Radioactive waste must be segregated by physical form and isotope and accumulated in containers provided by EHS.  Each Principal Investigator must ensure that satisfactory waste disposal methods exists and the proper receptacles are in place prior to the procurement of any radioactive material.

Practice ALARA – Minimize Waste, Use Appropriate Shielding, Keep Your Distance!

Waste Segregation

Each waste type (solid, liquid, carcasses, and scintillation fluid) must have its own container. Each container is denoted by color for short or long life-half material.

Any waste should be segregated by radionuclide into the following groupings:

  • Isotopes with a Half Life less than 100 days:35S, 131I, 86Rb, 33P, 51Cr, 125I, 32P
  • Isotopes with a Half Life greater than 100 days: 14C, 3H, 45Ca, 60Co

All biological waste should be double bagged in thick mil opaque bags with absorbent and sealed with tape or tie wrap.  Note: Animal carcasses should be stored in freezers until disposal.

Sharps should be placed in approved sharps containers prior to disposal.

Container Management

Radioactive waste containers must be posted with “Caution Radioactive Material” label.  Containers should be stored near the point of generation to minimize spillage probability during transfer.

Containers should be properly shielded while storing waste to minimize personnel exposure below 2 mR/hour.  Containers should not be stored in an unrestricted area and should be closed when not in use.


A completed radioactive waste disposal tag must be attached to each waste container.  A blank tag is provided with each new container delivered to the lab.

An online waste pick up request must be submitted through EHSA. Please note that if the container does not have a completed waste disposal tag, the waste will not be picked up.

A request for replacement containers can be made at the same time a waste pick request is submitted.

NCSU Surplus Guidelines

Some equipment and material may not be appropriate for resale due to the presence of
hazardous materials, characteristics, or regulatory constraints. It is the responsibility
of the equipment owner to ensure that all oils, coolants, and other hazardous materials
have been removed prior to submitting the item for disposition through surplus.
Items that may be contaminated by chemical, biological, or radioactive material must
be cleaned and inspected prior to submission to surplus.

Note: Lead pigs, sheets, and etc. should be submitted for pick up and recycling using the online EHSA system.