|MIXED WASTE SEGREGATION|
Some deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequencing procedures use trichloroacetic acid (TCA) to determine the tagging efficiency of radioactive phosphorous-32 (32P) to the DNA primers. Typically, all radioactive liquid waste for a laboratory is combined in a single large jug. TCA is a strong acid capable of creating a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) characteristic waste based on pH, even when in low concentration in a waste jug. Volume reduction of mixed waste (RCRA regulated waste combined with radioactive waste) is achievable by segregating the TCA mixed waste from the other radioactive liquid wastes generated in the laboratory.
40 CFR Parts 260-268.
10 CFR 20 Subpart K.
State of Michigan Act 451 Part 111.
Overview of Procedure
In addition, TCA is a strong acid, capable of creating acidic solutions even when in low concentration in solution. This may create a RCRA characteristic waste (D002) based on pH (see RCRA Overview for more information). Therefore, the TCA rinse will become a mixed waste, both radioactive and RCRA regulated. When combined with other radioactive liquid waste, it can create a large volume of mixed waste.
& Health Precautions/Personal Protective Equipment
The disposal costs for one gallon of mixed waste are approximately $158, including the actual disposal cost, analysis, and all personnel time including pickup and paperwork review. Therefore, the disposal costs for 70 gallons of mixed waste would be approximately $11,060.
The disposal costs for one gallon of liquid low-level radioactive waste are approximately $58. Therefore, the disposal costs for 69 gallons of this waste would be $4,002.
The following table illustrates the difference in cost between segregated and non-segregated waste.
The simple act of segregating this waste stream has the potential to save the U-M approximately $6,900 in disposal costs annually from one laboratory.