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Additional Chemical Waste Categories
Mercury, Mercury-Containing Compounds and Instruments
Environmental Health and Safety ensures the proper disposal of all mercury and mercury-containing compounds and instruments.
Mercury and mercury-containing compounds and instruments should be segregated into the following six categories and given to the EHS for disposal:
Raw Liquid Mercury -
Should be kept in a sealed, rigid, plastic or glass container with as little debris as possible.
Mercury Contaminated Glassware and Broken Thermometers -
Should be kept in a sealed, rigid, plastic or glass container. Organic matter should not be included with the glassware. (NOTE: There should be as little free-flowing mercury as possible in the container. Free-flowing mercury should be placed in a raw liquid mercury container).
Mercury Contaminated Organic Matter (paper, plastic, cotton, etc.) -
Should be kept in a sealed, rigid, plastic container. This container can contain inorganic matter but should be kept to a minimum.
(NOTE: The total amount of mercury in the debris cannot exceed 1 pound and there must be NO free-flowing mercury in the container. Free-flowing mercury should be placed in the raw liquid mercury container).
Mercury Spill Clean Up -
When cleaning up a mercury spill, use zinc-based mercury absorbent powers only. Please DO NOT use sulfur. Explosions have been known to occur when the material in the zinc-based powder and the sulfur are mixed together. The clean-up material should be kept in a sealed, rigid, plastic or glass container. Do not mix the clean-up material with any other material. EHS can be called in to respond to a mercury spill.
Mercury Compounds and Mercury Solutions -
Are best kept in a sealed, rigid, plastic or glass container. If possible, do not mix with any other material and keep each compound or solution separate from each other.
Mercury-Containing Instruments/Thermostats/Switches -
Remove the mercury-containing component from the instrument/thermostat. If the component can be reduced to a glass constituent containing only mercury, it can be placed directly into a Mercury Contaminated Glassware container. Otherwise, place the component into its own sealed, rigid plastic or glass container.
To turn-in, a mercury-containing compound or containers, submit an online chemical waste removal request form listing the quantity of mercury, or mercury-containing items.
Any off-specification or out-of-date pharmaceuticals should be turned into EHS for disposal. To turn-in pharmaceuticals submit an online chemical waste removal request form listing the type and quantity of pharmaceuticals.
Many types of batteries contain heavy metals which are regulated by the EPA. The following batteries when spent should be turned-in to EHS: lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, mercuric oxide, silver oxide, and lithium. To turn-in spent batteries fill out an online chemical waste removal request form listing the type and quantity of batteries.
Used Oil -
Used oil whether generated by laboratory activities or facility operations should be turned-in to EHS for disposal. Notify EHS of any oil that is contaminated with PCBs or chlorinated refrigerant oil. Never mix uncontaminated oil with oil that contains PCBs or chlorinated refrigerant oil. To turn-in used oil fill out a chemical waste removal request form listing the quantity of used oil.
Household Cleaning Supplies -
Many household cleaning supplies used on campus contain active ingredients which may make them corrosive, toxic, or flammable. To turn-in any old, out-dated, or spent cleaning supplies fill out an online chemical waste removal request form listing the quantity and type of cleaning supplies.
Toner Cartridges -
Many toner cartridges can be refurbished and used again. Check with the manufacturer of the toner cartridge to see if they will accept them back or know of a company that specializes in re-manufacturing of the toner cartridges. Any non-returnable toner cartridges should be turned-in EHS. To turn-in non-returnable toner cartridges, list the quantity of toner on an online chemical waste removal request form.
Ethidium Bromide -
Ethidium bromide gels and debris (contaminated paper and plastic) can be placed in a bio-hazard burn box. Turn-in all solutions containing ethidium bromide. To turn-in ethidium bromide solutions fill out an online chemical waste removal request form listing the quantity and percentage of ethidium bromide in solution.
Photographic Chemicals -
Any photographic processing system currently not equipped with a silver recovery unit should turn-in silver contaminated photo-fixer to EHS. To turn-in photo-fixer fill out an online chemical waste removal request form listing the type and quantity of photo-fixer.
All out-dated, off-specification, or spent liquid paint and liquid paint wastes should be turned-in to EHS for disposal. To turn-in paint fill out an online chemical waste removal request form listing the type and quantity of paint.