|Hazardous Waste Management|
Hazardous Waste in Windows Media
USPSNL is considered a small quantity generator of hazardous waste, which means less than 100 kg or 22 pounds of hazardous waste is produced per month. Lets keep it that way.
Disposal of certain non-hazardous chemical wastes is permitted according to the guidelines set forth by the Cornell University Guide for Drain Disposal of Laboratory Chemicals. These disposal policies are available electronically at http://www.ehs.cornell.edu/LRS/Waste_disposal.html#DISPOSAL OF LABORATORY WASTES
New York State defines Regulated Medical Waste as a waste that is capable of transmitting disease to humans. This waste is generated in the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals, in research pertaining thereto, or in production and testing of biologicals. Additionally, regulated medical waste cannot contain any hazardous chemical or radioactive waste components. The biological component must first be decontaminated and then treated as chemical or radioactive waste.
Categories of regulated medical waste include:
Cultures and Stocks
Segregation and Packaging
Contact Cornell University's Environmental Health & Safety for pickup.
The term "sharp" is often used as a catch all expression for any and all sharp or pointed items such as broken glassware, scalpel, and razor blades, hypodermic syringes with needles, etc., which can cause cuts or puncture injuries. Sharp waste is subdivided into two categories
Needle and razor blade wastecontaminated with or containing viable biological agents and trace amounts of hazardous chemical must be disposed in the proper containment box, preferablly like the picture shown on the right:
Biological contaminated sharp waste will be labeled as biohazardous waste and disposed of through the University.
Hazardous chemical contaimination will be treated like hazardous waste and disposed of through our contractor, Clean Harbors.
The waste must not be placed into regular office garbage containers or plastic bags of solid waste. Do not put laboratory glassware into the general recycling bins, its composition may differ from that of recyclable glass containers.
Corrosive Waste is an aqueous solution with pH less/equal to 2.0 or greater/equal to 12.5, or is a liquid and corrodes steel at a rate greater than 6.35 mm per year at at test temperature of 55 degree Celcius. While "acid" is low pH and "base" is high pH, not all corrosives are acids or bases.
Corrosive are found across a wide variety of chemical families:
In case of spills....
For both acids and bases, use sodium bicarbonate i.e. baking soda
For Hydrofluoric acid, use calcium compond
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Examples: Oil-based paints, degerasers, and HPLC solvents
A reactive waste is a material that is normally unstable and undergoes violent chemical change without detonating, can react violently with water to form potentially explosive mixtures or can generate dangerous or possibly lethal gases. A material that is capable of detonation or explosive reaction is a reactive waste.
Picric acid (2,4,6, trinitrophenol), a potentially explosive compound. It is usually purchased containing 10-15 percent water, in which state it is relatively safe. However, if allowed to dry, it should be treated as a dangerous explosive and Environmental Health and Safety should be notified. List of shock-sensitive compounds includes, among others:
Many common laboratory chemicals can form explosive peroxides on exposure to air over time. The compounds on this list should be dated when opened and disposed of in specified periods of time. For example, diisopropyl ether is particularly susceptible to peroxide formation and, if its use is required, it should be completely used or disposed of within three months of opening. If older stocks of isopropyl ether are discovered, Environmental Health and Safety should be notified before handling.Chemicals that form explosive levels of peroxides on concentration
Chemicals that may autopolymerize as a result of peroxide accumulation
Chemicals that may form peroxides but cannot clearly be placed in the above tables
Perchloric acid is a very strong oxidizing agent, often used for the hot digestion of a variety of materials. Perchloric acid as used in the cold, dilute form in certain biochemical protocols is relatively safe. It can cause violent explosions if misused or when concentrated above the normal commercial strength of 72%. Anhydrous perchloric acid should never be prepared as it is unstable at room temperature and will decompose with a violent explosion. The following rules for the hot use of perchloric acid must be followed at all times:
Ether, dioxane and tetrahydrofuran are susceptible to peroxide formation. Once opened, stocks of these chemicals should be used up within six months. After six months they must be tested for peroxide formation. Test strips for determining the amount of peroxides in solvents are available from the Chemistry Department stockroom. If the amount of peroxide is over 80 parts per million, the material should be discarded. If a peroxide bearing solvent is not discarded after six months the peroxide must be destroyed using the appropriate procedures. For assistance call Environmental Health and Safety at 255-8200.
A waste which, when using the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure, leaches any number of metallic, organic, or pesticide constituents in concentrations greater than specified in the regulation. Examples for these constituents include arsenic, barium, cadmium, chloroform, chromium, m-cresol, mercury, selenium and silver.
A solid waste that exhibits the characteristic of toxicity has the EPA Hazardous Waste Number specified in Table I which corresponds to the toxic contaminant causing it to be hazardous.
Hazardous waste can never be poured down the drain or placed in regular trash, unless specified by your supervisor or the safety officer. And remember that "the solution to pollution is NOT dilution". If you are not sure of how to dispose of a chemical, ask your supervisor.Satellite Accumulation Areas
These are areas where hazardous wastes that are generated as part of the laboratory activity are collected and properly stored until they are transferred to the main accumulation area.
Each faculty member assigned a laboratory is responsible for the management of the designated Satellite Accumulation Areas for the collection of hazardous wastes generated in his/her laboratory. The following requirements apply to the operation and management of a Satellite Accumulation Area:
Each container must be labeled with the words "Hazardous Waste"
Use the EH&S label pictured to the left on every bottle designated for hazardous waste storage.
Paste the bottem part of the label onto the bottle as it is being filled. Once full, paste the rest of the label on the bottle.
Containers in Satellite Accumulation Areas shall not be dated until they are full.
Example of properly completed label
Example of properly completed label
Full names of the chemical components are listed
Relative amounts are listed
Correct chemical type is checked
All the contact information is complete
Date field to be completed when it is ready to be moved out of the Satellite Accumulation Area and into the storage cabinet in the shipping/receiving room Full Container of hazardous waste are taken from laboratories to the hazardous waste storage cabinet in room G-26
Full Container of hazardous waste are taken from laboratories to the hazardous waste storage cabinet in room G-26
The following chart is provided as a guide to segregating hazardous waste containers, it is not to be used for mixing chemicals. Containers of incompatible wastes must be stored in separate containment areas.
Many hazardous wastes, when mixed with other waste or material, can produce effects which are harmful to human health and the environment, such as (1) heat or pressure, (2) fire or explosion, (3) violent reaction, (4) toxic dusts; mists, fumes, or gases, or (5) flammable fumes or gases.
Below are examples of potentially incompatible wastes, waste components, and materials, along with the harmful consequences which might result from mixing material in one group with material in another group. The list is intended only as a guide to indicate the need for special precautions when managing these potentially incompatible waste materials or components.
This list is not intended to be exhaustive. A laboratory director shall, as regulations require, adequately analyze his or her wastes so that he can prevent creating uncontrolled substances or reactions of the type listed below, whether they are listed below or not.
In the lists below, the mixing of a Group A material with a Group B material might have the potential consequences as noted.
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