Waste Storage & Handling

If you are generating wastes, you must keep each waste chemical separated as much as possible, and do not mix different compounds into one container. The company we use to ship our wastes has different destinations for some of these wastes and it is better to keep them separated now and let the disposal company mix compatible wastes with the same disposal destination.

Also, you must designate a specific area of your lab for storing your wastes which is confined (secondary confinement) from getting into the sewer system.

Storing your wastes

  1. Designate an Area (of compatible wastes)
    Your hazardous chemical wastes must be stored in an area you designate as the waste storage area. This can be an area on the bench top, an area of a hood, or even in a flammable materials cabinet. The main objectives are to keep the waste separated from other chemicals, to store compatible wastes together, and to keep them isolated from the sewer system.

  2. Secondary Confinement
    You must also determine how to contain your Hazardous Wastes if a spill in the designated area happens so that it will not discharge into the sewer system. This means you will be isolating your hazardous wastes by use of what's called "secondary confinement". A common method is to use a polyethylene tub or tray with a flat bottom. Additionally, this method helps to define your designated waste area.

Handling your wastes

  1. For solid organics or inorganic salts waste
    To collect waste solid organic or inorganic salts, use the smallest wide mouth bottle you can for the amount you will be generating.

    If the waste is the same composition generated repeatedly, label the container as instructed under the Waste Labeling section.

    If you will generate small amounts of dissimilar, but compatible wastes, keep a waste log sheet that you will attach to the container as instructed under the Waste Labeling section.

  2. For Waste Organic Solvents (i.e. from HPLC, purifying, washings, etc.)
    To collect waste solvents use 4 liter bottles or smaller. And, please do not fill the bottles too full — leave about a 4" empty space at the top (that is approximately where the sides of the bottle begins to curve below the threaded bottle cap grooves.) If you do not, and pressure builds up in too small of a space, either the glass will give or the cap will blow off, but, in some fashion, the bottle will explode! Label the container as instructed under the Waste Labeling section.

Example A: Small amounts of dissimilar, but compatible wastes.
You are about to produce some waste dichloromethane in a synthesis and you calculate generating a small amount. Before starting the synthesis:

  • a) You calculate the composition to be 90% dichloromethane and 10% hexane.
  • b) You check the regulated chemical lists (the P-list and D-list) and find they are not regulated.
  • c) You check the waste segregation list and determine it can go into a halogenated waste bottle.

After completing the synthesis, you empty the waste dichloromethane mixture into a halogenated waste bottle and record the amount and composition onto the "bottle log sheet." If the bottle is full, you log the bottle into the "room waste log" and store it in a plastic tray in the designated waste area.

 

Example B: The same waste generated repeatedly.
You are about to produce some waste acetone in a synthesis for the next couple of months. Before starting the synthesis:

  • a) You calculate the composition to be 90% acetone, 3% ethanol, and 7% hexane.
  • b) You check the regulated chemical lists (the P-list and D-list) and find they are not regulated.
  • c) You check the waste segregation list and determine it can go into an aliphatic waste bottle.

After each step of the synthesis, you empty the waste acetone mixture into an aliphatic waste bottle and record the amount and composition onto the "bottle log sheet." If the bottle is full, you log the bottle into the "room waste log" and store it in a plastic tray in the designated waste area.