School Lab Chemical
Cleanout Campaign (SC3)
Sequestered in storage closets for years on end, old chemicals
sit on shelves, waiting for funds and resources to be allocated
for proper disposal. With school budgets being tighter than ever
in most counties, these chemicals are not always a priority and
continue to be ignored behind the closet doors. SC3 focuses on proper
disposal of outdated and unknown school lab chemicals from public
and private schools. The primary goals are to remove potentially
dangerous chemicals from schools, while educating teachers and students
about proper chemical management, lab safety, greener teaching options,
and chemical waste disposal.
The School Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3) is a two-year program,
funded largely by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Two TDEC programs, the Green Schools Program and the Household Hazardous
Waste Mobile Collection Service have collaborated to provide SC3
with a safe and financially feasible way of removing the school
chemical waste. The Department of Education has conducted Inquiry,
Standards and Safety: An Essential Partnership workshops for teachers
during the past three summers. Through this professional development,
participants further their understanding of using inquiry-based
instructional approaches to implement Tennessee's science curriculum
standards and in providing a safe learning environment for students.
The program continues to have successful results. The program has
removed approximately 30,000 pounds of hazardous lab chemicals,
including 602 pounds of mercury.
The program includes on-site chemical management assistance, chemical
segregation, and disposal cost on a sliding scale to the selected
schools based on their county economic index.
All interested schools are required to complete an application
found at the link below. In addition, the selected schools will
be required to:
-assign a primary contact person
-complete an inventory of all excess lab chemicals (we can assist,
-implement a chemical management plan, and
-agree to pay a portion of the cost (10-50%)
To get started, go to the SC3 Toolbox and follow the steps. For
more information, contact Ken
Nafe at (615) 253-5449 or Cynthia
Rohrbach at (931) 490-3929.
Special thanks to the many organizations that have
supported the SC3 Program:
Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Tennessee Organization
of School Superintendents, Tennessee Science Teachers Association,
Tennessee Academy of Science, Union University, Vanderbilt
University, The Academy of Certified Hazardous Materials Managers