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9.2.1 Solvent Recycling

Cornell EHS and Animal Health Diagnostic Center Department of Biomedical Sciences have jointly purchased a solvent recycling unit.  Reduction of non-halogenated solvent hazardous waste generated in the Histology Department is estimated to be approximately 3 tons annually.  The reduced cost of waste disposal annually is approximately $1500.00, while the reduction in annual purchase of new xylene and ethanol is estimated to be just over $8,000.00. The return of investment for this unit should be just over 2 years.

The recycling accomplished by Histology is not feasible in all laboratories because of an inability to segregate halogens from non-halogenated solvents.  Therefore, the afore-mentioned procedure in section 9.2 is an effective way to reduce costs for solvent disposal.

The following solvents should be segregated from other waste chemicals and stored in their own labeled container whenever possible:

  • Acetone
  • Ethanol
  • Formalin
  • Methanol
  • Xylene (can have Propar mixed)