PSFC Hazardous Waste Disposal

PSFC Office of Environment, Safety and Health


Plasma Science and Fusion Center

Office of Environment, Safety, and Health


190 Albany Street, NW21 2nd floor
617-253-8440 (Catherine Fiore)
617-253-8917 (Matt Fulton)
617-253-5982 (Bill Byford)
617-258-5473 (Nancy Masley)
Fax 617-252-1808

Be Safe or Die


Hazardous Waste Storage and Disposal

Revision Date: 12/28/01

Hazardous Waste Preparation

Most hazardous waste at the PSFC falls in one of two categories: 1.) Leftover hazardous material from a process which has been completed or 2.) Used materials which are no longer pure or have been contaminated and cannot be reused. Most hazardous waste is removed from the PSFC by the MIT Environmental Management Program, but it must be prepared for removal and stored properly while awaiting pickup.

Once the decision is made that leftover stock material is no longer needed and cannot be transferred to another project, prepare it as follows:

Used material may be accumulated in a labeled container in the immediate work area until the container is full or the work is complete. It must be stored appropriately during accumulation with the cap on in a designated "Satellite Accumulation Area". It must be inside a secondary container so that uncontrolled spills cannot occur, separate from incompatible materials. If you plan to accumulate such material in your lab, contact Catherine Fiore to see that a properly marked area is set up.

Once the container is full, proceed as follows:

  • Obtain a red "Hazardous Waste Tag" from ES&H or the Environmental Management Program. Fill it out with the name of the material in English (no chemical formulae). Include the name of the lab and your name, or the name of the PI, and the date. Make sure that the appropriate hazard class is checked off on the tag.

  • If the material is commercially prepared product sold under a tradename, provide an MSDS (these are shipped with the product, and can be easily obtained from the manufacturer if lost.)

  • Take it to a hazardous waste accumulation area. The location on the south side of Albany Street is the yellow cabinet in the hallway near the loading dock in NW21 (contact Catherine Fiore, 3-8440). The contact person will assist you in seeing that it is placed in the proper tray, with compatible materials. Make sure that the waste is transferred to an accumulation area within 3 days of designation.

  • Enter the chemical name on the waste packing list at the accumulation area along with the other required information such as amount and hazard.

Hazardous Waste Accumulation Areas

Hazardous waste may be held for 90 days or less at one site at the PSFC. This is is the yellow flammable cabinet adjacent to the stock room in NW21. See Catherine Fiore to access this site. Satellite accumulation sites can be set up in individual laboratories to hold waste during the process of generation, but filled waste containers must be removed within three days.

Hazardous waste must be placed in a designated area, separated from incompatible materials and separated from virgin or stock materials (separate shelves in the same cabinet are acceptable as long as these are clearly labeled.) Secondary containment must be provided.

If necessary, a Satellite Accumulation Area can be designated in an individual laboratory, as long as a responsible person agrees to oversee the accumulation and disposal. Contact Catherine Fiore if you wish to set up such an area in your lab.

Materials accumulated in a satellite accumulation area must be kept as follows:

  • A red "Hazardous Waste Tag" must be attached to the container. It should be filled out with the name of the contents in English, the name of person responsible, and the hazard class of the contents. The date should not be entered on the tag.

  • The containers must be inside a spill tray, separate from incompatible materials.

  • The caps must be on the containers and closed. No funnels are to be left in the container openings.

  • A designated person must check to see that the materials are stored properly once a week. A check sheet must be signed weekly to indicate that this has been done.

  • Once a container is full, date the tag and transfer it to the nearest hazardous waste accumulation area (see above) or arrange for disposal by the Environmental Management Office.

Unknown materials

Every possible effort should be made to identify unknown materials. If it cannot be identified, the Safety Office will arrange a special pickup. They will require a charge number at the time of pickup in order pay for analysis of the material prior to disposal. This normally costs about $100 per item.

Please contact Catherine Fiore at 3-8440 FIORE@PSFC.MIT.EDU if you have any questions.