Laboratory Chemical Disposal
January 2, 2024

Federal and state laws dictate that all laboratory chemical waste be disposed of according to regulations. If these regulations are not followed safely, there can be disastrous consequences for your facility, the community, and the environment. If your facility has laboratory chemical waste that needs disposal, contact Environmental Marketing Services. 

Environmental Marketing Services provides nationwide hazardous waste disposal services and laboratory chemical disposal services, except in Hawaii, Alaska, and New Jersey. On-site packing, transportation, and final disposal are all covered in these services.

Whether your chemicals are no longer needed or have expired, they present a hazard to your facility and lab space. These materials must be disposed of under the proper procedures. The challenge is that these procedures vary based on the chemical. This challenge is where the experts at Environmental Marketing Services can help.

Turnkey Lab-Pack Services for Laboratory Chemical Disposal

When choosing a turnkey lab-pack service, you need to choose one that has the proper licensing and permitting for transport and disposal, such as Environmental Marketing Services. The service should also include expertise in chemistry and hazardous substance categorization and compliance training.

Prior to packaging and containerizing chemical substances, a full inventory of the chemicals is required. Environmental Marketing Services can provide expert guidance in this process so the lab-pack is done correctly according to the type of chemical waste in your laboratory.

Environmental Marketing Services provides turnkey lab-pack services which are tailored to your facility’s needs and include:

EPA and DOT Required Paperwork Completion

Typically hazardous materials are required to be packaged in ‘performance packaging.’ Performance packaging consists of inner receptacles being cushioned with absorbent materials. The outer packaging should be designed, manufactured, and tested as a containment of specific hazardous material classes or packing groups. These ‘performance packaging’ procedures are often called ‘lab-packing.’

Hazardous waste transporters are subject to several regulations under RCRA which are outlined in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations part 263. These transporters are required to obtain an EPA ID number. DOT requirements cover marking, labeling, placarding, and containers. All paperwork required to comply with these regulations will be completed for your facility by Environmental Marketing Services.

Segregation of Waste into Appropriate Hazard Classes

Under specific conditions, every chemical, even those considered benign, can potentially become hazardous. During a laboratory chemical disposal process, segregation of these waste materials into appropriate hazard classes is essential. 

Environmental Marketing Services will segregate these waste materials according to

  • Flammability
  • Reactivity
  • Corrosivity
  • Toxicity

Packing of Waste Chemicals to DOT Specifications

The DOT defines a hazardous waste material as a material or substance that is capable of posing unreasonable risk to safety, health, and property while it is being transported in commerce. There are five requirements under DOT specification for packing waste chemicals which include:

  • Promote
  • Position
  • Present
  • Provide
  • Protect

Other requirements under DOT specifications also include labeling correctly and considering the environmental impacts these waste materials could have.

Transportation of Waste Chemicals to Designated Disposal Facility

Environmental Marketing Services will provide you with the information necessary to obtain a Hazardous Waste ID number required by the DOT. This number is required before treating, storing, disposing, or transporting your chemical waste or offering it for transport. Once the waste is ready for transport to a designated disposal facility, Environmental Marketing Services will ensure it is done under all EPA and DOT specifications.

Disposal of Waste Chemicals

Chemical waste can pose a hazard to human health and the environment. This waste includes toxins, corrosive liquids, and organic solvents. All laboratories should have a safety plan that includes instructions for properly disposing of their chemical hazardous waste. Talk to the experts at Environmental Marketing Services if your facility would like instructions on how to create this plan.

Laboratory chemical disposal involves understanding what the EPA considers hazardous waste. The agency defines these materials as:

  • Ignitable- materials that can cause a fire during handling
  • Corrosive- materials that are able to corrode their containers
  • Reactive- materials that can explode when exposed to air, water, or other chemicals
  • Toxic- waste materials that contain toxic components such as teratogens, mutagens, carcinogens, or heavy metals

Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs), such as Environmental Marketing Services manage a large volume of these waste classes. These facilities are required to follow stringent provisions governing hazardous waste management and disposal. These provisions provide precautions designed to protect the groundwater, soil, and air resources in their area.

