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CHEMICAL REDISTRIBUTION PILOT PROJECT
Summary:
Unused and unopened chemicals being disposed of as waste due to a change in research, or discontinuation of a specific research protocol, will be redistributed to other laboratories that can utilize the chemical. The sharing of unused chemicals will reduce the amount of chemical waste generated.

This project will initially be implemented throughout the University of Michigan (U-M) Medical Campus, affecting hundreds of laboratories in twenty different buildings. Chemicals being redistributed will be tracked through a computer software program being developed by the U-M Integrated Technology Department.

Applicable Regulations
40 CFR Parts 260-268.

Overview of Procedure
As clinical and research laboratories complete individual protocols or change research practices, unopened and unused chemicals are often disposed of as waste. A proposed pilot chemical redistribution project will obtain, store, track, and redistribute unopened and unused chemicals to other researchers throughout the U-M Medical Campus. By making unopened chemicals available to other researchers, the chemicals will not be disposed of as a waste. This will decrease chemical waste disposal, and reduce quantities of chemicals being purchased by researchers that receive chemicals from this project.

Waste Minimization Procedure
A data management system will be developed to alphabetically catalog and inventory all chemicals included in the project. The common chemical name, hazard class, volume, date of chemical entry, and origin will track chemicals in the project.

All chemicals to be included in the program will be entered into the database prior to being stored in the designated storage location within the Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (OSEH) Medical Science Research Building III (MSRB III).

As a chemical is dispensed, it will be removed from the database. The information correlating to the redistributed chemical (chemical name, quantity, the researchers name and location) shall be accessible in a separate database for accountability and tracking purposes.

A real time inventory of all available chemicals will be available through the OSEH P2000 Home Page. As a U-M researcher accesses the inventory and finds a chemical he/she needs, the individual will order the chemical on-line by completing a chemical order form.

The data management system will also incorporate a "wish list" function that will enable a U-M employee to order a chemical that is currently not in stock. When a "wish listed" chemical comes into the MSRB III facility, an automatic function will flag it as a previously requested chemical and provide the necessary information to contact the individual who requested the chemical.

U-M OSEH Hazardous Materials personnel will obtain chemicals during routine chemical waste pick-ups. Initially only acids, solvents, bases, precious metals, and bicarbonates will be included in the project. Chemicals included in the project will be held for a pre-designated period of time, determined by type of chemical, age and shelf life. If they are not redistributed by the expiration date, the chemicals will be properly disposed of. Only unused/unopened chemicals with a maximum quantity of five gallons per container will be included in the pilot project. Biological materials, radioactive materials, and other constituents and products will not be included in the project.

Dispensary
The OSEH MSRB III facility will be designated as the dispensary for all chemicals within the project. Upon arrival to the dispensary, a recycle label will be affixed to each chemical bottle. Next the chemicals will be sorted and stored according to characteristic and in compliance with established State of Michigan and Federal regulations. OSEH Hazardous Materials personnel will perform all chemical storage and handling at the MSRB III facility.

Accountability
Individuals obtaining chemicals will sign an accountability form stating proficiency in safety and health parameters associated with the use of the particular chemical. The individual further acknowledges an OSEH disclaimer stating that the chemical purity assurance is not known.

Project Coordination
Project management will be coordinated through the OSEH Hazardous Materials Program to ensure proper packaging and transportation of chemicals is upheld.

Known Limitations
Storage time must be tracked to ensure chemicals have not expired. Due to the limitations on chemical shelf life, some chemicals will still enter the waste stream from the redistribution project.

The lack of chemical purity assurance may be a barrier to full acceptance of the program by researchers, even though the chemicals accepted for redistribution are unused and unopened.

Safety & Health Precautions/Personal Protective Equipment
Follow all applicable safety and health protocols and regulations as established by your institution.

Benefits
The objective of the chemical redistribution project is to reduce the quantity of chemicals being disposed of as waste and reduce the amount of new chemicals purchased.

Disadvantages
At this time, it appears that the redistribution project will not be cost effective. Further project evaluation comparing the labor and administrative costs associated with managing the project against reduced chemical purchase and disposal costs will assist in this determination. 

Project Related Costs
Costs incurred include computer software development, computer hardware purchases, project management, and labor required to catalogue, store, package, and redistribute chemicals.

 

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