waste chemical disposal

Waste chemical disposal: We are in western Sydney and are looking for an economical way of disposing of both solution and solid chemical waste and surplus chemicals . 

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Publication Date: 11 November 2014
Asked By: kelly sheldon
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Answer by labsupport on question Answer by ritasteffe on question waste chemical disposal

Expert Answer

All schools have a responsibility to dispose of their chemical waste in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. In NSW the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) administers the management of chemical waste. http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/pesticides/chemicalmgt.htm

If you are a DEC school in NSW:

You need to follow specific advice on disposal of chemical waste in accordance with the Chemical Safety in Schools (CSIS) package. The following sections should be consulted:

Section 1.8:  Managing Chemicals

Section 3:  Curriculum Support Documents 3.2 Science

Appendix E:  Disposal of waste chemicals (A table of chemical brokers and suppliers is listed who can assist you with the disposal of chemicals). At this time the cost is borne by the school. Appendix E also contains some advice on re-using, recycling and reprocessing chemicals as well as flow diagrams on how to treat different types of chemicals for disposal. There are also specific instructions for the disposal of individual chemicals as well as Sydney Water limits for disposal of liquid wastes to sewers.  It has been confirmed by NSW DEC that CSIS is currently under review and that the feasibility of a state contract with a licensed waste contractor will be considered sometime in the future.

Sydney Water has also published a document on acceptance standards of trade wastewater to the wastewater system for its industrial customers. This may also be of assistance. http://www.sydneywater.com.au/web/groups/publicwebcontent/documents/docu...  

If you are not a DEC school in NSW:

Below is a list of a few licensed waste contractors that are able to service western Sydney.

Cleanway Environmental Services 1300 785 003 www.cleanway.com.au

Toxfree 9833 4399 www.toxfree.com.au 

Solveco 9833 7035 http://www.solveco.com.au/

Schools should obtain quotes from several different providers to compare costs and service provided.

The cost of disposal can possibly be lowered if several schools in your area arrange to have their waste chemicals collected by the same company on the same day.  Some companies may allow the transport fee to be negotiated.

Before engaging a contractor, we suggest you review the chemicals you have for disposal to consider whether any of the waste material can be used in another process or treated safely in-house for re-use, recycling or disposal to the sewer. This may minimise the amount of chemicals required for collection and hence reduce the cost of disposal. The SDS sheet for individual chemicals should be consulted for appropriate disposal methods.

General Disposal Considerations:

As far as possible, schools should aim to minimise the quantities of chemical waste produced. Chemical waste should be disposed of by a licenced waste contractor. See the Science ASSIST list of suppliers for contact details.  http://assist.asta.edu.au/resource/664/school-science-suppliers.  The cost of disposal is determined by weight and chemical class with the addition of a transport fee, EPA levy and GST.

Contractors generally require the chemical waste to be in secure containers with compliant labels and incompatible wastes segregated. They may have their own template for a manifest of chemicals for disposal which usually includes:

  • the name of each chemical (proper shipping name);
  • the UN number, dangerous goods class and sub risk, if applicable, packaging group;
  • size (volume) of the actual container;
  • type of container (e.g., glass, plastic, metal) plus the actual volume of chemical in each of the containers;
  • number (quantity) of containers;
  • total quantity (kg or L);
  • any unknown chemicals should be labelled as unknown.

The manifest can be emailed to the contractor to obtain a quote. Whilst waiting for pick up, store and segregate incompatible waste chemicals safely in approved store rooms or chemical storage cabinets.

Schools must check with their own authorities regarding regulations in their area. The Water Corporation of WA provides information regarding guidance for laboratory chemical waste. Whilst the specific advice is for WA it contains some good information regarding chemicals of major concern, waste avoidance and waste minimisation, as well as some best management practices. See https://www.watercorporation.com.au/home/business/trade-waste/trade-waste-in-your-business/labratory-chemical-waste

Science ASSIST will be developing detailed guidelines for chemical waste disposal in the near future.

by Judy Cook on 25 November 2014

A word of caution - we organised a chemical pickup from one of the above companies and despite providing a very detailed list including type of packaging we had a massive blowout of around $1000 as a lot of the chemicals were in glass containers. The price is based on gross weights which means the glass is also viewed as contaminated waste and charged accordingly. Had I known this I could have combined a lot of the waste or repacked in plastic to keep costs down.

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