Questions you may have regarding hazwaste…
What kind of container can I use to put my waste in?
The Science Center stockrooms have waste containers and waste container labels available in a variety of sizes. The following information should be placed in the label affixed to the waste container:
- The name of the course, experiment, or room number where the waste was produced.
- Chemical names (written out, no formulas) of every chemical present.
- The appropriate hazard box checked
- When the container is about 80% full, put it aside and declare it “full”. Full bottles MUST be dated and pHed is possible. Put a SMALL ‘X’ in an upper corner of the label-please don’t overwrite the ‘Hazardous Waste‘ lettering or the contents of the bottle” to mark it as ready for pick up.
- Follow up with an email to: ehs(at)smith.edu to request hazwaste pickup. Please include in your email your building and lab room #; if it is a large number of containers or if you need a pickup right away, please state that in the email.
What do we do with an empty bottle that once had a chemical in it?
- Bottles with residual acute toxins (via any route-dermal/inhalation/oral), water-reactive materials, oxidizers or pyrophorics should not be recycled and should be handled based on a discussion with the faculty member and myself. (By water-reactive is meant a chemical like sodium, not a material that simply deteriorates or is hygroscopic). Check the bottle’s label to see if it is acutely toxic, water-reactive, an oxidizer or pyrophoric. Email mrakas(at)smith.edu if you are not sure.
- Make sure you are wearing, at a minimum, safety glasses, a lab coat, and gloves. For handling acids and bases (even ’empty bottles’) safety goggles are required.
- Bottles have to have only droplets or particles of chemicals left in them–if you can pour something out, it’s NOT empty. Empty the bottle into the appropriate waste container before proceeding further.
- Remove the barcode adhesive tag located to the right of the label (typically) and put it on a piece of paper (it can go into my mailbox or the Stockroom mailbox).
- Bottles with ‘normal’ chemicals–standard solvents, acids, bases and the like–should first have the cap removed, then draw a line through the chemical name JUST ONCE, and the words “EMPTY/WATER RINSED” should be written on the label. Finally, thoroughly rinse with water three times (that doesn’t mean you have to fill it up all the way three times, just enough to slosh around the entire bottle, about 1/8 of its volume). Triple rinse the cap and throw it in the trash (it does not recycle). MAKE SURE ALL BOTTLES HAVE BEEN WATER RINSED AND ARE NOT CAPPED.
- OXIDIZERS should be filled with water to the top of the bottle and triply rinsed, same with caps for oxidizer bottles. We don’t want to have a fire.
- Once rinsed, bottles may be put in the recycling bin.
How do I dispose of batteries?
If they are alkaline they can go in the regular trash. If they are not they can be placed in the proper recycling bins located in the second floor of Ford Hall outside room 226. If they are large they must be submitted to the EH&S officer as chemical waste.