("Hazardous Waste Disposal" is based on an interview with Dr.R. Nichols Hazelwood. Before the interview he was given a list of 65 chemicals most commonly used by conservators.
Dr. Hazelwood is the Environmental Affairs Project Manager for IT Corporation. This California based corporation is a full line hazardous waste management company which operates and designs treatment facilities, disposal sites and analytical laboratories at various locations around the United States. IT Corp. operates a fleet of 150 vacuum trucks and also works with companies to help them decide how to handle their waste. It performs site investigations, responds to emergency calls about spills and does heavy industrial cleaning. Founded in 1926, IT Corporation went public in December 1983 and is rapidly expanding nationwide.)
Although conservators are well aware of the dangers involved in working with chemicals on a daily basis and articles have been written suggesting methods for proper storage, most conservators don't know how to go about safely disposing of these chemicals after having used them. Some of these materials are highly toxic and many are incompatible when mixed together. This article should help conservators address the problem of waste disposal. Most recommendations are made to maintain compliance with legislation and regulations in California, which are among the most stringent requirements in the country. After some initial research, the authors' impression is that most states are just trying to identify and cope with the vast problems inherent to the disposal of waste materials. Mechanisms for disposal, particularly of the small quantities produced by conservators, are for the most part only beginning to be put into place. However, the agencies we contacted were most willing to give advice and direction.
The Problem With Chemical Waste
The moment you open and use a can of solvent you are a waste generator. Conservation laboratories may only produce 10 to 15 gallons of waste each year and private conservators only one quart, still the improper disposal of even small quantities may cause unforeseen problems. Chemicals dumped in the back yard will filter down to the water table. It might take years, but they will eventually pollute that water below. Some chemicals washed down the drain produce flammable vapors which can collect in stand pipes and explode.
The bottom line is that California does not exempt small generators and if you do not dispose of waste properly, you are actually breaking the law and may be liable to stiff fines for non-compliance. ......http://cool.conservation-us.org/waac/wn/wn06/wn06-2/wn06-205.html