Last update 8/11/09


  • Only containers available from or approved by EH&S shall be used.
  • Each radioactive waste container must have a record of materials in the container which is kept up-to-date.
  • Mark each container with a "Caution--Radioactive Material" label.
  • Package the waste according to the instructions given for each waste type below.
  • Segregate waste according to half-life:
    • less than 91 days = short-lived;
    • greater than 90 days = long-lived.
  • When the container is full, complete a Radioactive Waste Disposal tag. Instructions are on the back of the tag.
  • Attach the tag to the outer container surface.
  • Fill out web request form for disposal. Allow one week for collection of the waste.
  • See Information Bulletin 09-01 for information on radioactive waste disposal fees.


  • Place dry waste in EH&S-supplied 15 gallon drums, marked "Dry Radioactive Waste Only."
  • Place all solid radioactive waste (filter papers, gloves, bottle caps, empty scintillation vials, etc.) into innermost plastic liner.
  • When full, tape plastic liner shut; do not overfill.
  • Don't put unabsorbed liquid in this container.
  • Do not put contaminated equipment or radioactive powders in dry waste drums; contact EH&S for disposal instructions for these materials.
  • Contain sharps in a separate rigid red plastic container to prevent puncture injuries.


I.  Radioactive wastes

    • Must be placed in EH&S-supplied carboys with secure screw tops
    • Must have a "Caution - Radioactive Material" label attached.
    • Keep containers closed during storage
    • Supply secondary containment able to contain the liquid in case of breakage
    • Segregate LSC fluid, aqueous, and other liquids
    • Segregate aqueous waste by half-life

    II.  Scintillation vials with counting fluid

    • Must be placed in a container supplied by EH&S
    • Mark container "Scintillation Vials Only"
    • Carefully place UNOPENED vials into inner plastic liner. When full, tape plastic liner shut; do not overfill
    • Dispose bulk liquid scintillation counting fluid by emptying into EH&S-supplied, properly labeled liquid waste jugs and treating as liquid waste
    • Segregate scintillation fluid from other liquid wastes
    • Empty scintillation vials may be washed and reused, or may be disposed as dry waste if they contain NO residual scintillation fluid


    • Place all biological wastes (animal carcasses or parts, blood, urine, feces, bedding, etc.) inside plastic bags, with the ends sealed
    • Autoclave infectious waste prior to disposal
    • Identify each bag with a "Caution - Radioactive Material" label including radioisotopes, activities, dates, and name of Program Director
    • Store in a freezer authorized for radioactive material until picked up by EH&S. DO NOT place unfrozen carcasses into a disposal drum.
    • Collect 1-2 cubic feet of waste; complete a Radioactive Waste Disposal tag for the entire lot.


    Mixed waste is any waste material, other than LSC fluid, that contains radioisotopes and possesses other hazardous properties; i.e. the waste is:

    • Flammable or explosive
    • Toxic
    • Corrosive (pH greater than 12.5 or less than 2)
    • Reactive
    • Persistent (halogenated hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons with more than three and less than seven rings)
    • Carcinogenic

    Contact EH&S before generating ANY mixed waste.

    • Mixed waste must be characterized for isotope as well as hazardous components and concentrations (% by weight or volume)
    • Common examples of mixed waste include
        • solvents containing radioisotopes
        • radio-labeled carcinogens
        • contaminated lead
      • There is a disposal option for liquid scintillation cocktail containing radioisotopes.
      • Contact EH&S PRIOR to generating mixed waste for guidance on
        • minimizing waste generation
        • treatment options
        • classification
        • labeling