Mixed Radiation Waste

Mixed wastes are defined as wastes that contain radioactive materials and a hazardous waste. These types of wastes require special handling.  Researchers are encouraged to minimize the generation of mixed wastes because of the high costs of disposing of them.

Radioactive wastes that contain any of the following must be handled as a mixed waste:

Solvents (e.g., methanol, methylene chloride, acetone)

Flammable chemicals

Nitrates

Sulfides

Cyanides

Aqueous solutions with pH < 2 or > 12.5*

Arsenic

Barium

Cadmium

Chromium

Lead

Mercury

Selenium

Silver

Endrin

Lindane

Methoxychlor

Toxaphene

2,4-D

2,4,5 TP (Silvex)

Benzene

*If pH is the only item on this list that makes the item a mixed waste, it can be neutralized and handled as Radioactive Waste.

Carbon Tetrachloride

Chlordane

Chlorobenzene

Chloroform

O-Cresol

M-Cresol

P-Cresol

1,4-Dichlorobenzene

1,1,-Dichloroethylene

2,4-Dinitrotoluene

Heptachlor

Hexachlorobenzene

Hexachlorobutadiene

Hexachloroethane

Methyl Ethyl Ketone

Nitrobenzene

PCBs

Pentachlorophenol

Pyridine

Tetrachloroethylene

Trichloroethylene

2,4,5-Trichlorophenol

2,4,6-Trichlorophenol

Vinyl Chloride

If the waste contains I-125, P-32, or S-35 isotopes in addition to anything listed above, the waste should be retained by the generator until it is adequately decayed (at least 10 half-lives) so that it no longer qualifies as a regulated radioactive waste. Then the waste is classified as chemical waste only and the generator may request a chemical waste pickup.

If the waste contains C-14 or H-3 isotopes in addition to any of the chemicals listed above, the following procedures should be followed:

Generator responsibilities

  1. The generator requests a pickup through the DRS web site.
  2. Identify the isotopes and activity of the material in a Note for the Waste Item. You may be asked for a copy from the liquid scintillation printout for the particular waste and the calculation of the isotopic concentration (in μCi/ml) and total activity (μCi).  If there are multiple waste items, keep a copy of the printout and calculations for each.

DRS personnel are responsible for the pickup and disposal of mixed wastes from campus laboratories.

Last Update: 9/12/2016