If your college or university generates laboratory waste, it’s imperative you know how to safely and legally store, ship, and treat that waste. But with so many local, state, and federal regulations regarding this kind of waste disposal, it can be overwhelming to remember every little task. Unfortunately, one missed step in the lab pack process could lead to serious consequences, which is why a checklist becomes so important.
College Lab Packs: Why a Checklist Is Essential
Compliance Is Key for Lab Waste
The contents in a laboratory can be extremely dangerous and are often hazardous. Therefore, compliance regarding disposal is essential for two key reasons.
Safety Concerns with Hazardous Materials at a University
In a university or college setting, safety becomes exponentially more important because of the large staff and student body who could be exposed or injured in an incident involving hazardous chemical waste.
A checklist can help ensure all proper and legal protocols are followed—at the local, state, and federal levels. This involves proper segregation of all hazardous material. (That is, flammable waste should never be mixed with corrosive waste, which should never come in contact with reactive waste.)
A good checklist will ensure you know the importance of proper identification and segregation during storage and transport.
Financial Concerns Associated with Improper Disposal
Any breach of regulation during this process will make your university noncompliant, and that puts you at risk of having to pay steep fines. A checklist helps keep you compliant and helps you avoid those fines. The kind of black mark a university can receive for not following the right procedures with their laboratory waste is bad financially, and it’s bad for the school’s reputation.
A Lab Pack Checklist Offers Peace of Mind
Even if your university or college uses seasoned veterans to handle all your lab waste disposal, a checklist can still be a nice safety net. By spelling out a step-by-step plan, you can rest easy knowing you’re never going to forget a step. Even experienced chemists who’ve been performing these kinds of packs for years can make a mistake or inadvertently omit something, but if you’re working off a checklist, you know you’ve done every step, every time.
If you’re at all unsure about how to handle the waste from your university or college laboratory, make sure you at least have the checklist as guidance. If you’re still uncertain, seek out a reputable local waste management company to assist you. Just make sure they are qualified, reputable, permitted, and insured to perform every step (identification, packing, and transport). A poor lab pack from a company poses all the same potential financial and safety-related consequences, so thoroughly and properly vet any company you’re considering working with. That includes getting multiple quotes to ensure the price is fair (not suspiciously low or unnecessarily high) and checking references and testimonials to ensure the company can deliver on all their promises—in terms of customer service and getting the task at hand done well.
For more information about laboratory waste disposal or university waste management in general, feel free to contact a representative of MCF Environmental Services, and for your FREE lab pack checklist, click below!