Gas Cylinders and Aerosol Cans
Prior to ordering pressurized gas cylinders for their research projects, Principal Investigators and lab members are directed to contact the manufacturer or cylinder supplier and make arrangements to have the cylinders picked up following use. Most cylinder suppliers are eager to recycle these reusable containers; the cylinders are very expensive for the University to dispose of as Hazardous Waste when these arrangements are not made.
In the event that a lab discovers an old or abandoned cylinder in their spaces, they should contact EH&S’s Chemical and Radioactive Waste Disposal group immediately to aid with disposal. Under no circumstance should old cylinders be allowed to accumulate in the laboratory, as this risks the valve’s degradation or inadvertent operation resulting in the release of the contained gases into the workspace.
Labs which fill cylinders themselves with research gases or liquids must ensure that the cylinder is clearly labeled with its contents at all times.
Aerosol cans which are empty of all contents are allowed to be disposed of as “regular” trash by placing in any waste receptacle. If there are contents still in the can, however, the aerosol product should be placed in an appropriate outer container (such as a fiberboard drum) in the lab’s Hazardous Waste Satellite Accumulation Area and disposed of through EH&S.