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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Our school department head did not budget for the costs associated with removal of a drum of solvents from our school industrial arts department. What are our options?
    All schools should budget for the safe removal of wastes from their schools. Each school department that purchases chemicals should include a line item for proper disposal costs.

    Regarding your current situation, there are two options for the safe removal of the drum from your school. Option one is to contact a hazardous waste disposal company to remove and properly dispose of the drum of solvents. Contact NHPPP at (603) 271-6460 or for the current contract.

    Option two is to receive permission from your town Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Coordinator to self-transport school wastes to the next HHW collection event for disposal. The NH Hazardous Waste Rules, Env-Wm 1003.10 School Wastes, states school wastes may be accepted at a household hazardous waste collection project provided the school has received prior permission from the sponsor of the collection project and NHDES. Permission shall be granted on the basis of available funding, the ability of the transporter to handle the waste, and the quantity of the waste to be disposed of. Schools should realize when using this option, they most likely would be required by the town to pay any associated disposal costs.

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  • Teachers have been complaining of headaches and odors, as there doesn’t seem be proper ventilation in the school. Who can help us address the poor indoor air quality in our school?
    School indoor air quality issues should be addressed the NH Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health (BEOH), 271-4664. The BEOH can answer your questions concerning poor air circulation, odors, or mold. The BEOH may decide to perform air sampling, and give suggestions to correct any potential problems.
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  • Our school science laboratory has mercury compounds (mercuric oxide, mercuric nitrate and mercurous nitrate) that have been used in chemistry experiments. I am familiar with the adverse environmental and health effects of mercury. Should we still be using these compounds in our school?
    Effective January 1, 2001 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol, no school in New Hampshire is allowed to use or purchase elemental mercury, mercury compounds, or mercury-added instructional equipment and materials in grades K-12, except measuring devices and thermometers for which no adequate substitutes exist. Unfortunately, Chapter 278, Laws of 2000, which specifies these requirements, does not fund the removal of mercury products from a school. Therefore, it is up to each individual school to pay for the costs associated with removing mercury compounds from their classrooms and laboratories.

NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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