Appendix C: Waste Pick-Up and Disposal Procedures

Disposal of Radiation Sources

All radiation sources must be disposed of in accordance with procedures established by the RSO. The users shall contact the RSO by email, telephone, or waste pick-up request by internet for disposal of radiation sources. The RSO shall provide instructions for storage of small quantities of waste in user laboratories and shall arrange for pick-up of such materials.

Disposal of Radioactive Waste by the EH&S

Radioactive waste can be disposed of only by the EH&S or in a manner which has been specifically approved by the RSO. All packaging for final disposal will be accomplished by EH&S at sites reserved for this purpose.

In the laboratory, separate liquid and dry wastes and handle according to the following procedures:

  1. Label all waste "CAUTION -- RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL", with the legal symbol, and record the following information on the log sheet provided with each container.
    • Name of Authorized User
    • Identify isotope
    • Amount of isotope in millicuries
    • Date material is placed in container
    • Identify any presence of any other hazardous materials
  2. All solid, absorbed liquid, scintillation vials and/or animal carcasses must be packaged in the manner outlined as follows:
    1. Packaging of dry solid radioactive waste (paper towels, hand gloves, syringes, empty bottles, clothing, etc.):
      1. Dry, solid radioactive waste shall be placed in special containers, approved by the RSO. Toxic substances and biohazards must be deactivated using procedures approved by the RSO before disposal.
      2. No labels are to be put into the waste barrel such as radioactive labels, biohazard labels, or any type of warning label.
      3. The container must be lined with a plastic liner.
      4. No syringes or other sharp objects are to be placed directly into the waste container that could puncture the plastic liner. The objects must be placed in an approved secondary container prior to disposal.
      5. Separate long (T1/2 > 15 days) and short lived RAM waste.
      6. Put only contaminated articles in the RAM waste barrel.
      7. Log all entries on the waste log.
    2. Packaging of liquid scintillation vials
      Organic solvents are not allowed to be mixed with radioactive material. Biodegradable non-hazardous liquid scintillation solutions are allowed in UNR.
      1. Container must be approved by the RSO.
      2. Container must be lined with a plastic liner and sealed at the top when container is packed.
      3. The vials are not to be opened and should be checked for loose caps prior to being deposited in the waste barrel.
      4. Do not dispose of non-radioactive vials in the waste barrel.
      5. Log all entries on the waste log.
    3. Packaging of radioactive animal carcasses
      Radioactive animal carcasses or other biological material must be sealed, frozen and labeled similar to the other types of waste and disposed in accordance with the following procedures:
      1. Container must meet DOT requirements. The final package will be a doublewalled metal container, i.e., a 30 gallon drum in a 55 gallon drum.
      2. Line 30 gallon drum with plastic liner.
      3. Place animal carcasses into 30 gallon drum with absorbent and lime. Ratio one part lime to ten parts absorbent.
      4. Seal plastic liner and 30 gallon drum.
      5. Place 3" of absorbent in bottom of 55 gallon drum.
      6. Place 30 gallon metal drum inside the 55 gallon drum.
      7. Place absorbent between walls of 30 gallon drum and 55 gallon drum.
      8. Install gasket to make package free of defects and seal 55 gallon drum.
      9. Log all entries on the waste log.
      10. Use only absorbents approved by EH&S.

Unusual Radioactive Waste Disposal Problems

Cases where radioactive waste cannot be disposed of as outlined above must be referred to EH&S.