Safety

Safety

Important Policies (All Labs)
Management of Empty 20 L Solvent Cans
EHS-HWM-SOP.02 Revision 0
Effective Date: 06/24/05

UMass Letterhead

1.0 Purpose and Applicability

1. This document spells out proper procedures for disposal of 20 L solvent containers once the contents have been used.
2. The procedure must be properly followed by all laboratories that use solvents in these amounts. Improper disposal practices can endanger custodial staff, solid waste handling personnel, laboratory personnel and other members of the University community.

2.0 Definitions

1. N/A

3.0 Roles and Responsibilities

1. Principal Investigator - responsible for ensuring that all researchers working under their purview are informed of this procedure and that this procedure is followed at all times. It is recommended that this procedure be posted in all laboratories that use solvents from 20 L containers.
2. Custodial Staff – responsible for transferring empty 20 L solvent cans from a lab’s designated storage location to the building’s solid waste storage area for removal by Waste Management. Also responsible for notifying their supervisor of any violations of this procedure.
3. Waste Management – responsible for removing the containers from the designated central container storage area to metal recycling at IPF in a timely fashion.
4. EH&S – Responsible for following up on issues reported that are contrary to this procedure.

4.0 Procedure

1. Empty Volatile Solvent Containers: The proper way to dispose of an emptied 20 L container of volatile solvents (e.g. ether, hexanes, acetone, ethyl acetate, ethanol, dichloromethane, chloroform) is to place the container within the air flow of a functional hood long enough for complete volatilization (no liquid). Once the material has volatized, cut off any extendable plastic nozzles from the opening of the container and throw away any screw top caps (this prevents the container from being reused). Do not re-cap the containers. Mark the container as empty and place the container in an appropriate and designated area for disposal. Each lab that uses these drums shall designate a spot within the lab that has a sign that says “Empty, Clean Drums Only for Disposal”. This procedure allows custodial staff to easily identify that the 20 L containers are completely empty and are intended for disposal.
2. Empty Less Volatile Solvent Containers: The proper way to dispose of an emptied 20 L container of a less volatile solvent (e.g. N,N-dimethylformamide, for example) is to rinse the container thoroughly with a volatile solvent, place the rinsate into the appropriate hazardous waste container and cut off any extendable plastic nozzles on the empty container (this prevents the container from being reused). Let the container dry in a functioning fume hood long enough for complete volatilization (no liquid) and throw away any screw top caps. Do not re-cap the container. Mark the container as empty and place the container in an appropriate and designated area for disposal. Each lab that uses these drums shall designate a spot within the lab that has a sign that says “Empty, Clean Drums Only for Disposal”. Again, this procedure allows custodial staff to easily identify that the 20 L containers are completely empty and are intended for disposal. Remember to mark the organic waste container with the additional contents from this process.
3. Prior to placing the container in the designated disposal location lab personnel must remove the CEMS bar code from the container and place it on the decommissioned container form. Failure to do so will result in a false flammable liquid loading for the lab.
4. Custodial staff will transfer the empty 20 L solvent cans from the lab’s designated storage location to the building’s solid waste storage area for removal by Waste Management. The custodial staff will be instructed not to pick up any 20 L containers, marked empty and ready for disposal, if there is liquid inside of the container or if the plastic nozzle remains or the barcode has not been removed. They will be asked to contact the appropriate Department Head and EH&S staff to report the locations of any non-compliant containers.
5. Following these procedures will protect University personnel, ensure the University is compliant with Federal and State regulations, and ensure these containers may be removed as part of the standard non-hazardous waste stream. This procedure will prevent non-scientific staff from being improperly exposed to hazardous substances as part of their solid waste removal duties. For this reason, it is extremely important that the procedure always be rigorously followed by all personnel using chemicals and hazardous material solvents.

5.0 Key References

1. N/A

 
Chemistry