1.8 Managing Selected Specific Waste Types

​​Acids and Bases

Dilute s​olutions (10% or less) may be neutralized to pH 7 and sewered. Concentrated acids should be collected in 2.5 liter concentrated acid bottles for collection by EHS. One-gallon bottles are unacceptable due to thinner glass that cannot support the high specific gravity of concentrated acids. Keep oxidizing acids separate from other acids.

Acrylamide Gels

EHS will collect acrylamide gels that are contaminated with toxic materials such as ethidium bromide or any EPA regulated material. Plain acrylamide gel may be disposed of in red tubs with biohazardous waste.

Aerosol Cans

Whether​ they have been used or not aerosol cans of paint, lubricants, insecticides, cleaners and other materials are considered to be hazardous waste. Aerosol cans that are apparently non-pressurized may still contain some material. EHS will collect all aerosol cans for disposal.

Appliances

Appliances, also known as white goods, are disposed of through UI Surplus. Appliances should not be disposed of in the regular trash. In many cases they contain hazardous materials. Call UI Surplus at 335- 5001 to make arrangements for disposal.

Art Supplies

Many art supplies contain flammable, corrosive or toxic materials. Dispose of all solvents, solutions, paints, pigments and other unwanted art materials through EHS.

Asbestos

Asbestos containing material is disposed of by FM Environmental Services. If you have asbestos, contact Environmental Services at 5-5500.

Ballasts

EHS disposes of fluorescent light ballasts. Generally Facilities Maintenance (FM) personnel should remove ballasts from light fixtures and accumulate them prior to collection by EHS.

Batteries

Batteries such as nickel-cadmium, mercury, silver, lithium, nickel-metal hydride, and lead-acid are hazardous. Examples of these are rechargeable batteries, computer batteries, phone batteries. EPA classifies such batteries as universal waste and EHS will collect them for recycling. At this time alkaline flashlight and radio batteries are not hazardous and should be disposed of in the regular trash as there is no avenue for recycling. For more details, refer to the section in this manual that deals with Universal Waste. Please note that EHS will not remove batteries that are inside pieces of equipment, this must be done by the owner of the equipment prior to pickup by EHS.

Biohazardous Waste

Infectious, medical, and biohazardous waste disposal is managed by EHS. However, in most cases FM custodial staff will transport red tubs of biohazardous waste to collection points, usually located in a dock area. For more details, refer to the section in this manual that deals with Biohazardous Waste. Hospital staff should follow UIHC procedures for biohazardous waste disposal.

Biohazard and Chemical Hazard Mixed

Infectious agents should be disinfected with biocide to remove the biohazard. If the biohazard cannot be removed, the container must be labeled as both biohazard and chemical waste and disposed of in the chemical waste stream.

Chemicals

Chemicals in storage past their expiration dates or useful life should be disposed of immediately. EHS will collect all chemicals, used or unused, for disposal. Contact EHS for disposal.

Cleaning Supplies

Concentrated cleaning chemicals that are no longer useful must not be poured down drains. Contact EHS for disposal.

Computer Equipment and Parts

Computers and electronic equipment, also known as e-waste, is disposed of through UI Surplus. E-waste must not be disposed of in the regular trash because it contains toxic materials such as lead, mercury and silver. Call UI Surplus at 335-5001 to make arrangements for disposal.

Controlled Substances

The disposal of controlled substances is the final action necessary to ensure proper management of controlled substances.

As of April 2013, EHS has been approved by the DEA to dispose of controlled substances through the application of an approved procedure. Licensed researchers who want to dispose of controlled substances that are mixed with hazardous chemical waste must consult with EHS to ensure compliance with RCRA regulations.

Each licensed researcher is ultimately responsible to ensure controlled substances are properly disposed of and all necessary disposal forms are completed and submitted to the appropriate agency.  To dispose of outdated, damaged, or otherwise unusable or unwanted controlled substances, contact EHS at (33)5-8501 (or Bill Murray at (33)5-4624).

The typical EHS procedure for disposal of expired/residual controlled substances (injectable solution) is summarized below:

  • The laboratory notifies Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) that it has a controlled substance that needs disposal;
  • An EHS representative will visit the lab prior to disposal;
  • On the agreed upon date of disposal, EHS will bring a Controlled Substance Disposal Kit and provide directions on how to conduct the disposal;
  • Disposal will be conducted by the Registrant or their duly appointed authorized employee and witnessed by an EHS employee;
  • Disposal consists of blending an aqueous solution of the controlled substance within a container of kitty litter; and
  • EHS will take possession of and dispose of the container of controlled substance/kitty litter blend.

Cytotoxic Drugs

Cytotoxic and antineoplastic waste should be collected for disposal by EHS. Nursing and Pharmacy stations where cytotoxic agents are routinely handled have special containers for this purpose. Hospital personnel should follow UIHC procedures for management.

