Radiation Safety Office

Waste Segregation

The following waste segregation procedures have been developed to minimize the environmental impact and cost of radioactive waste disposal. Please call the Radiation Safety Office at 335-6763 with any questions regarding isotopes or waste streams that are not listed below.

Solid Radioactive Waste Segregation Procedure:
Double walled fiberboard boxes are available in 2 ft3 and 1 ft3 from the Radiation Safety Office:

  • Segregate solid waste as follows: Two waste boxes, one box for items containing polyvinyl chloride, one box for all other dry solid waste.
  • Isotopes that have similar half-lives may be combined in the same boxes. Do not mix long-lived isotopes with short-lived isotopes.
  • H-3 and C-14 may be combined in the same boxes, but must be kept seperate from other long-lived isotopes.
  • Transuranic isotopes must be segregated from all other isotopes.

Liquid Radioactive Waste Segregation Procedure:
Liquid radioactive waste is separated into two basic categories; aqueous and mixed wastes. Please keep these types of waste segregated from each other to the maximum extent possible.

  • Please adjust pH of aqueous solutions to fall in the range of 5 to 9.
  • Liquid radioactive waste should only be placed in 1 gallon or 5 gallon plastic containers supplied by the Radiation Safety Office.
  • Isotopes that have similar half-lives may be combined in the same containers. Do not mix long-lived isotopes with short lived isotopes.
  • H-3 and C-14 may be combined, but must be kept in a container separate from other long-lived isotopes.
  • Transuranic isotopes must be segregated from all other isotopes.
  • Containers used for mixed wastes must have a dangerous waste label (see Definitions and Examples ) affixed to them. This label should be attached to the contaner before it is put in use. Please fill in major hazard and constituents blocks.

Liquid Scintillation Vials:

  • Vials must be separated by isotope as described in liquid waste procedures above.
  • Scintillation vials which contain no radioactive material must be kept seperate from vials which contain radioactive material.
  • Store used vials in the "egg crate" container in which the vials were originally received, or store loose in a separate 1 ft3 or 2 ft3 fiberboard container with a 4 mil plastic liner supplied by RSO.
  • Most liquid scintillation cocktails are considered to be dangerous materials in the state of Washington. We ask that you consider use of liquid scintillationcocktails which do not designate as dangerous. This will help to minimize disposal costs. Please consult with Environmental Health and Safety to determine if the cocktail you plan to use is dangerous. Each batch of dangerous scintillation cocktail waste you wish picked up must have a filled out dangerous waste label (see Definitions and Examples ) affixed to it. Please fill in major hazrd and constituents blocks.

    There are only three scintillation fluids currently approved by the State of Washington Department of Ecology as non-hazardous. Using one of these three will keep your scintillation waste from becoming a mixed waste.

Disposal of Sharps ( SPPM S80.13 )
Sharps (glass pipettes, broken glass, needles and any other sharp items) must be segregated by isotope as outlined above in solid waste.

  • Place sharps in a Horizontal Entry Sharps Container (See Definitions and Examples ) identified as containing radioactive material.
  • When box is filled up to the butterfly closure base, seal box with tape to prevent further introduction of sharps.
  • Fill out a Radioactive Waste Receipt form for the sharps box and arrange a radioactive waste pickup.

Disposal of Biohazardous Wastes
The Radiaiton Safety Office will not accept radioactive waste which contains a biohazard with the exception of sharps. The biohazardous component must be neutralized prior to pickup by RSO staff.

 

Related Links
Radioactive Delivery Record
Radioactive Sanitary Sewer Disharge Record
Summary of Radionuclides Disposals to the Air

 

Radiation Safety Office, PO Box 641302, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-1302, 509-335-8916, Contact Us