste fees. Depending on the amount of hazardous waste the school is disposing of, the school could also be required to pay the In-State Waste Fee.  The minimum In-State Waste Fee is $150.  However, if you have more than 30 tons of waste the rate is $5 per ton or portion of a ton.  The department will bill the school for this fee, if applicable.  This billing will be based on the reporting information that is required to submit after the waste is shipped from a school.

Other instructional use chemicals may be located in art classrooms; auto, metal and wood shop classes; photography darkrooms; and printing rooms.  This project is not intended to remove and dispose of non-instructional use chemicals from schools.  These non-instructional use chemicals or hazardous materials include waste from the school's fleet, operations or maintenence sections, including but not limited to automotive shop waste fluids such as oil, antifreeze, waxes or polishes, brake or transmission fluid, diesel or gasoline fuel, industrial cleaners, floor waxes, paint/paint waste, thinners, solvents, road salt, pesticides or herbicides, batteries or compressed gas cylinders.  Further, the project is not intended to replace existing hazardous or other waste disposal services used by the school's automotive shop for disposal of automotive shop wastes or agricultural chemicals used by the school's agriculture program.

Project Goals

  • To remove outdated, dangerous and unstable laboratory chemicals from chemistry labs in elementary, middle and senior high schools.
  • To remove other instructional use chemicals located in art classrooms; auto, metal and wood shop classes; photography darkrooms; and printing rooms.
  • To help school officials recognize chemical hazards and take responsibility for creating or improving school chemical management practices.
  • To dramatically reduce the amount and hazard level of chemicals stored in schools to the minimum amount necessary for quality classroom instruction.
  • Reduce or eliminate potential environmental and safety risks.

Extremely Hazardous Chemicals

  • Ammonium Perchlorate.
  • Benzoyl Peroxide.
  • Butanol 2 (Butyl Alcohol).
  • Carbon Disulfide.
  • Collodion (Nitrocellulose).
  • Dinitrophenal, 2,4.
  • Ethyl Ether (diethyl ether or anhydrous ether).
  • Hydrogen Peroxide, >29 percent.
  • Nicotine.
  • Nitroglycerin.
  • Perchloric Acid.
  • Phosphorus, Yellow or White.
  • Picric Acid, Trinitrophenol.
  • Sodium Azide.

Recommendations for Safe School Chemical Laboratories

  • Labs should be kept locked.
  • Storage rooms should be vented with operable exhaust hoods vented to the outside, and rooms locked.
  • Chemicals should be stored by their chemical families.
  • Update the school's chemical inventory on a yearly basis.
  • Emergency showers and eye wash stations should be located within 50 ft and 25 ft, respectively, from the laboratory.
  • There should be no food or drinks allowed in laboratories.

(Recommendations courtesy of the Tennessee School Science Lab Waste Reduction and Disposal Project.)

Who Was Able to Apply for the School Lab Cleanout Project

Any Missouri public school district, public or private school at the elementary, middle school, vocational and/or high school level. 

Application Information

Attachments