Chemical Waste Disposal

Inevitably both chemistry teaching and research labs will produce chemical waste.  It is the responsibility of the lab supervisor and lab personnel to understand the reactivity and subsequent classification of the compounds in their labs – ignorance of the reactivity of compounds can lead to serious accidents.

It is the responsibility of all lab personnel, including the lab supervisors to ensure that they are familiar with all of the chemicals in their labs.

RPR Environmental, will be working with Brock University in collecting chemical waste at individual lab locations every other Friday. A detailed schedule can be found at the Science Stores website.  It is recommended that all hazardous waste from labs be disposed of on a biweekly basis, regardless of volume/amount.

During the collection of the waste there must always be a Researcher or Technician/Contact Person available from the lab. This individual will have charge of the waste and be able to answer any questions if they arise.

Liquid and solid chemical waste should be segregated where possible as should any incompatible compounds. It is the responsibility of the lab personnel, including the lab supervisor, to ensure that incompatible chemicals are not combined in the waste containers. Acids and bases should not be stored in the same waste container, nor should they be stored with organic solvents. Organic solvents should also be segregated into halogenated and non-halogenated containers since these two classes of solvents require different disposal considerations by RPR Environmental. Containers of chemical waste should be stored in a vented solvent cabinet or in a fume hood.

Waste containers must be intact and suitable for holding the chemical with a tightly fitting lid to prevent leakage. Twenty liter pails must be sealed. Pour-spout containers must have an intact cap. These containers should be stored in an area with secondary containment in case of a leak or breach of the original container. No waste container should ever be filled beyond 80% of its capacity.

Label all waste containers with the yellow Chemical Waste Label available from Science Stores (MC E304).

List the content(s) of the container on the Chemical Waste Label and their approximate volumes (percentages) – do not use short forms or abbreviations – full chemical names are required. The remainder of information must be complete including classifying the waste as either acidic or basic (if applicable) and including the pH, the hazards associated with the waste, the name of the lab supervisor, building and room number, and date. It is the responsibility of the lab personnel, including the lab supervisor, to ensure that incompatible chemicals are not combined in the waste containers.

The Chemical Waste Removal Form is available from Science Stores(MC E304).  Every container containing hazardous waste for disposal must be listed on the Waste Removal Form and the item number from the Chemical Waste Label must appear the Waste Removal Form – RPR Environmental will not remove waste containers that are not listed on the Waste Removal Form.

The completed Chemical Waste Removal Form must be submitted to Science Stores (MC E304) in person, by e-mail , or by fax (905-984-4864) by the Wednesday prior to a scheduled waste removal day so that a pick up may be arranged. The Waste Removal Form may be amended after it has been submitted to Science Stores.

Safe storage of the chemicals waiting for pick up must be adhered to including secondary containment. Incompatible and highly reactive chemicals must always be stored separately to minimize fire and explosion hazards in the case of accidental breakage.

For example:

Inorganic salts which liberate poisonous gasses in contact with acids – e.g. Potassium Cyanide

Oxidizing agents – e.g. Potassium Permanganate

Pyrophoric chemicals – e.g. Phosphorus