Hospitals, university laboratories, manufacturing plants, and many other entities that use potentially hazardous chemicals may require lab packs and lab packing services.
What Is a Lab Pack and What Is Lab Packing?
A lab pack is usually a 55-gallon drum or a cubic yard box that is filled with smaller containers of chemicals and packing materials (often vermiculite) that keep the containers from being jostled. The chemicals within the containers are “expired, damaged, out-of-date,” or otherwise unusable, and they are separated according to their properties (e.g. flammability and corrosivity).
Lab packing is the process by which chemicals are placed into a DOT-approved container and transported to a disposal facility. Because many of these substances are hazardous alone and even more so in the presence of other chemicals, it is important that only someone who is an expert in these operations performs them. A trained lab packing technician will know how to handle these substances in a way that is safe and regulation compliant.
What Is the Lab Packing Process?
Chemical Identification and Segregation:
The first step in the lab packing process is to identify all of the chemicals that need to be disposed of. Once all chemicals are identified, they will be segregated by their hazardous characteristics and then properly packaged into DOT-approved containers.
Once a chemical inventory has been prepared, these substances will be packaged and labeled according to Department of Transportation (DOT) and EPA guidelines. Flammable chemicals are packed near other flammable chemicals, corrosives are near other corrosives, and so on. This is considered safer than mixing types of chemicals throughout the drum.
The segregation of chemicals is one of the most important parts of the process; if the containers were to open or break and the chemicals were not packaged properly, this could be a massive problem. Thus, selecting a highly qualified lab packing technician is essential.
Any relevant paperwork such as manifests, chain of custodys, and LDRs will be prepared before the items are transported by a permitted hazardous waste hauler for proper disposal. Depending on the type of lab pack you have (ex. flammable lab pack, corrosive lab pack, etc.) will dictate which disposal facility the waste will be transported to for disposal.
Once the lab pack arrives to its final destination, the waste management professionals will complete any necessary documentation and process the waste.
Pursuant to RCRA law, waste generators are responsible for handling their hazardous waste from cradle to grave. It is up to the generator to practice due diligence in hiring a waste management company to complete their lab packing and disposal requirements.
Leave It to The Experts
Clean Management has nearly three decades of experience in handling hazardous and nonhazardous waste. Our highly trained waste management professionals can take care of your lab pack needs, complying with all pertinent regulations.
We perform the job turnkey, meaning we come on site and identify, segregate, pack, transport and dispose of your waste so you don’t have to get involved.