Toxic Solvents and Hazardous Chemical Substances

Hazardous Chemical Substances (HCS) may be found in many work areas. Some of the substances that may be encountered in different workplaces include acetone (used in some paint thinners), butane, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, dieldrin, ether, fluorine (used in CFCs), mercury (found in fluorescent light bulbs), napthylene (in mothballs), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), silicon, trimethyl benzene or toluene (in paint thinners), turpentine, and obsolete pesticides.

For a comprehensive list, visit the OHS Act and enter "Hazardous Chemical Substances" in the search-box.

Toxic waste disposal is a costly exercise, and is even more so if the nature of the toxic waste is not made known. Rhodes University requires all staff and students to adhere to its socially and environmentally responsible toxic waste disposal practices:

  • Place toxic waste / solvents in 20 litre plastic drums;
  • Label the container clearly, including (i) nature of contents; (ii) contact details of person disposing of the waste;
  • Ensure that container is properly sealed and kept in a secure place;
  • When the container is full, send it to the Chemistry Department (Note: if they have insufficient space for storage, you may be required to store the toxic waste in your own building until the University's toxic waste removal company comes to collect a consignment).

Rhodes University contact for hazardous waste disposal: Mr Francis Chindeka, Chief Technical Officer, Chemistry Department, 046 603 8267 / f.chindeka(at)ru.ac.za

Off-campus facilities:

Ensure that the hazardous chemical are in properly sealed containers with their original labels attached to them. If containers are perished and/or leaking, place these into sturdy plastic drums, and seal the lids. Label all your containers with a RED cross and RED words "TOXIC GIFTIG". Keep out of reach of children and animals.

Options for disposing of hazardous chemical waste:

  • Makana : the Makana landfill site is NOT rated to take hazardous waste; the closest hazardous waste disposal facilities are in EL and PE. However, Makana is responsible for providing the facility to collect hazardous waste for safe disposal, so has indicated that members of the public may drop off at Makana's Dept of Environmental Health & Cleansing - Mr Johan Esterhuizen, Assistant Director (046 603 6141, 082 733 4040, JohanneEsterhuizen(at)makana.gov.za)

  • EnviroServ : 0800 147 112 - you will be sent a quotation, and will be required to pay for safe disposal. 

  • A-Thermal : 011 316 1800 - you will be sent a quotation, and will be required to pay for safe disposal.

  • Rapid Spill Response : 0861 113 467 - you will be sent a quotation, and will be required to pay for safe disposal.


Return to main Hazmat Waste Disposal page.

More Info

RU Safety, Health & Environmental Officer, 046 603 7205 or safety(at)ru.ac.za

Return to Rhodes University's Safety front page. Questions/Suggestions? Contact safety(at)ru.ac.za

Last Modified: Tue, 03 Apr 2018 17:33:08 SAST