Lab Wastes from Schools, Colleges, Universities, Research
Facilities and Educational Institutions
What is a lab waste?
Do you manage a warehouse, laboratory, hospital, school, medical facility, factory, or operation that uses small containers (usually less than 10 gallons each) of chemicals, solvents, reagents, paints, thinners, dyes, inks, acids, bases, cleaners, strippers, pool chemicals, dry cleaning compounds, etc.?
Over time, you will find that jars and cans have accumulated that are out-of-date, contaminated, partially used, leaking, or simply no longer needed. Some chemicals, like picric acid (commonly used in medical laboratories) become explosive as they age, and in a few months can explode just from the friction of opening the lid. Other chemicals, like solvents such as acetone, MEK, xylene, ether or toluene are hazardous wastes after you have used them. Chromic acid cleaning solutions, used or unused, are a hazardous waste. Old compressed gas lecture bottles can become very dangerous if the valves have rusted. Aerosol cans of paint, printed circuit board cleaners and degreasers are also hazardous wastes.
What are typical "lab wastes"?
When we speak of "lab wastes", what exactly do we mean? Here's a
- Chemical wastes generated in research laboratories, and
during teaching activities;
- Old chemical agents, often even unopened; considered
an institutional liability, often difficult to identify and
abandoned in the laboratory;
- Outdated chemical agents surpassing
their expiration date and therefore in need of re-evaluation
of their effectiveness, and need for disposal;
- Unlabeled - bottles
of chemicals without labels or with wrong or unreadable
- Damaged containers - material in a state of deterioration or in packages
which are deteriorated, or damaged;
- Unknown residues in
- Miscellaneous Minor Laboratory waste such as paper towels
- PPE, personal protective equipment: aprons, glasses,
masks, gloves contaminated with harmful biological, chemical
or radioactive material;
- Non-recyclable batteries and gas
cylinders; items which are normally able to be recycled or
- Photographic film processing solutions; such as fixers and
Pesticides, equipment containing toxic compounds, different
types of waste oils, used solvents, Thinner, oil remover,
- Formaldehyde, formalin, acrylamide waste
in liquid or gel form;
- Mercury and other metals with
- Defunct electronics, computers and
- Sharps - such as: needles,
syringes, chromatography needles, Pasteur pipettes, tips;
- Bleach, ammonia, cleaning solvents, liquid wood polish;
- Empty - chemical bottles (glass and plastic) empty but contaminated;
- Contaminated broken (or damaged) laboratory glass;
Mercury-contaminated, broken (or damaged) thermometers;
Carcinogenic and radioactive chemicals, such as
Here's a guide to
the proper, legal method to dispose of lab wastes.
Who are the companies that offer lab packing services?
Looking for company to do your lab packing for you? There are far fewer in business today than just a few years ago.
Click here for a current list of lab packing companies.
The following are pages related to lab packing which provide addition information: