Radioactive Waste Disposal

With the exception of approved sharps containers, the materials and supplies required by this procedure are supplied by EHS. Sharps containers must be procured by the Authorized User/Generator.

General Instructions:

  1. Review waste disposal procedures with the Radiation Safety Office in the planning stages of all experiments. Information on the generation of radioactive waste must be explained in Section 2.7 of the Basic Research Application.

  2. All radioactive waste must be stored in containers provided and/or approved by EHS. Prior to generating radioactive waste, request waste containers by calling Ext. 6-7207 or supplying the EHS with a Radioactive Waste Removal Request Form that requests necessary/required containers.

  3. Segregate wastes according to isotope and waste form (i.e. dry solid waste, sharps, organic scintillation fluid and its associated liquid scintillation vials, biodegradable scintillation vials and it associated liquid scintillation vials, aqueous solutions, organic solutions, and animal/pathological waste)

  4. Each waste container should be accompanied by a "CAUTION - RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL" label and a "Radioactive Waste Disposal Log Sheet". If a waste container is missing either the label or log sheet they can be obtained from EHS by calling 6-7207.

  5. An entry on the "Radioactive Waste Disposal Log Sheet" shall be annotated each time radioactive waste is placed into the container.

Disposal Instructions:

  1. Prior to requesting a waste pick-up, the following procedures shall be followed for each waste forms:

    1. Dry or Solid Radioactive Waste:

    Place the dry, solid radioactive waste in a 2 ft3 fiberboard box lined with a clear trash bag. The lined fiberboard box will be supplied by EHS. Ensure that the "CAUTION - RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL" label and the "Radioactive Waste Disposal Log Sheet" are correctly and completely filled out. When the box is full, twist and tape the bag closed, close and tape the box shut. Do not overfill the box.

    1. Liquid Radioactive Waste

    Collect the liquid portion of the waste in the 1-gallon container supplied by EHS. Identify all organic solvents and other hazardous chemicals that have been added to the container on the attached "CAUTION - RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL" label and the "Radioactive Waste Disposal Log Sheet". Ensure that the "CAUTION - RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL" label and the "Radioactive Waste Disposal Log Sheet" are correctly and completely filled out. Tightly screw the lid closed on the container.

    1. Liquid Scintillation Vials (LSV)

    Place the capped vials into either a 30 gallon drum or a five gallon pail supplied by EHS. The drum/pail should be double lined with plastic bags prior to disposing of LSV. Ensure that the "CAUTION - RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL" label and the "Radioactive Waste Disposal Log Sheet" are correctly and completely filled out. Including identification of the liquid scintillation cocktail and other chemicals that are being disposed. When the drum/pail is full, place the lid on the container and on drums place the retaining ring around the upper lip. EHS personnel will fasten the bolt around the retaining ring when the drum is picked up.

    1. Radioactive Contaminated "Sharps" (needles, syringes, scalpel blades, etc.)

    Affix a "CAUTION - RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL" label to a designated "sharps" container. To request a "CAUTION - RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL" label or "Radioactive Waste Disposal Log Sheet" call EHS at 6-7207. Place the "sharps" in the designated "sharps" container. Do not recap, bend, remove, or clip needles. Fill the container until 3/4 full. Close the container cap securely. Ensure that the "CAUTION - RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL" label and the "Radioactive Waste Disposal Log Sheet" are correctly and completely filled out.

    1. Small Animal Carcasses and Tissues

    Place the animals/tissues in a plastic bag. Twist the bag at the top, bend the twisted portion to form a loop and seal the loop with filament tape. Place the bag into a second bag and twist the second bag at the top, bend the twisted portion to form a loop and seal the loop with filament tape. Affix a "CAUTION - RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL" label to the outer container. Ensure that the "CAUTION - RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL" label and the "Radioactive Waste Disposal Log Sheet" are correctly and completely filled out. To request a "CAUTION - RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL" label or "Radioactive Waste Disposal Log Sheet" call EHS at 6-7207. Freeze the container until it is picked up.

    1. Animal Bedding and Waste

    Place the bedding/waste into a plastic bag. Twist the bag at the top, bend the twisted portion to form a loop and seal the loop with filament tape. Place the bag into a second bag and twist the second bag at the top, bend the twisted portion to form a loop and seal the loop with filament tape. Affix a "CAUTION - RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL" label to the outer container. Ensure that the "CAUTION - RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL" label and the "Radioactive Waste Disposal Log Sheet" are correctly and completely filled out. To request a "CAUTION - RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL" label or "Radioactive Waste Disposal Log Sheet" call EHS at 6-7207.

  2. Special Instructions.

    1. Never place radioactive waste containers in the corridors. All radioactive waste must be secured in a radioactive material area.
    2. Never place lead shielding inside of waste containers, this includes lead lined vial shielding.
    3. Fill out the online Radioactive Waste Removal Request Form to request a radioactive material/waste pick-up.

Go to Radioactive Waste Defined