Certificate of Disposal

The Environmental Marketing Services provides your facility with the proper certificate of disposal once all your materials have been destroyed. This certificate will ensure your facility that your laboratory chemical disposal has been properly handled and that the process has been completed.

Types of Lab Chemicals and Materials Commonly Included for Laboratory Chemical Disposal

Material Safety Data Sheets, or what are now called SDS are the standardized documents containing health and safety data about specific chemicals. These sheets or documents, typically contain information such as:

  • Properties of the chemical
  • All associated environmental and health hazards
  • Measures lab technicians should take for protection when handling the chemical
  • Safety precautions needed for storing and transporting the chemicals

These sheets will help your facility understand which chemicals need expert handling and disposal methods applied. If you are unsure about any handling of your facility’s unused or no longer needed chemicals, talk to the experts at Environmental Marketing Services for clarification. Some of the types of lab chemicals and materials commonly included for laboratory chemical disposal by Environmental Marketing Services, include:

Animal Specimens in Formalin or Formaldehyde

Animal specimens in formalin or formaldehyde have to be removed from the formalin. The liquid has to be poured off and into a separate container. These liquids are then handled separately as hazardous waste material. Formaldehyde or formalin requires neutralization before being disposed of in a landfill.

Peroxide Forming Substances Stabilization and Disposal

Some chemicals will react with oxygen and create ‘peroxides.’ Peroxides are compounds that can explode with friction, heat, or impact. These chemicals require stabilization and disposal through a chemical waste program. The experts at Environmental Marketing Services will help your facility prepare, store, and dispose of these materials safely and properly.

Mercury Compounds and Devices Containing Mercury

If a device containing mercury is placed in the regular trash, the mercury is not going to disappear. The mercury from this device will find its way into your environment. Mercury compounds and devices containing mercury must be managed as hazardous waste. Environmental Marketing Services can properly handle the disposal of your mercury compounds and devices containing mercury, such as barometers and thermometers.

Reactive Materials Disposal

Reactive chemicals such as strong reducers and oxidizers, and air/water reactive chemicals have to be disposed of through a hazardous waste management service, such as Environmental Marketing Services. Because these chemicals contain reactive properties, it will be necessary to minimize the quantity of these chemicals you keep in storage for the safety of your students, staff, and property. Talk to the experts at Environmental Marketing Services if you are unsure which chemicals fall under this category.

Lab Reagents

A lab reagent is a compound or substance that can cause a reaction. These compounds are used in a number of laboratory tests. Some of the tests include blood glucose measures, COD and HPLC, Nesslers Reagent, and many COVID-19 test kits. Most of these compounds or substances must be disposed of through a hazardous waste program such as Environmental Marketing Services.

Solvents

Typical examples of solvents include liquids such as ethanol, methanol, and acetone. Solvents are a material that can dissolve a given solute to form a solution. A solvent cannot be poured down the drain. These substances require strict hazardous waste management through Environmental Marketing Services.

Oxidizers

An oxidizer is a substance that oxidizes another substance or a chemical other than a blasting agent or explosive that can initiate combustion. These materials must be disposed of separately from waste that is easy to burn, such as paper, wood, or gasoline. A licensed waste service should handle the disposal of these materials, such as Environmental Marketing Services.

Compressed Gasses and Aerosols

Unless an aerosol can is completely empty, it should be disposed of through a hazardous waste management service, such as Environmental Marketing Services. These containers require proper safety measures in their disposal, such as being punctured and drained. These containers can potentially cause harmful effects to the environment and should be disposed of through a licensed service to protect the water, soil, and air.

Laboratory Chemical Disposal Services

Environmental Marketing Services can provide your facility with all of the above-mentioned services and more. We have more than ninety years of combined experience in the industry and understand how your facility needs a cost effective and innovative solution to your recycling and disposal needs. Contact us today and learn how we can provide laboratory chemical disposal services and more.

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