My 0.02 here. Biology departments are typically not on the has waste plan in terms of routine monitoring and disposal of specimens. I've been trying to catch ours up for a while now - finally getting it under control. We have handled all of ours as hazardous. I have 2 basic streams, one with formalin (<10%) solution only (that I get from pouring the solution off in to a 5 gallon liquid pail), and one that is a mix of formalin and samples. Samples range from sheep brains (psychology dept) to old specimens from biology. Any bio sample goes here (as many of ours are also unmarked and so we don't know what they were originally preserved in). The brains and specimen also go into a 5 gallon bucket. That's a convenient size for us - but of course you could save some money by doing 30 gallon buckets if that is possible for you (and it's cheaper than lab packing individual samples). Jars can be rinsed (add that to the mix - keeps the formalin < 10%), lids thrown out, and jars either washed/reused or disposed of with lab glass trash.
I think they are all going to be regulated in some way - if not formaldehyde or formalin solution, then mercury salts for dry mounts or taxidermy specimens.George C. Walton, CHMMReactives Management Corporation1025 Executive Blvd., Suite 101Chesapeake, VA 23320(757) 436-1033
We are cleaning out and remodeling our biology lab and have LOTS of preserved specimens, some from as far back as the 1940's. The biology folks want to discard these. My question…is there any way to dispose of them other than through a hazardous waste facility? I assume most are stored in formaldehyde solution.
Thanks in advance for your wisdom and replies.
Laura L DamonCoordinator of Instructional Safety and Chemical HygieneFlathead Valley Community CollegeKalispell, MT406-756-3967
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