Radioactive Waste

Radioactive Waste Logs

Any container containing waste needs to have a radioactive waste log posted. This would include bench-top containers if they are not emptied after an experiment. It is recommended that when you are finished with an experiment as part of the clean up and meter check of the area that you transfer any tips, contaminated bench paper and for example gel waste to the main dry waste container and update the dry waste log.

Radioactive Waste Retrieval

Before waste can be picked up from the laboratory, a Radioactive Waste Disposal Form with decay-corrected activities must be completed and scanned and emailed to or faxed to 216.368.2236. If you have liquid waste, a carbon-copy “Disposal Listing for Liquid Waste Form” must also be completed for each bottle of liquid waste. The liquid must be listed on the carbon-copy “Radioactive Waste Disposal Form” as well. The waste sheet will be reviewed before arranging a pick-up date to verify that the activity disposed of is “reasonable,” based on the existing (decay-corrected) inventory for the laboratory. Radioactive waste generated in a laboratory must be separated by isotope and waste type. The exceptions are H3 and C14 because they are long-lived isotopes. Isotopes with short half-lives are decayable and need to be kept separate. Waste types include:

  • Dry/solid (including sharps and polyacrylamide gels)
  • Liquid
  • Liquid scintillation vials (note brand of fluid used)
  • Beta plate mats (note brand of fluid used)
  • Animal carcasses.

NOTE: Polyacrylamide gels are no longer a separate waste stream.

Wolstein labs can arrange for radioactive animal pick up using regular waste forms. All other labs must deliver carcasses to the ARC post-mortem room chest freezer and. The log has to match what is noted on the bag's waste tag. No infected animals (biohazard) are allowed in the RAM animal freezer (red/orange or purple bag).

NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material) Uranyl Compounds

All NORM uranium-containing compounds are picked up and disposed of by Chemical Safety personnel. This includes liquid, dry/solid waste and uranyl acetate/nitrate in powder form. Fill out the Hazardous Waste Disposal Form and mail or walk it to EHS chemical safety. Bag and tag as you would for dry/solid or liquid waste. Non-NORM uranium isotopes will be handled as RAD waste.

EHS Radioactive Waste Pickup Cart Awareness

EHS personnel protect the campus community while transporting waste from laboratories to waste facilities. EHS pushes a waste cart without wearing laboratory coats or gloves because waste is doubly contained within the cart, just as any lab samples are when transported. The waste cart uses service elevators whenever possible. When EHS must use public elevators, we wait for an unoccupied car or notify other riders of waste in the cart.

More information can be found in the Radiation Safety Manual or by contacting the Radiation Safety Office at 216.368.2906.