Lab Waste Disposal
March 11, 2024

Disposing of waste generated in laboratories is regulated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) through an act called RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery.) The EPA’s strategic plan is to protect human health and the environment through these laws. Failure to comply with these environmental requirements can result in criminal or civil enforcement. To ensure your facility is following proper procedures with laboratory waste disposal, talk to the experts at Environmental Marketing Service. 

These are some of the policies for common laboratory waste disposal to ensure safe and effective handling.  This information also describes some of the various methods for laboratory waste disposal along with other useful explanations.

Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Waste Treatment

Hazardous waste consists of materials that will threaten human health or the environment if not properly disposed of. The RCRA regulates the disposal of these materials. Check with the professionals at Environmental Marketing Service to learn which of your materials are on the list of hazardous or non-hazardous waste.

Non-hazardous waste does not pose a threat to the environment or human health but is still not allowed to be disposed of in a typical trash receptacle. To ensure the safe disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous materials, the EPA created regulations. Environmental Marketing Service will discuss these regulations and ensure your facility complies with all rules.

TSDFs (Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities), such as Environmental Marketing Service are the safest way to temporarily store, treat, and dispose of your facility’s waste materials. Environmental Marketing Service follows specific provisions governing hazardous waste management and takes every precaution to protect air, water, and soil resources.

RCRA Waste Compliance

RCRA waste compliance ensures your facility transports, treats, stores, and disposes of hazardous waste materials under the regulations set forth by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Waste Incineration

Waste incineration is a process used to burn hazardous and non-hazardous materials. Temperatures during incineration are set high enough to destroy contaminants. Hazardous and non-hazardous incineration is done using a special furnace designed with a combustion chamber which is set at extremely high temperatures for a specified time.

Fuel Blending

Fuel blending involves mixing hazardous waste with commercial fuel to reach specifications needed for incineration, an industrial furnace, or a cement kiln. This process is an approach to environmental sustainability through alternative fuel methods.

Deep Well Disposal

The process of deep well disposal involves safely storing and disposing of liquids deep underground. Drilling is done 1,500 to 3,000 feet down under multiple impermeable layers of rock and beneath drinking water aquifers. Not all areas have favorable geology for this type of disposal so it is only suitable for specific locations.

Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal

There are a number of ways to treat hazardous waste for disposal. These treatments include chemical, thermal, biological, and physical processes. Chemical, thermal, and biological treatments transform waste at a molecular level. Physical treatment results in solidification, concentration, or volume decrease.

Hazardous Waste Stabilization and Landfill

Stabilizing hazardous waste involves a chemical change of the hazardous components in the material. The change involves converting the components into a less toxic, mobile, or soluble form. This process would be necessary for certain hazardous waste materials before being disposed of in a landfill.

On-Site Waste Management and Recycling

The RCRA defines a ‘site’ as the land or water area where activity or a facility is physically conducting waste management. Non-hazardous and hazardous waste management is the process of ensuring the safe storage, treatment, and disposal of these materials.
During this management process, it can also be determined which materials are able to be considered for recycling.

Non-Hazardous Waste Landfill

A non-hazardous waste landfill is only allowed to accept waste considered non-hazardous such as MSW (Municipal Solid Waste.) These waste materials must meet the Waste Acceptance Criteria.

Non-Hazardous Waste Transportation and Disposal

Before disposing of waste materials, your facility must first identify the different types. Some types of non-hazardous waste are easy to identify, while others can present challenges. Talk to the experts at Environmental Marketing Service to certify the waste as non-hazardous. This certification will ensure your facility does not run into trouble with authorities.

Once you have identified waste materials, Environmental Marketing Solution can arrange safe and affordable transport to a landfill or disposal facility.

Non-Hazardous Waste Recycling

Most non-hazardous containers can be recycled after being thoroughly rinsed. Glass, metal, and other small containers that previously held chemicals, pesticides, or other hazardous materials must be triple-rinsed. Talk to the experts at Environmental Marketing to learn the steps needed to recycle non-hazardous items as well as how and if your laboratory waste disposal can include hazardous waste recycling.

Non-Hazardous Waste to Energy

Non-hazardous waste-to-energy is referred to as WTE. This process converts non-recyclable waste materials into heat and electricity. WTE (waste-to-energy) generates a renewable energy source that offsets the need for energy from fossil sources. WTE also reduces methane generation from landfills.

Expired Hand Sanitizer Packing, Transportation and Disposal

The EPA recommends that if expired hand sanitizer is still in the original container, it should not be placed in a regular trash receptacle. This alcohol-based material should be disposed of with a facility such as Environmental Marketing Service which handles hazardous waste.

Picric Acid Stabilization and Disposal

If your picric acid is hydrated and has no crystal formations, it can be disposed of safely through your laboratory waste disposal process. If the acid has dried or has crystal formations, you need to call Environmental Marketing Services immediately.

Some safety precautions for having picric acid in your laboratory include:

  • When possible use in solution form
  • Do not open a new bottle until the old is used
  • Make sure stored picric acid is kept wet
  • Before closing the bottle, the bottleneck should be wiped clean
  • Never use metal containers
  • Never use metal spatulas when manipulating the acid
  • Contact Environmental Marketing Service when ready to dispose of picric acid for safe handling

Expired Ethers Stabilization and Disposal

Ether can form extremely explosive compounds over time. This material should be dated in your laboratory. Do not keep containers open for more than one month or keep unopened cans for more than twelve months. When conducting your laboratory waste disposal process, alert Environmental Marketing Service that your waste contains expired, unused, or unneeded ether material.

Cyanide Disposal

If your laboratory has cyanide compounds that are no longer being used, you should dispose of them as hazardous waste. When storing these materials, they should be in a dedicated waste container that is only used for cyanide waste. If you have both solid and liquid cyanide, they must be stored separately.

High Hazard Waste  Disposal

High-hazard waste has to be permanently contained. The most common type of disposal facility is a landfill. High-hazard waste is disposed of there in a carefully constructed unit that is designed to protect the surface and groundwater resources.

Laboratory Waste Disposal of Hazardous Materials

The EPA has developed hazardous waste regulations to balance the conservation of resources and ensure the protection of the environment and human health. A lot of hazardous wastes can be recycled effectively and safely, and others are treated and disposed of in an incinerator or landfill.

Environmental Marketing  Service is your reliable partner and is dedicated to finding the best solution to all your hazardous and non-hazardous waste disposal and recycling needs. Contact us today and learn about some of the services we can provide:

  • Turnkey Lab-Pack Services
  • Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal
  • Bio-Medical Waste Disposal
  • Chemical Waste Transportation and Disposal
  • Herbicides and Pesticides Disposal
  • Radioactive Material Services and Disposal
  • Controlled Substance Disposal
  • Aerosol Can Recycling
  • TENORM Waste Disposal
  • Universal Waste Management and Disposal
  • And much, much more

Our services include efficient and safe transportation and disposal of non-hazardous, hazardous, and universal waste. We work with a wide range of industries including automotive, cosmetics, education, electronics, government, healthcare, food, laboratories, law enforcement, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, treatment centers, and more.

Contact Environmental Marketing Service to learn how we can provide your facility with comprehensive services that will be tailored to your waste management needs.

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