Regulations governing the selection, use and performance of containers utilized to collect and ship hazardous waste are complex. The Hazardous Materials Management (HMM) program has performed extensive research in an effort to comply with the hazardous materials regulations and offers a variety of containers that meet regulatory guidelines. From small bottles to large drums, HMM can provide a container suitable for the collection of chemical, biological and low-level radioactive waste.
When deciding on which container to order, consider the following:
- Container Size - All hazardous waste generated at the University of Michigan must be removed from campus within 90 days from the day that waste is first placed in the container. Waste generators are required to call for a waste collection within 60 days of starting to fill the container to provide adequate time for OSEH to collect and ship the material. Therefore, it is impractical to order a container too large to fill within 60 days. Available containers range in size from 1 liter to 55 gallons.
- Container Material - Regulations governing waste management and transportation require generators to select a container that is compatible with your waste. Consult a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to find specific information about chemical properties and compatibility. OSEH provides containers made of plastic, glass and steel.
- Container Type - Some containers are specifically designed to collect solids, while others are designed to collect liquids. Containers that have a "Wide Mouth" are typically used to collect solids. All pails and "Open Head" drums are used to collect solids. Containers that have a "Narrow Mouth" are typically used to collect liquids. All "Closed Head" drums and carboys are used to collect liquids.
- Waste Type - The type of waste generated may also affect the waste container choice. Sharps waste should only be collected in a sharps container. Additionally, specific containers are required for the collection of radioactive wastes. When generating hazardous waste, label and date the container at the time you "FIRST" begin using it. Keep your waste container closed unless actively adding waste. Use proper segregation for incompatibles and secondary containment to catch spills. Arrange for waste collection within 60 days to ensure that your waste is collected and shipped for disposal within 90 days. The hazardous waste containers available through OSEH meet the needs of most waste generators on campus.