Laboratory Waste Disposal
February 5, 2024

Activities performed by humans create biological waste such as human excreta and other discarded materials. Much of these materials found in forensic laboratories, testing laboratories, and others can contain infectious microorganisms. Other labs such as those in schools, colleges, or universities can also create hazardous waste materials harmful to human life, the environment, and wildlife.

Environmental Marketing Service understands the conditions required to prevent the transmission of disease and other harmful elements through an effective laboratory waste disposal process. These highly effective management techniques allow for the proper handling of biologically contaminated waste to ensure the public’s health and the environment are protected.

Environmental Marketing Service provides cost-effective, efficient on-site packing, safe, and final disposal of all your laboratory waste. Services are available nationwide, except Hawaii, Alaska, and New Jersey.

What is Considered Laboratory Waste?

Hazardous waste typically generated in a laboratory consists of biohazardous waste and chemical waste. Chemical waste is commonly any waste byproduct that contains chemical agents, such as batteries, items containing mercury, spent solvents, or used oils.

Biological waste is those materials considered to contain or can reasonably contain fungi, bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae, parasites, or other agents. These materials can cause disease in humans or animals. Certain biological wastes can contain bloodborne pathogens creating a health threat to humans.

Laboratory waste disposal of biological substances is provided under the services of Environmental Marketing Service. Pharmaceutical waste disposal and other hazardous materials disposal services are performed seamlessly by a team of professionals trained to work with these sensitive materials.

Environmental Marketing Service understands the dangers of laboratory waste disposal and how these materials pose a threat to humans and your surrounding community. All of these waste materials are disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner.

Laboratory Waste Disposal and Lab Packing

Lab packing for laboratory waste disposal requires packing chemicals into smaller containers and then putting the smaller ones into a large drum. In the lab packing process, the larger, outside vessel is typically a 55-gallon drum.

Laboratories and other industries that generate chemical waste find lab packing to be a convenient and cost-effective way to ship hazardous chemicals off-site. Lab packing, when performed properly and through the help of professionals, such as Environmental Marketing Service will provide you with peace of mind that your laboratory waste has been marked, packed, and disposed of under federal and state guidelines.

The lab packing process consists of consolidating materials, substances, or chemicals and preparing them for the best and safest course of disposal. Different types of lab packs are used, and which one depends on your facility’s waste materials. The chemical waste will determine its disposal method. Certain wastes are recycled, others are incinerated and some are placed in landfills after being specially treated, neutralized, or stabilized.

Laboratory Waste Transported in Lab Packs

Some of the laboratory or chemical waste placed in lab packs for disposal include:

  • Reactive materials from metals
  • Radioactive materials
  • Toxic Substances Control Act chemicals (TSCA)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting agents
  • Oxidizers
  • Explosive or pyrophoric materials or any that are flammable, toxic, or corrosive
  • Compressed aerosols and gasses
  • Reagents, acids, and bases
  • Solvents
  • Universal wastes
  • Mixed wastes
  • Dyes, inks, paints, paint thinners, and varnish strippers
  • Drug Enforcement Administration Substances (DEA)
  • Organic peroxides
  • Unknown or unlabeled containers

These laboratory chemical waste materials can be disposed of safely and properly in large quantities under federal guidelines through the lab packing process. The federal guidelines also have different hazard classes. It is dangerous to pack groups of hazardous waste and should only be done by, or overseen by, a trained individual or service. Environmental Marketing Service has trained professionals on staff to safely handle these materials for your facility.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has hazmat shipping regulations that must be followed when preparing lab-pack laboratory waste materials. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also has strict regulations pertaining to lab pack treatment standards. Materials have to be grouped in the same container and then labeled with the proper shipping names, such as “Not Otherwise Specified”, or “Waste Flammable Liquids.”

Testing laboratories, forensic laboratories, and also schools and college laboratories can generate a lot of hazardous materials. These materials can range from pathological and infectious waste, such as bodily fluids and human tissue, to sharp objects and chemical waste. Hazards in these facilities can also include the disposal of radioactive or pharmaceutical waste such as expired medications. The lab pack process gives your facility a means to safely dispose of large quantities of laboratory waste.

Turnkey Lab Pack Services for Laboratory Waste Disposal

When choosing a turnkey lab pack service, your facility should choose one with the proper licensing and permit for transporting and disposing of hazardous materials. Environmental Marketing Service has the proper licenses and permits required as well as the expertise in hazardous substance categorization with compliance training.

Environmental Marketing Service can assist in preparing a full inventory of the chemicals prior to packaging and containerizing the materials. Expert guidance is provided throughout this process to ensure the lab pack is done properly according to the type of your facility’s laboratory waste. Turnkey lab pack services are tailored to your laboratory’s needs and include:

Separation or Segregation of Laboratory Waste into Appropriate Hazard Class

All chemicals, even those considered benign, can become potentially hazardous under specific conditions. A laboratory waste disposal process requires the segregation of these materials into appropriate hazard classes. Environmental Marketing Service segregates these dangerous waste materials according to:

  • Toxicity
  • Flammability
  • Corrosivity
  • Reactivity

DOT Specifications for Packing Laboratory Waste

The Department of Transportation (DOT) considers a hazardous waste material as a substance capable of an unreasonable risk to property, health, and safety while it is being transported commercially. The DOT has five requirements under their specifications for packing laboratory waste materials which include:

  • Protect
  • Provide
  • Present
  • Position
  • Promote

It is also required under these specifications that all labeling be done correctly and that consideration be given to the environmental impacts these materials could have. 

Transporting Laboratory Waste to Designated Disposal Facility

The DOT often requires your facility to obtain a Hazardous Waste ID number when you have laboratory waste transported to a designated disposal facility. Environmental Marketing Services will provide you with the information needed to obtain this number. The Hazardous Waste ID number is required in order for your facility to treat, store, dispose of, or transport laboratory waste or offer it for transport to another carrier. Environmental Marketing Service will guide you through this process and ensure it is done under all DOT and EPA regulations.

Laboratory Waste Disposal Safety Plan

Laboratory waste is capable of creating a hazard to human health and the environment. These waste materials can include organic solvents, corrosive liquids, and toxins. Every laboratory should have a safety plan in place that includes instructions for correctly disposing of hazardous laboratory waste. The experts at Environmental Marketing Service can assist your facility in creating this plan.  

Laboratory Waste Materials Commonly Included in Hazardous Waste Disposal

SDS, or what was once known as Material Safety Data Sheets are documents containing safety and health data on specific chemicals typically used in laboratories. These documents will provide information such as:

  • Properties of the chemical
  • Measures necessary that should be taken by lab technicians when handling the chemical
  • All associated health and environmental hazards
  • Safety protocols needed for storing and transporting the chemicals

These documents will help your facility understand which chemicals need expert handling and disposal methods. If you have any questions regarding the disposal requirements for your laboratory waste, talk to the professionals at Environmental Marketing Service. 

Some of the laboratory waste commonly included for professional disposal by Environmental Marketing Service include:

  • Animal specimens in formaldehyde or formalin
  • Peroxide forming substances
  • Mercury compounds and devices containing mercury
  • Reactive materials
  • Lab reagents
  • Solvents
  • Oxidizers
  • Compressed aerosols and gasses

Laboratory Waste Disposal Service

Environmental Marketing Service has more than ninety combined years in the hazardous waste disposal industry. We understand the need for your facility to use a cost-effective and safe method to dispose of your facility’s laboratory waste materials. Contact Environmental Marketing Service to learn about our innovative solution to all your disposal and recycling needs.

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