First thing is first. There has been a lot of hype and interest in our new lab comic and its star Larry. Larry is not an official mascot of ASU or the Biodesign Swette Center, but rather just a visual aid from the sometimes disarranged brain of your lab coordinator. Before we can learn about how to dispose of waste properly, we need to be dressed properly to do the job. Larry illustrates below:
When disposing of waste you MUST wear all the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes wearing extra PPE when disposing of acids, bases, corrosives, and some select solvents. Wear your goggles! If your waste poses a biological risk, do it in a biosafety cabinet. If your waste has toxic fumes, do it in the chemical fume hood. Take precautions!
ASU has outlined the following:
“The volume of chemical and biological waste continues to increase at ASU. EHS offers these reminders for safe and compliant hazardous waste management:
- Biological waste handling: All biological solids need to be placed into a red drum, red bag, yellow drum or other suitable container. All biological liquids must be treated as chemical waste. Sharps must be placed in a rigid, leak-proof, puncture resistant container with a secure top.
- Chemical waste handling: Always use a clean, compatible container labeled with the words, “Hazardous Waste.” Apply a hazardous waste tag and identify all items. Keep container closed at all times except when adding waste.
- Radioactive waste handling: Always segregate by physical state and isotope, use only waste containers provided by Radiation Safety. Fill out the waste card. Schedule a pickup when the container is no more than 80 percent full. Replacement containers will be supplied when the waste is picked up.”
EH&S Monthly Update, August 30th 2017
Let’s clarify what we should be doing with Liquid Biological Waste. This type of waste would include:
- Liquid samples/sludge from the waste water treatment plant.
- Non-native Soil contaminated water.
- Any liquid samples that have come into contact with human originated samples (urine, blood, fecal matter).
- MXC waste
To dispose of this waste, first pour bleach into your waste container. The amount of bleach should be equal to 10% of the total volume of the container. For example, for 1 gallon containers, approximately 400mL of bleach should be added. Then add your biological waste to the container. This way, as the bottle is being used and filled, you are killing microorganisms as you go. When the bottle is full, tag out the waste just like you would chemical waste. Make sure you remember to write bleach on your tag!
ADEQ is the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and is a department of the state government. Basically, state inspectors come into our lab and look for violations. If we get in trouble, the University gets in trouble and everyone is miserable. They will come with little notice and we need to be prepared. Here are some primary things we can do to keep compliant:
- All waste containers should be marked as “Hazardous Waste” (an ASU waste tag will work just fine)
- Lids should fit tightly and should be liquid/vapor tight. If you need lids that have special openings for continual disposal, please contact me.
- Missing lids completely is a violation!
- There should be no evidence of leaking, spilling or off gassing.
- No evidence of metal corrosion, rust, pitting, deformity or otherwise sign of the waste bottle being compromised.
- Secondary containment should be compatible with the waste, and large enough to contain a spill if primary waste container is compromised.
- Waste bottles should have your name (the generator of the waste) and a date that the bottle began to accumulate waste.
- Satellite waste containers should be close to where the waste is being generated.
- All containers in the lab that contain liquids should be labelled with your name and contents. Even if it is just water!
Thank you for your cooperation! With our powers combined, we will stay in compliance! If you have any concerns, please send me an email. I am here for you!