School Chemical Cleanout
The Nebraska School Chemical Clean-out Campaign (NESC3) began with a call from a school secretary curious about the disposal of old and hazardous material. Research revealed that almost nothing was known about the state of chemicals in the nation’s schools and led KNB to apply for and receive EPA’s first statewide grant for their removal. Given the risk potential, KNB put together a leadership team from 20 state agencies representing governmental, school, health, and safety concerns to shape procedures and goals. Workshops were held across the state, and a website was developed to help maintain proper chemical management. Schools conducted inventories, identified hazards, secured funding, and contracted hazardous waste haulers to remove unwanted chemicals. To date, 235 Nebraska schools had removed some 28,862 items including mercury, high hazard and potentially explosive or radioactive chemicals totaling more than 40,000 lbs!