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University of Cambridge >  Nanoscience Laboratory Intranet > Safety Information > Chemical Handling > Chemical Disposal > General Disposal

Chemical Disposal


If you wish to dispose of chemical waste there is a waste store outside the Cavendish stores. A disposal form must be completed, one copy should be left with the waste and the other forwarded to the Cavendish Safety Officer, Dr Jane Blunt.

Currently, the Safety Technician will collect and dispose of waste, empty bottles, full sharps bins and so on if they are left in the tray located in the clean room changing room, or in the tray by the door in the general lab.

Chemicals that can be disposed of down sinks in fume hoods include dilute acids, alkalis and ammonia solutions - dilute them to less than 10% volume with water, and wash away using copious volumes of water.

Special categories of waste that are collected separately include the following:
  • Chlorinated Solvents (includes chloroform, trichloroethylene, dichloromethane and similar)
  • Non-Chlorinated Solvents (includes acetone, ethanol, methanol, propanol, toluene, xylene, hexane, tetrahydrofuran, phenyl ether, dimethylformamide, hexamethyldislane and similar)
  • Aqueous waste (acids that are not washed down the sink)
  • Cadmium chloride and Silver nitrate solutions - hazardous to the aquatic environment
  • Rotary Pump Oil
  • Carbon Nanoparticle contaminated items - all items placed in specially labelled sealed sharps bin and disposed of separately.

There are bottles with the appropriate labels for different categories of waste in the Wet Lab and clean room bays. Replacement bottles can be obtained from the Cavendish waste chemical store - key available from Stores hatch. Stores also stock sharps bins.

Be aware that it can be extremely dangerous to place incomplete reaction mixtures from different sources in the same waste bottle. If in any doubt collect and label separately.

It is important that the Centre complies with Government regulations on disposal of chemicals to the environment via sinks or to the air through exhaust systems.

Sharp items such as glass pipette tips, microscope slides or silicon wafers should be disposed of in the sharps bins not in the general waste. Do not put any bottles/vials which still contain chemicals in the sharps bins. Please use common sense and do not over fill the bins, more are available from the waste chemical store.

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last updated 10-11-2006