Posted at 1 p.m. April 6, 2017

New insurance plan requires recurring
chemical cleanups

Last month, Laramie County Community College President Dr. Joe Schaffer pointed out that the chemistry lab requires attention when it comes to the cleanup and removal of older chemicals and compounds we no longer use.

The college has brought in a new insurance carrier and coverage policy. The provider has various protocols that the college must follow. One of the provider’s protocols involves the cleanup and removal of older chemicals and compounds.

The cleanup and removal process can take some time, and more often than not a contractor must come in to do so.

“Some of them can be poured down the sink, or neutralized in some other way,” Ami Wangeline, Interim Dean, School of Mathematics and Sciences, said. “And others need to be collected and picked up by chemical disposal companies that are regulated to handle hazardous waste.”

When companies come in to dispose of chemicals, the college closes the Science Building.

The college tries to schedule the removal on the weekends so it doesn’t conflict with classes.

“Chemical inventory and disposal is an on-going process for material used in class,” Wangeline said. “In the particular case that we had this semester, there were hazardous chemicals that were no longer needed for classes and were removed from campus.”

Two disposal specialists wore hazmat suits with respirators, to avoid contact with any hazardous chemicals.

Although the cleanup and disposal process is part of the standard operating protocol, the college doesn’t want to take any unnecessary risks.

“Some chemicals are modified to become less hazardous,” Wangeline said. “Some are detonated and some are stored indefinitely.”

According to Wangeline, the disposal company, Veolia conducted the disposal process, she also said that the college has an ongoing contract with another disposal company, Stericycle.

The cost for the disposal process varies based on multiple factors.

“It will depend on the chemical, how hazardous the chemicals are, the amount of chemicals that are being disposed and the company that is disposing of the chemicals,” Wangeline said.


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