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Agriculture has evolved from a production-centered industry into a competitive field which demands a blend of scientific, technological and business skills. As agricultural and trade industries evolve to meet changing policies, regulations and work force supply and demand, it is increasingly important to train students to keep pace with recent developments.
A typical agricultural education program covers a variety of subjects including biological sciences (animal, plant, horticultural, etc.), mechanics, business management, and technology, among others. Development of critical thinking skills and hands-on experience are enhanced in a laboratory setting. From mechanics to plant growth, many of these teaching areas have the potential to produce hazardous and harmful wastes. Common wastes produced are listed in the following table:
Potentially Hazardous Materials by Laboratory Area
Adapted from: Guide to Pollution Prevention: Research and Educational Institutions, EPA,1990
Though high school teaching labs typically produce small quantities, a wide variety of wastes may be produced. Small quantities and large variety make waste tracking increasingly difficult thus requiring additional expertise. This hub provides an overview of waste-generating processes and operations in teaching labs. This hub also presents options for minimizing waste through source reduction and recycling. Reduction of waste before its creation and then recycling those wastes on- or off-site will benefit educational institutions by reducing disposal costs and increasing safety.
Hub Last Updated: 08/08/2003