Waste Disposal

Posted by Kahla Livelsberger in #YHSafetyTips, Oct 25, 2017

In the material handling industry, you must deal with disposing of waste properly. There are many rules and different ways to throw away everything depending on the type of waste. In this week’s safety post, we will be going over how to properly dispose of all waste.

Tips to dispose of waste properly:
-Store the waste near where it is generated
-Select an area that is under control of lab personnel
-Keep waste out of the way of any lab activities
-Label the area with “Danger, Hazardous Waste” signs
-Make sure the area is easily accessible to the waste technicians

5 ways to properly dispose of hazardous waste:
1. Burning the waste with a high temperature
2. Recycle
3. Find hazardous waste facilities in your area
4. Any medical waste should be carefully stored in a disposal box
5. Share waste with someone who needs it. For example: oil or fertilizer

Chemical Compatibility:
The container you store your chemicals in should not react together.
-Do not store acids or bases in metal containers
-Do not store Hydrofluoric acid in a glass containers
-Do not store Gasoline in lightweight polyethylene containers

Caps and closure:
-Use leak proof, screw on caps. DO NOT use corks, parafilm, and beakers
-Always keeping containers closed unless filling them
-Keep containers wiped down before collection date and keep labeled

Make sure to use containers based on the amount of waste you think you will have. It doesn’t make sense to pay for a huge container to be pick up if its only filled a quarter of the way.

-Always have containers labeled prior to use so other chemicals don’t go into the wrong container
-Never black out or take off old labels. Waste technicians need to know what was in the container before

Liquid Waste Requirements:
-Do not overfill containers
-Do not mix solids with liquid waste
-Double bag containers
-Must have mixtures with the same chemical constituents
-Seal the bags individually
-Tag everything
-Do NOT combine organic solvents with toxic metal waste

Solid/Dry Waste:
-Lab trash should be doubled bagged
-All bags should be sealed individually
-List the bags contents on the tag

Unknown Waste:
-Write unknown on the bag/container
-Label it "hazardous waste"
-Write any known information and where it was discovered
-Write the age of the waste if known

Storage Time:
-Waste must be collected within 90 days
-Up to 55 gallons of waste can be stored before it needs to be collected.

OSHA wants you to have a plan in order before storing your hazardous waste. All your employees should be knowledgeable on the subject and know how to handle and store all of the waste they will be working with. According to OSHA you must have the following decontamination plan:
-Determine the number and layout of decontamination stations.
-Determine the decontamination equipment needed.
-Determine appropriate decontamination methods.
-Establish procedures to prevent contamination of clean areas.
-Establish methods and procedures to minimize worker contact with contaminants during removal of personal protective clothing and equipment (PPE).
-Establish methods for disposing of clothing and equipment that are not completely decontaminated.

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