Chemically hazardous waste
1. Definition of chemically hazardous waste
Chemically hazardous waste refers to liquid or solid waste that contains chemically hazardous substances, which are defined as:
- Substances whose treatment and disposal is regulated in some way by law.
- Substances that are not regulated by law but have one of the following three properties:
– Ignitable or explosive
– Corrosive (strong acids and bases)
– Toxic (harmful to the human body or environment)
- Substances that do not have any of the above three properties but are in a form that is difficult to dispose of due to their concentration or other characteristics
- Rinsing water that has been used up to three times to wash containers that have come into contact with those waste materials
Chemically hazardous waste generated in this university must be properly separated and transferred to ESC for treatment.
2. Separation and storage
Follow the “Classification chart of chemically hazardous waste” to determine waste class and store in an appropriate container. Please also refer to Table III-3-1 in Chapter 3 of Environment and Safety Guideline for more details in separation. If case you are not sure which class to separate, please consult ESC through Contact page.
Other than class-B waste, store liquid waste in the plastic container (tank) designated by UTokyo. The tank’s corresponding waste class (class-A,-C,-D,-E,-F,-G,-H,-I,-J,-K in total 10 classes) can be identified by its size and color. Contact the Environment and Safety officer at your faculty/school to get the tanks. See Designated plastic container for more details on max. capacity, expiration period, and how to return it.
For class-B waste (liquid containing free cyanide), there is no designated container. Prepare an appropriate plastic bottle by yourself and store the waste in it. Keep pH above 10.5, otherwise under acidic condition hydrogen cyanide, highly toxic gas, will be produced.
Separate based on its material type (i.e., paper, glass, plastic) and put in transparent polyethylene bags. Each bag should not exceed 10 kg in weight. Make the manifest slips for requesting disposal of chemically hazardous waste by using UTCIMS and attach the slip to each bag. Further, put the polyethylene bags in a larger polyethylene bag, and store in a bucket with lid (for class-L and class-B waste) or an appropriate plastic bottle (for class-B waste only). Class-S waste (solid containing mercury) is collected on the occasion of Collection of mercury-containing solid waste together with fluorescent lamps and dry battery cells.
<Waste that needs special care>
Waste materials that cannot be collected at ESC
Waste materials that apply to either of below cannot be collected by ESC.
- Substances that are dangerous to transport. For example, substances that explode when shaken.
- Substances that contain beryllium, osmium, or thallium.
For these substances, the general rule is for the laboratory or division to keep them strictly stored. However, if they are in the form of waste reagents, then they can be consigned to ESC.
- Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs)
Refer to Special waste.
- Radioactive isotopes or substances contaminated therewith.
- Nuclear fuel materials or substances contaminated therewith.
- Under law, ESC cannot accept illegal drugs, stimulant drug ingredients, designated poisons, etc.
Waste that is conditionally collected
- Waste that contains psychotropic drugs or materials whose manufacture is prohibited by the Industrial Safety and Health Act. For this waste, consult with ESC before the request of disposal. When requesting the disposal, apply for the permission number at least 1 week before the collection date.
- Solid waste that contains dioxins. For this waste, make the concentration below 10 ng-TEQ/g and the amount below 10 µg-TEQ. When requesting the disposal, apply for the permission number at least 1 week before the collection date.
- Palladium carbon or Raney nickel. When disposing of these waste, contact ESC via the Q&A site. If the waste can be disposed of through the regular collection as class-L waste, a disposal permission number will be issued. For disposal, be sure that the waste material is in a wet condition.
- Liquid waste that contains special flammable materials of category IV and substances of category V in Fire Service Act and other substances that may generate explosive substances (such as diethyl ether, tetrahydrofuran, and picric acid). For this waste, dilute so that their total concentration becomes below 10%. Application for a permission number is not necessary.
- Waste that contains mammalian or avian blood/body fluid. For this waste, properly sterilize to make it non-infectious. Application for a permission number is not necessary.
Disposal of substances having concerns about ignition or other particular dangers, such as alkaline metals
In situations where deactivation is safely conducted, the same technical procedure can be continued as in the past. The deactivated materials can be disposed of as normal waste liquid or class-L waste. However, if you have even a slight uneasiness about the deactivation work, consult with ESC via the Q&A site. Do not dispose of these waste in an active condition, as it may cause fire.
