By Rich Cellamare
Through the SLAC chemical exchange program, the Waste Management Group
(WM) found a new user for a rare chemical that was no longer needed at
SLAC. Shipping the chemical for reuse rather than disposing of it saved
SLAC about $1,500. By recycling leftover chemicals to other users, we
reduce disposal costs and the waste of expensive materials.
If you aren’t using some of your chemicals, you
could recycle them.
(Photo courtesy of Rich
Finding a New Home
How do you recycle a chemical at SLAC? The first thing to do is to
think of another on-site group who may be able to use it and then contact
them. If you don’t know of other potential users, contact WM. They
frequently work with SLAC chemical users and may know if someone else can
use your leftover chemical. Depending on the type and condition of the
chemical, WM can also find users outside of SLAC, such as other labs in
the DOE complex.
Follow the Golden Rule
How can you manage chemicals to make them more usable? Apply this
modification of the golden rule: "Provide chemicals to others as you would
have them provided to you." Your chemical will more likely find a new home
if you follow these simple suggestions:
• Make sure the chemical maintains its purity rating. Do not
cross-contaminate it with impurities.
• Know the age and history of the chemical, and properly label it (the
original manufacturer’s label is best).
• Store the chemical properly in an appropriate container, at the
recommended environmental conditions and with compatible chemicals.
• Ensure the chemical has a Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). A
chemical should not be given to another user without one. If you need MSDS
assistance, contact the ES&H Hazardous Materials Group (Ext. 3861).
Unfortunately, some chemicals cannot be exchanged because they no
longer meet air quality standards or are scheduled to be phased out. One
example is the family of compounds called freon. As a stratospheric
ozone-depleting chemical, many freon compounds are now banned from common
If you would like assistance finding a user for your chemical, call the
WM staff (Ext. 3586). They will be glad to help!