containers can easily become plugged if there is sediment and may need to be cleaned occasionally. Do not store amines or corrosive materials in metal containers.
• Do not use galvanized steel safety cans for halogenated waste solvents because they tend to corrode and leak.
• As detailed below, clearly and securely label waste containers with their contents.
• Securely cap waste containers when not in immediate use. To minimize releases to the atmosphere, when a funnel is used either immediately reclose the container or use a capped waste funnel. Do not use the same funnel for containers containing incompatible waste types.
• Collect aqueous waste separately from organic solvent waste. Some laboratories may be served by a wastewater treatment facility that allows the disposal of aqueous waste to the sanitary sewer if it falls within a narrow range of acceptable waste types. Thus, solutions of nonhazardous salts or water-miscible organic materials may be acceptable in some localities. Solutions containing flammable or hazardous waste, even if water-miscible, are almost never allowed, and water-immiscible substances must never be put down the drain. Collect aqueous waste for nonsewer disposal in a container selected for resistance to corrosion. Do not use glass for aqueous waste if there is danger of freezing. Depending on the requirements of the disposal facility, adjustment of the pH of aqueous waste may be required. Such adjustment requires consideration of the possible consequences of the neutralization reaction that might take place: gas evolution, heat generation, or precipitation.
• Place solid chemical waste, such as reaction byproducts or contaminated filter or chromatography media, in an appropriately labeled container to await disposal or pickup. Segregate unwanted reagents for disposal in their original containers, if possible. If original containers are used, labels should be intact and fully legible. Make every effort to use, share, or recycle unwanted reagents rather than commit them to disposal. (See Chapter 5, sections 5.D and 5.E, for a discussion of labeling alternatives.)
• Consider how to dispose of nonhazardous solid waste in laboratory trash or segregate it for recycling. Check the laboratory chemical safety summary, material safety data sheet, or other appropriate reference to determine toxicity. Consult institutional policy on nonhazardous solid waste disposal.
Trained laboratory personnel, who are most familiar with the waste and its generation, need to be actively involved in waste identification and management decisions, so that the waste is managed safely and efficiently. Often the appropriate time to decide to recycle or reuse surplus materials is shortly after the waste is generated, rather than when they are sent for disposal. Once combined with other waste materials, recycling or reuse may be more difficult. Evaluate all the costs and benefits of either decision at this time.
Safety considerations must be of primary concern. Store waste in clearly labeled containers in a designated location that does not interfere with normal laboratory operations. Ventilated storage may be appropriate. Use secondary containment such as trays, for spills or leakage from the primary containers. Many states require the use of secondary containment for wastes in satellite accumulation areas.
Federal regulations allow the indefinite accumulation of up to 55 gal of hazardous waste or 1 qt of acutely hazardous waste at or near the point of generation. However, prudence dictates that the quantities accumulated are consistent with good safety practices. Furthermore, satellite accumulation time must be consistent with the stability of the material. The general recommendation is that waste not be held for more than 1 year; some states specifically set this limit for satellite accumulation time. Within 3 days of the time that the amount of waste exceeds the 55-gal (or 1-qt) limit, manage it under the storage and accumulation time limits required at a central accumulation area, as described below.
Packaging and labeling are key parts of this initial in-laboratory operation. Label every container of hazardous waste with the material’s identity and its hazard (e.g., flammable, corrosive) and the words “hazardous waste.” Although the identity need not be a complete listing of all chemical constituents, knowledgeable laboratory professionals or waste handlers should be able to evaluate the hazard. However, when compatible wastes are collected in a common container, keep a list of the components to aid in later disposal decisions. Labeling must be clear and permanent. Although federal regulations do not require posting the date when satellite accumulation begins, some states do require this. The institution may suggest that this information be recorded as part of its chemical management plan.
8.B.4.2 Accumulation of Waste in a Central Area
The central accumulation area is an important component in the organization’s chemical management plan. In addition to being the primary location where waste management occurs, it may also be the location where excess chemicals are held for possible redistribution. Along with the laboratory, the central accumula-