For disposal of substances such as nitro compounds (dinitrobenzene etc.), metal alkyl compounds (alkyl aluminum etc.), malodorous substances (mercaptoethanol etc.), and poisonous substances (metal carbonyl etc.), which have concerns about particular dangers, consult with ESC via the Q&A site.
3. Disposal request to ESC
When disposing of chemically hazardous waste, you must make a manifest slip for requesting disposal of laboratory chemically hazardous waste by using UTCIMS and attach it to the designated plastic container for liquid waste or the polyethylene bag for solid waste. On the slip, you need to describe the contents of the waste precisely, listing all the components and their concentrations. For the detailed procedure to make the slip, refer to the website of UTCIMS (internal access only).
When you attach the slip to the container with a packing tape, be careful not to cover the slip barcode, other printed information, or the barcode label of the container. Manifest slips for solid waste should be prepared in duplicates; one to attach securely on the polyethylene bag and the other to staple with those for the other bags that go into the same bucket.
Following is the caution about preparing manifest slips:
- Describe the amount of the waste correctly (liquid in liters and solids in grams).
- In the case of solid waste, specify the base object (For example, if the waste is “glass bottle contaminated with arsenic”, write “glass bottle” as the base object).
- If the waste liquid contains water, describe its pH.
- Choose whether the waste is categorized as “specially controlled industrial waste” or “other industrial waste”. Refer to the criteria for specially controlled industrial waste.
- If you have got the disposal permission number for the aforementioned “conditionally collected waste”, type it in the corresponding box on the slip.
- [IMPORTANT] When you make the slip, UTCIMS automatically generates entries on the slip from the past transfer records of the contents; however, you need to check whether the information matches the actual composition of the waste and, if necessary, modify the content composition using the function to edit the manifest slip. Entries on the slip have to be identical with the actual content of the waste.
Regular collection by ESC is conducted at specified date and site for each faculty/school, which can be found Collection site and schedule. Bring wastes to the collection site safely. In principle, waste generator has to attend the collection event for the purpose of communication on the waste.
Class-B liquid and solid wastes are not collected during either scheduled or off-schedule collections. For the request of disposal, send necessary information (school, department and laboratory name, name of the person to transfer the waste (faculty or staff), Environment and Safety Course certificate number, material and volume of the container, pH (in the case of liquid), composition of the contents, and the schedule request (up to the third request)) to ESC through the Q&A system on the homepage, wait for notification of a scheduled transfer date, and the waste generator (faculty or staff) should bring the waste to ESC.
4. Waste reagent
Disused reagents (except Freons, gas cylinders (including paint sprays), asbestos-containing substances, radioactives, nuclear fuels, narcotic drugs, and stimulant drugs) can be disposed of as “waste reagents”, without taking them out of the original containers. Waste reagent is defined to meet all the conditions below:
- It remains in the same reagent container as at the time of purchase.
- The reagent name is clear, with its label remaining.
- It is a liquid or solid.
- It is kept in a transportable state.
For the disposal of waste reagents, contact the official of environment and safety administration at your division to confirm the method and date of disposal. Some divisions take care of their waste reagent disposal by themselves, while other divisions request the disposal to ESC. ESC conducts the collection annually, around December. Note that reagents containing osmium, thallium, or beryllium are collected by ESC from all the schools.
5. Waste of unknown composition
If the contents are unclear, unknown laboratory wastes cannot be treated properly. It is not even possible to write the correct name of the waste on the “manifest slip for requesting disposal of chemically hazardous waste”. In other words, laboratory wastes whose contents are unclear cannot be accepted as waste by society. It is the waste generator who needs to take responsibility for revealing the contents and suggesting the appropriate way of disposal. If waste generators develop the irresponsible habit of producing laboratory waste with unclear contents, the school has to take immediate measures to improve the situation.
You have to conduct the waste management strictly, not to generate unknown laboratory wastes. In the event that laboratory waste with unknown contents is found, it must be immediately reported to ESC via the school Environmental Health and Safety office.