State and federal regulations are in place to help us improve our handling of hazardous materials. Bard is responsible for waste materials after they leave our campus.

Some items are collected separately from our regular solid waste streams and have special handling rules. 

Call Emergency x 7777 in the event of a hazardous materials spill.

  • These policies may help encourage us to reduce our use of hazardous materials, and BOS will facilitate any "greening" programs brought forth by the Division of Sciences, Division of the Arts, or programs that may use hazardous materials.

  • All actively used chemicals must be kept in closed, clearly labeled containers when not in use. Expired chemicals must be taken to a hazardous waste area within prescribed time periods. See Guidelines and Policies (bottom right) for the empty container guidelines and other special handling rules.
  • As a general rule, no chemicals can be sent down the drain—please e-mail if you have any questions about how to dispose of an item.

How to Handle Hazmats

Broken Glass

    Non-contaminated broken glass is to be placed in a plastic bag within a cardboard box. The box will be picked up by Environmental Services if it is sealed and identified with a label, indicating: "Broken Glass." 



    Fluorescent light bulbs—such as the linear bulbs and compact fluorescent bulbs—contain small amounts of mercury, and should not be broken or discarded in the trash. Bard electricians will collect and dispose of light bulbs through our Universal Waste Management Plan (PDF). Old-fashioned "Thomas Edison"–style incandescent bulbs can be thrown out in a paper bag or other sealed container and disposed of as regular solid waste.

    Students: We have a CFL Exchange program where you can bring in a no longer functioning lightbulb from your dorm room to get a new free Compact Fluorescent bulb! Just swing by the office to grab it!

Cell Phones 

    Send your old cell phone to Laurie Husted/BOS via campus mail. BOS will donate them to a center. Every effort will be made to ensure that the phone is not sent overseas where it might be discarded improperly. We receive rebates for recycling phones, so you may recycle personal phones.


    Small "button" batteries, such as those used in camera and hearing aids, may contain mercury, silver, or lithium. Common flashlight batteries, which are usually carbon zinc or alkaline, may contain mercury if manufactured before 1992. Rechargeable batteries most often contain cadmium and nickel. Each of these metal components can pose health hazards. 

    Button batteries and rechargeable nickel cadmium batteries should be routed to the Recycle Yard for disposal as Universal Waste — please put tape over the ends before disposal so they are not a fire hazard.

    Alkaline batteries manufactured after 1992 no longer represent a significant disposal problem due to their reduced levels of mercury. Alkaline batteries generated on a small scale by campus employees can be disposed of as regular solid waste or can be routed to Universal Waste for special disposal - please tape over the ends before storing and bring to BoS periodically.

Computers and Electronics

    A cathode ray tube (CRT) is the main component in a television or computer monitor's display unit. CRTs may contain several pounds of lead, which is a toxic substance. Other metals are found in circuit boards, power supplies, etc. BOS collects computers and miscellaneous electronics and routes them for recycling through our Universal Waste program in a yearly collection.

    Faculty & Staff: Please check with Henderson for salvage options and then schedule a pickup of any Bard-owned obsolete computer or other heavy electronics by putting in a Service Request. If the material quantity is small (a single computer or laptop), please mark them "Universal Waste" and leave them by your recycling station. 

    Please do not bring off-campus electronics to Bard–you may recycle these at Best Buy for a small fee.

    For students: Mark your non-salvageable computers as "Universal Waste" and place them curbside when your residence hall's trash is put outside or place them by your recycling and reuse station.

Electronic Recycler's Pledge of True Stewardship

    Our electronics recycler ERSI has signed the Electronic Recycler's Pledge of True Stewardship in an effort to reduce its environmental impact from recycling operations.

Used Oil

    Used oil from Bard vehicles is collected for reuse through our garage.


    Most paints in use today are either latex or oil-based. Oil-based paints, including enamel, varnish, and lacquer, contain solvents that can damage groundwater supplies unless precautions are taken. These items are disposed of as hazardous waste at Bard, though oil-based paints are no longer purchased. Latex paints need to be dried out before disposal as regular solid waste, or emptied of contents and then recycled. 

Aerosol Cans

    Aerosol Can Policy | Many hazardous materials, such as spray paints or degreasers, may be packaged in aerosol containers. This type of packaging can be dangerous because aerosol containers may explode under heat or pressure, spreading the hazardous contents and metal throughout the area. Also, the tiny particle size makes hazardous components easier to inhale and therefore more destructive. Bard treats all aerosol cans that held hazardous contents as hazardous waste even if purportedly empty. Containers should be brought to PAC or Physical Plant, or a service request should be placed for special collection and transport to our hazardous waste shed.

Toner and Ink-Jet Cartridges

    We want your ink-jet and laser cartridges! All rebates go into the Bard Green Fund for use in campus greening efforts.

    Toner Collection Locations

    Campus Center: recycling station by the big, circular tables
    Ludlow: basement copy room
    Stevenson Gym: front entrance
    Woods Studio
    Fisher Center for the Performing Arts

    Or send your ink-jet cartridge to Laurie Husted via campus mail.

    Have a lot of toner cartridges?

    E-mail reduce@bard.edu to discuss whether you should have your own collection box.