Environmental Health & Safety

Radioactive Waste Pick-ups

To request a radioactive waste pickup you must submit a radioactive & decayed waste disposal request Environmental Health and Safety. Please sign into iLab to request the pickup of radioactive or decayed waste from your laboratory: iLab.

It is important to complete the request in full to prevent delays in the pickup of your waste. Of particular importance is the Principal Investigators name, the grant number to be charged for the pickup, the location of the waste, the radioisotope and amount of activity.  Once completed, please print the request and tape it to the container. 

When Radiation Safety receives the waste request, it will be reviewed for completeness. If everything is in order, the waste will be picked up within 10 working days of receipt of the request. In the case of the white 5 or 10 gallon waste containers an empty container will be left in place of the full container.

This Department provides a variety of sizes for waste containers including a 2.5, 5 and 10 gal container. In addition, we also supply decay storage service for those Authorized Users who do not have the room to decay their radioactive waste. If you want this Department to decay your radioactive waste complete a waste request. It is strongly recommended that you do not store large amounts of radioactive waste in your laboratory. If you do store waste in your laboratory, P-32 waste should be placed in a Plexiglas waste container or behind plexiglass shields, while large quantities of Cr-51 and I-125 should be placed behind lead shielding.

Radioactive Waste Containers Used at Einstein


Dry solid radioactive waste should be segregated according to whether it is a long lived or short lived radioisotope. For example tritium and C-14 should be placed in separate waste containers from P-32, S-35, Cr-51 and I-125. In addition, P-32, S-35, Cr-51 and I-125 should be placed in separate containers for decay. This way you can dispose of P-32 in only 6 months while you must wait 3 years before disposing of S-35. Once decayed, waste must be surveyed by Radiation Safety before disposal. To request decayed waste be surveyed and disposed of, you must complete the waste request in iLab.

Liquid scintillation vials should be stored in a container separate from dry solid waste. In addition, while it is not absolutely necessary, you can save money on disposal of liquid scintillation vials by separating tritium and C-14 from all other radioisotopes. The tritium and C-14 go into a deregulated 30 or 55 gal waste drum while the other radioisotopes go into a regulated or standard 30 or 55 gal waste drum.

Only dump liquid scintillation vial down the sink if you know that the scintillation fluid is a biodegradable cocktail not containing xylene or toluene. Otherwise it must be disposed of in a drum for liquid scintillation vials. If in doubt contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

Liquid radioactive waste can be disposed of down the sink according to the limits set forth in the Radiation Safety Training Manual. If the activity of liquid waste is too large you can collect the waste and place it in a container and place a request for pickup. For small quantities of liquid you can absorb it on an absorbent pad and place it in the dry solid waste.

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