Four replies I've received so far to yesterday's questions. More welcome. Thanks to everyone who's responded. - Ralph From: "Klotz, Ann"
Date: April 5, 2007 4:12:49 PM EDT Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Managing class lab wastes Things that work for me: Waste handling instructions are in written into the procedure for the lab AND the instructions are also written on a white board in the lab. --Same whiteboard each week. Students know where they can find out how to handle waste without asking the instructor. With multiple sections of the same waste, I try to have only the waste for that particular week in the lab. It is moved to 90/180 day storage before the next lab experiment begins. If there are multiple waste streams and they are incompatible, that is a taught as an important concept of the lab work. Sometimes students are required to show the waste to the instructor before adding it to the waste container. I find there are fewer spills when students are provided wide mouth bottles then when asked to use funnels and narrow mouth bottles. Teaching students why a particular waste or waste stream is hazardous is VERY helpful. A sample from the laboratory procedure: Cycle of Copper Reactions WASTE: Acetone and nitric acid should not be mixed. Use separate bottles, each labeled "HAZARDOUS WASTE". Acetone is flammable and must be removed for disposal. Solutions of nitric acid, sulfuric acid or sodium hydroxide are corrosive and must be removed for disposal. Ann == From: "George H. Wahl, Jr." Date: April 5, 2007 4:39:24 PM EDT Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Managing class lab wastes Ralph, I've been out off the lab for a few years, but before I left I changed our undergraduate Organic labs to "Micro-scale". [ It's NOT truly "micro", but we typically reduced quantities from about 25-50 mL, to 1-3 mL. The accompanying reduction in chemicals purchased and waste generated caused about an 80% reduction in the budget for these large labs. > - Should classes be provided with a separate waste container for > each session of the same lab so that the likelihood of incorrectly > mixing wastes is minimized, or is that more confusing than > clarifying in terms of what goes where? For sure, each lab ( that is each Experiment! ) should have unique lab waste containers. Sometimes more than one for a lab since occasionally there's more than one waste. Our HazWaste folks are delighted with this segration, and it has caused us no problems whatever. > - Are funnels a help in filling a container or do they cause more > spills when they are overfilled? Funnels are a definite must. We also demand that the containers be kept closed, and in a hood. The funnel is therefore found on an adjoining plastic secondary containment "platter". > - What kind of training is provided to TA's in terms of helping > them appreciate the importance of good class lab waste management? I varies, but quoting to them the costs involved in cleaning up a spill, or in disposing of waste created by a spill get their attention. Also, we use our own 'home-grown' lab books, and these contain specific guidance regarding haz waste. HOPE this helps. george == From: rudikazudi**At_Symbol_Here**aol.com Date: April 5, 2007 5:10:22 PM EDT Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Managing class lab wastes Ralph, In our instructional labs we provide individual labeled, collection bottles sized appropriate for the volumn of waste anticipated. At the end of each lab session, the waste collected is transferred to a larger container sized for a week's worth of that waste (again the container is pre-labeled exactly as the bottles in the lab). At the end of the lab week, the waste is logged in at the chemistry waste storage area. This procedure has worked well for us at all instructional levels and makes waste documentation much more efficient. Mary Ruth Mary Ruth Andrews 6013 Cumberland Rd. S. Mobile, AL 36608 251-342-2312 == From: Elizabeth Gregory Date: April 5, 2007 6:10:11 PM EDT Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Managing class lab wastes Hi Ralph, I'm the person who provides waste containers (labelled) for our teaching labs, and I transfer them to our CAA when they're full. I use the same system that my predecessor developed. Here's what we do: 1) Each individual experiment (NOT section - if there are four groups of students doing the exact same experiment, they get the same bottle!) gets its own waste bottle, whose size is picked such that it will contain all of the waste from that experiment. This ranges in size from 100mL (for the Pd/C catalyst used in Organic's hydrogenation experiment) up to a 20L drum (used for the gen chem Kinetics experiment). The chemistry professors in my department are very good about giving me any bottles they empty in the course of their research, so I normally have a good stock of various sizes. When choosing a bottle, I err on the "better too large than too small" principle. Sometimes I've completely overestimated what they'll need, and in those cases I just hold onto the bottle until the experiment is run the next year (I never go over 55 gallons of waste in my SAA). This also makes it easier for me to "fix" the waste content list when they generated twice as much waste as I expected - at least I can narrow down what the possible added stuff is to one experiment! 2) Two years ago I tried to restructure my organic chemistry waste bottles. I put one 4L bottle out at a time, and it was used until it was filled (all of the wastes from all of the organic chemistry experiments was compatible). This was an utter disaster - I can't have the students log what they put into the bottle, as they can not accurately estimate volumes (or even tell me what's in their test tube!), so I had the instructors log in the amount that was added at the end of the section. I ran into two major issues here. First, the instructors themselves often forgot to fill out the sheet, so I would walk in the next day and see a 4L bottle full, with the log saying there was only 250mL of liquid in it. Second, the bottles would invariably become full in the middle of a section, leading to overfilling, and a huge mess to clean up. 3) I absolutely use funnels. Every so often I forget to put one out with a waste bottle, or a student takes it back to their bench, and on a couple of these instances they have made such a "missed the opening" mess that I had to pour the secondary containment bin off! As mentioned above, I do my best to make sure that, if anything, I provide a bottle that will be large enough for them, and I have the lab assistants check them at the end of lab, and put out an empty one if it's getting too full for the next section. 4) You didn't ask for this, but here's how we inform the students of how to dispose of stuff: a) It's written in the instructions for the experiment b) It's given to them verbally in the pre-lab lecture c) It's posted (on the same color paper as the waste label) on the fume hood that we use for the SAA d) Our organic chemistry professor also requires them to transcribe the waste instructions into their lab notebook. 5) In terms of training, they get a bit of it during their OSHA training every year as a starting point. They never make a waste determination in the course of their job (they are all undergraduate students working under an instructor who is present in the lab). This means that all my lab assistants need is to be told how to deal with the wastes generated in the experiment. I provide them with a copy of the lab manual, and they can also look at the instructions on the SAA hood if they need during the experiment. Hope this helps, and if you have any suggestions for improving my system (especially if you know how to get students to stop putting the non-hazardous aqueous workup waste into the organic hazardous waste bottle!!), I'd love to hear it! Elizabeth Gregory Laboratory Manager Department of Chemistry SUNY College at Brockport Room 230 Smith Hall Brockport, NY 14420 (585) 395-2210 Fax: (585) 395-5805 Email: egregory**At_Symbol_Here**brockport.edu
Previous post | Top of Page | Next post