The Importance of Lab Pack Management For Schools, Laboratories, and Government Agencies
May 20, 2022

Companies in any industry must place a priority on safe and sustainable waste management practices. Industries such as pharmaceuticals, schools, certain government agencies, laboratories, and research and development use many chemicals that have expiration dates. Chemicals that have expiration dates require compliant and immediate disposal.
Higher education facilities generating hazardous waste have to comply with local, state, and federal regulations. If they do not, there are costly penalties. These facilities and all others that generate hazardous waste should partner with the right vendor, such as Environmental Marketing Services, LLC. EMSLLC offers transportation, treatment, and disposal for various waste streams. Lab pack management is an efficient method of handling your hazardous waste, and one EMSLLC can implement in your facility.

What is Lab Pack Management?

Lab pack management is a service offered by Environmental Marketing Services that consists of on-site and self-packing services that are customized to your facility’s non-hazardous and hazardous waste needs. Lab packs are specialized containers, typically in the form of a fiber, poly, or steel drum that will hold smaller containers of chemicals inside.

The drums can range from 5 gallons to 55 gallons in size depending on the waste volume your facility generates. Small containers of chemicals get packed into the drums. Inside the drum, the smaller containers are cushioned with chemically inactive material, such as vermiculite so they cannot break. These materials must be ‘packed’ properly due to the fact that some chemicals can leak, and interact with other chemicals. If leaking occurs there is the potential for an explosion, fire, or other dangerous events.

A lab pack can contain boxes, containers such as drums that can store or contain smaller items, bags, jars, ampules, or jars of partially expired, mislabeled, used, contaminated, or damaged chemicals. Self-contained items in these vessels are placed into the larger container or drum for proper transportation and disposal. These ‘packs’ have to be transported and disposed of properly or your facility risks penalties or criminal fines.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), and the DOT (Department of Transportation) all have regulations for the storage, collection, and disposal or transportation of hazardous waste materials. All universities, research facilities or laboratories, and government agencies have to follow these regulations.

Once the drums are filled with the smaller containers, they are labeled, and paperwork is created for compliant transportation to Environmental Marketing Service’s treatment, disposal, and storage facility. It is essential for the lab packs to be handled by highly trained personnel who have experience with hazardous waste.

When your facility works with EMSLLC, you are assured your hazardous waste in lab packs is being handled safely and that you are following all regulations. Proper waste management should be a large part of your facility’s goal, and when you work with EMSLLC, you are guaranteed to meet that goal.

What Your Facility Should Know About Lab Pack Disposal

There is a step-by-step process involved for proper and accurate handling of the ‘pack.’ The process begins with the first step of identifying and segregating. The steps also include step two of choosing the proper containers, and then steps three and four to store and pack the hazardous materials. Below is an outline of the two most important steps:

Step 1 Lab Waste Identification and Segregation

The first step in the ‘pack’ process is the most important one as any ‘pack’ job has to be accurate and thorough in identifying the materials in your lab. If you work with Environmental Marketing Services, they will have an expert in the industry visit your lab to identify everything you generate from the non-hazardous to the hazardous materials.

When you understand the type of waste you are dealing with, you will know how to segregate and what to pack in the containers. Laboratories often have dangerous materials that cannot be shipped in their current state. For the avoidance of penalties and fines and safety reasons, you need the experience offered by EMSLLC to facilitate this process, starting with accurate identification.

Step 2 Packaging and Shipment for Lab Waste Disposal

EMSLLC can handle all the actual packing and preparation of materials for shipment. You may have an employee or student who is knowledgeable about chemicals and materials, however, they may not be fully versed in all DOT regulations. These regulations involve legally required containers for specific waste, and the rules for what can and cannot be accepted at a receiving center.

What Should NOT Be Done With Lab Packs

Some labs appallingly are non-compliant with their hazardous waste. While this is not as common as in the past, there are some who continue to dump expired chemicals down the drain or throw them in their regular garbage. Expired chemical disposal should always involve proper treatment, storage, and disposal to avoid dangers to the environment and humans.

Types of Materials That Can Be Transported in a Lab Pack

‘Packing’ is the answer to transporting and disposing of large quantities of various hazardous waste materials. This method allows your facility to stay within federal regulations. Federal guidelines include various hazardous classes, specific shipping names, and packing groups for hazardous waste when packed together can be highly dangerous. EMSCLL can handle these chemicals safely while following all local, state, and federal guidelines.
The following is a list of materials commonly disposed of in ‘packs’:
– Oxidizers
– Reagents, bases, and acids
– Solvents
– Explosive, phosphoric, corrosive, toxic, or flammable materials
– Reactive materials from metals
– Disinfecting and cleaning agents
– DEA substances
– Organ peroxides
– Compressed and aerosol gasses
– TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) chemicals
– Radioactive materials
– Varnish strippers, paint thinners, paints, inks, dyes
– Universal wastes
– Mixed wastes
– Unlabeled and unknown containers

Benefits of Lab Packs

Not only does ‘packing’ your hazardous waste materials keep people safe, but these ‘packs’ also protect your environment from harm. If hazardous materials are thrown in with regular garbage or poured down the drain, they can endanger the environment and the lives of humans in the area. It is your facility’s environmental responsibility to dispose of chemical waste properly whether you are a school, research lab, or a government agency.
When there is improper disposal of hazardous wastes, it can indirectly create health risks. These risks come from the toxins released into the environment. Untreated chemical wastes in landfills can contaminate ground, surface, and drinking water. This is just one of the many dangers that can happen when hazardous waste material is not handled properly.

How to Choose the Right Waste Disposal Company

The company or service you choose to handle your hazardous waste disposal can greatly affect your facility. You want a service that is experienced and a certified hazardous waste management waste company. It is a dangerous job and will require consideration of both safety and health impacts.

The right waste disposal company will understand that compliance is essential. Your facility is liable for any hazardous waste material it generates until it is properly disposed of. You want a company that complies with all disposal and transportation procedures to reduce your financial vulnerability and risk of accidents and spills involving your waste.

Environmental Marketing Services has more than ninety years of combined experience in the hazardous waste disposal industry. We service government agencies, educational systems, and more to develop innovative, cost-effective solutions. You can depend on EMSLLC to dispose of and handle all waste materials according to government-regulated guidelines.

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