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Regulatory Information

Stop 18: Laboratory

Highlighted Topic:  Laboratory Waste Issues

Tour Stop 18Although the bulk of your waste and emissions sources will arise from your general process operations lines, you shouldn't neglect the waste coming from support operations such as laboratory work or general maintenance activities.  These wastes might still represent significant management and disposal headaches for you, as well as opportunities for waste minimization.  Here are some issues to consider:

1. Analytical laboratories: 
Analytical laboratories can generate small quantities of a wide range of wastes.  In addition, laboratories can often contain old stockpiles of poorly labeled or outdated chemicals.  These materials cannot be simply thrown into the trash or poured down in drain.  Instead, in general you will need to manage these materials as hazardous waste under RCRA.

2. Maintenance wastes: 
Maintenance activities tend to generate things like an equipment graveyard, used oil, and used cleaning solvents.  Again, these materials will require appropriate management.  For the oils and solvents, your first step will be to determine if they are hazardous waste.  Some types of used oils can be recycled for energy recovery, although here again it is important to check with EPA or state authorities on used oil regulations before you proceed.