Drug and Pharmaceuticals

Depending on form and type of drug waste, it may be collected by EHS, disposed of through our biohazardous waste vendor, or disposed of through a Reverse Distributor. Hospital personnel should follow UIHC procedures. See above for guidance on controlled substance disposal. Call EHS at 335-8501 for additional information.

Electronic Equipment

Electronic and computer equipment, also known as e-waste, is disposed of through UI Surplus. E-waste must not be disposed of in the regular trash because it contains toxic materials such as lead, mercury and silver. Call UI Surplus at 335-5001 to make arrangements for disposal.

Electric Lamps

Sodium lamps, mercury vapor lamps, fluorescent tubes, and other similar items contain mercury vapor and are regulated by EPA as universal waste. They are collected by maintenance personnel as recyclable material. Recycling of Universal Waste – Lamps is managed by General Stores. For more details, refer to the section in this manual that deals with Universal Waste.

Empty Containers

Unbroken empty glass containers, including empty glass chemical containers, and empty plastic containers may be discarded by placing them in a cardboard box, marking the box as “non-contaminated glass/plastic” and placing them near trash containers for custodial staff to discard or placed in a dumpster by the user. An exception for this is that empty containers that previously held acutely toxic p-listed chemicals must be given to EHS for disposal.

Ethidium Bromide and Ethidium Bromide Gels

Gels and other solid, contaminated materials are collected by EHS for disposal. EHS distributes a container to be used for collection of ethidium bromide gels. Ethidium bromide may be removed from solutions using special filters available from Biochem Stores for that purpose. Filtered solutions may be disposed of down the drain. The filter and other contaminated dry material are collected by EHS for disposal. Solutions that have not been filtered are collected by EHS for disposal.

Expired Date Chemicals

An expiration date is often listed on the container label. Frequently chemicals that are past their expiration date are no longer safe, or have degraded or reacted so that they are no longer useful. If you have chemicals that are in storage past their expiration dates, they should be disposed of immediately. Contact EHS at 335-8501 to make arrangements for disposal.

Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Fluorescent lamps and other similar bulbs contain mercury vapor and are regulated by EPA as universal waste. They are collected by maintenance personnel as recyclable material. Recycling of Universal Waste – Lamps is managed by General Stores. For more details, refer to the section in this manual that deals with Universal Waste.

Formaldehyde

All unused formalin and formaldehyde reagents that require disposal must be disposed of through EHS.  Spent or used formaldehyde solutions will also be collected by EHS.

Gas Cylinders

Non-returnable empty cylinders and bottles may be disposed of in general waste if the valve stem is removed. For gas cylinders with a Praxair label, contact Praxair at 1-800-283-8348. If there is no Praxair label contact Steve Stange at 384-4045. Lecture bottles must be disposed of through EHS.

Glass

Unbroken empty glass containers, including empty glass chemical containers may be discarded by placing them in a cardboard box, marking the box as “non-contaminated glass” and placing them near trash containers for custodial staff to discard or placed in a dumpster by the user. An exception for this is that empty containers that previously held acutely toxic p-listed chemicals must be given to EHS for disposal.

Infectious Waste

Infectious, medical, and biohazardous waste disposal is managed by EHS. However, in most cases FM custodial staff will transport red tubs of biohazardous waste to collection points, usually located in a dock area. For more details, refer to the section in this manual that deals with Biohazardous Waste. Hospital staff should follow UIHC procedures for biohazardous waste disposal.

Laboratory Equipment

Unwanted lab equipment must be free of contamination and then disposed of through UI Surplus.

Lead Shielding

Lead is a toxic hazardous waste. Lead pigs and lead shielding to be discarded must be collected by EHS for disposal.

Medical Waste

Infectious, medical, and biohazardous waste disposal is managed by EHS. However, in most cases FM custodial staff will transport red tubs of biohazardous waste to collection points, usually located in a dock area. For more details, refer to the section in this manual that deals with Biohazardous Waste. Hospital staff should follow UIHC procedures for biohazardous waste disposal.

Mercury and Broken Mercury Thermometers

Free flowing mercury and thermometers with mercury must be packaged in a glass or plastic bottle with a screw top and disposed of in the chemical waste stream. Broken thermometers without free flowing mercury and mercury contaminated debris may be double bagged in plastic bags and placed in a sturdy cardboard box. The box should then be sealed with tape.

Mercury-Containing Equipment

Many common items contain mercury. Some examples are thermometers, manometers, sphygmomanometers or blood pressure cuffs, thermocouples, certain instruments and gauges, and mercury switches. When discarding equipment, always check to see if it contains, or is contaminated by, mercury. Contact EHS at 335-8501 for disposal of all mercury-containing items. For more details, refer to the section in this manual that deals with Universal Waste.

Office Materials

Some common office materials may contain hazardous materials. Some examples are cements and glues, paints, aerosols, and cleaning materials. Contact EHS at 335-8501 for further information.

