Waste Management’s waste removal pilot program is proving valuable to the APS
A new waste removal program at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) is reducing costs and helping maintain regulatory compliance. The program’s success has motivated several divisions at Argonne to consider adopting similar waste removal programs of their own.
Since its inception about a year ago, Waste Management’s Enhanced Resources Pilot Program has removed about 500 waste items from the APS, which represents 300 percent more waste than in previous years. The program’s success comes from embedding a Waste Project Specialist at the APS — to aid waste generators and guide them in waste planning — and establishing a General Accumulation Area (GAA) where waste from the APS’s 35 Satellite Accumulation Areas (SAAs) can be consolidated for shipment to Waste Management within 90 days of its arrival. Consolidating waste shipments saves money, while ensuring timely waste removal keeps labs in compliance.
“In many ways, the APS presents a unique waste management challenge,” said Helen Redmon, the embedded Waste Management Project Specialist. “Thousands of users come to the APS each year, sometimes for only a few hours of beam time, and often they can’t take the waste they generate with them when they leave.” In such cases, the responsibility for waste removal would fall squarely on the shoulders of the beamline scientists or other waste generator-trained personnel, but the 24/7 schedule the APS runs on makes it difficult for them to keep up.
“You come in Monday after a weekend of experiments and there will be chemicals in the labs that need to be disposed of,” said Alex Deriy, a beamline instrumentation specialist. “In those situations, Helen is a great help, because, before Helen, such wastes could accumulate. I am a waste generator-trained staff member, but I don’t always have enough time to investigate the waste and write up the waste requisitions by myself in as timely a manner as Helen does.”
As the program progresses, Redmon will participate in the planning phase of new experiments, which will enable her to help in choosing less hazardous materials for them.
By Vic Comello, Argonne Associate