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Environment, Health and Safety

Mixed Waste

The creation of mixed waste that contains toxic or corrosive materials, transuranic elements, or high levels of radioactivity is strongly discouraged. Whenever possible, avoid using hazardous chemicals and radioisotopes in combination. Contact EH&S at 829-3301 for recommended non- hazardous chemical substitutes and ideas for minimizing the generation of mixed wastes.

Mixed Infectious/Chemical Waste

Whenever possible, disinfect infectious waste at the source of generation. Contact EH&S at the Service Request Line 829-3301 for approved methods of disinfection.

Containers and Storage: Collect non-sharps infectious waste which is also contaminated with chemicals (mixed waste) in a red biohazard bag. After the infectious agent has been disinfected, place the red biohazard bag in a second, clear plastic bag. Add absorbent material (such as diatomaceous earth) to the second bag, sufficient to absorb fluids which may leach from the waste.

Seal and attach a completed hazardous waste label to the clear bag. On the “Contents” section of the tag it is important to note both the chemical waste and the infectious waste and the disinfection method that was used.

Sharps containers must not contain free liquids (such as full syringes). When the sharps container is full; seal and remove it from the collection area. Place the container in a clear plastic bag and seal it. Attach a hazardous waste label and list all chemical and infectious agents and the method of deactivation/disinfection used. For pickup, please contact EH&S office for specific instructions at 829-3301.

Mixed Radioactive/Chemical Waste

A hazardous chemical waste, as defined by the USEPA, combined with a radioactive waste, as defined by the NYS Department of Health, is classified as mixed waste. This type of waste is initially treated as radioactive waste. If the radioactive component of the waste has a half-life less than 90 days, then EH&S will decay store the waste and eventually dispose of the material as chemical waste. When the radioactive component of the mixed waste has a half-life greater than 90 days, the waste is much more expense to dispose of than separate hazardous chemical or radioactive waste. Used liquid scintillation fluid may or may not be considered a special type of mixed waste. In either case, the waste must be segregated and provided to EH&S for disposal.