Oils

Oils are collected by EHS in glass, metal or high-density plastic bottles that are free of external contamination. Do not mix solvents or other wastes with oils. Depending upon the oil source, the generator may be responsible for having a PCB or heavy metal analysis performed prior to pickup. Oil filters should be punctured and hot drained prior to being disposed of in the regular trash.  All used oil container must be marked with the words, "used oil." 

Oil Contaminated Material

Any material that is used to clean up oil spills and has become contaminated with oil is picked up by EHS for disposal. Collect material in a bucket with lid or a drum. Small amounts of contaminated material may be double bagged and boxed. Seal the containers, label, and call EHS at 335-8501 for collection.

Oil Filters

Oil filters must be punctured and hot drained prior to disposal. To hot-drain a filter, remove the filter from the engine when the engine is hot. Then keep the filter above 60°F while it drains for 24 hours. Collect the oil that drains from the filter and manage it as used oil. Any oil filters that are not hot drained must be disposed of as hazardous waste. Iowa law prohibits disposal of oil filters in landfills, they must be recycled. Containers of used oil filters must be marked with the words, "used oil."

Paint Booth Filters

Paint booth filters contaminated with paint or solvents will be collected by EHS in steel cans.

Paint, Paint Thinner & Paint-Related Material

Paint shops may collect paints and thinners in drums supplied by EHS. Drums must be labeled using EHS’s hazardous waste label #2. Small amounts of thinner may be collected in five-gallon containers. Expired and unused paints must be collected by EHS for disposal.

Paint Rags

Rags contaminated with paint or solvents will be collected by EHS in steel cans.

Peroxide Forming Chemicals

Chemicals that form peroxides (Appendix IX) should be dated when received and checked periodically with potassium iodide (KI) paper to detect peroxides. Most peroxide formers have expiration dates printed on the label. Dispose of any peroxide former as soon as it reaches its expiration date if not tested. If peroxides are detected the lab may be required to pay for expensive chemical stabilization prior to disposal. Contact EHS at 335-8501 for more information.

Photographic Chemicals

Photographic chemicals should be collected by EHS for disposal. Many used photochemicals contain silver, a characteristic hazardous waste. EHS generally discourages use of benchtop recovery system, because of the uncertainty of the efficiency of silver recovery. Without a complete testing program it is not possible to ensure that silver is not being put down the drain. Please contact EHS at 335-8501 for disposal.

Picric Acid

Picric acid is normally wet with greater than 10% water and is safe to handle in this condition. However, picric acid may become shock sensitive and explosive if dried or combined with metals.

  • Never store in containers with metal caps.
  • Check frequently to insure dampness. Add water if necessary.
  • Tighten cap and seal with Parafilm to keep moisture in.
  • Notify EHS if dry picric acid is found.
  • Contact EHS for disposal of picric acid. 

Propane Cylinders

EHS will dispose of all propane cylinders except those that are returned to manufacturers or suppliers. Contact EHS for disposal.

Radioactive and Chemical Waste Mixed

Keep radioisotopes out of chemical waste whenever possible. For mixed waste, label as both chemical and radioactive and dispose of in the radioactive waste stream. Refer to the section of this manual on radioactive waste disposal for more information.

Sharps Contaminated with Chemicals

Sharps should always be collected in a sharps container, even if contaminated with chemicals. Remove chemical hazard by evaporation or simple chemical treatment. If not possible, label the sharps container as both sharps and hazardous waste (see Appendix XI for proper management of sharps).  Many times chemically contaminated sharps may be disposed of as biohazardous waste.  Contact EHS at 335-8501 for more information.

Silica Gel

Used/spent silica gel often contains trace material that are toxic. It should be collected for disposal by EHS.

Stench Chemicals

Chemicals that emit a stench (e.g., thiols and sulfur containing compounds) should be disposed of in containers with tight fitting lids. They can be double sealed with Parafilm, tape, or overpacked in a slightly larger container.

Tollens Reagent

Tollens reagent, or ammoniacal silver nitrate, may form highly explosive fulminate over a short period of time. Avoid this problem by adding dilute nitric acid after use. Dispose of through EHS.

Toner Cartridges

Toner cartridges found in printers, fax machines, and copiers are recyclable. A used cartridge should be returned in the new cartridge box. Recycle used toner cartridges through General Stores.

Trace Contaminated Lab Waste

This includes gloves, gowns, bench paper, etc., that have been contaminated with carcinogens, mutagens, teratogens, heavy metals or other toxic chemicals. Materials from spill cleanups may be included in this category. Sharps, empty or full reagent bottles, and uncontaminated trash should not be packaged with trace contaminated waste. Trace contaminated debris should be double bagged, with each bag sealed, and placed in a sturdy cardboard box, that is sealed with tape and labeled as hazardous waste.  Dispose of through EHS.

Unknowns

An unknown is defined as a chemical of unknown identity in an unlabeled container. Federal regulations specifically prohibit transportation, storage, or disposal of wastes of unknown identity. For this reason and for personnel safety, it is important that unknowns not be generated. Please refer to the section on unknowns in this manual for details. If the identity of the unknown cannot be determined, EHS provides an identification service.