Waste disposal is highly regulated and also very costly for disposal by the University. It is important that all disposable items that are contaminated with radioisotopes are properly disposed of in a well labeled, approved radioactive waste container. We must know the isotope, activity and date for all such containers. For liquid wastes, we must also know the chemical components.
There is a lot that each individual isotope user in the lab can do to help keep disposal costs to a minimum. For example, any item that clearly has not come in contact with radioactive material should not be placed into a radioactive waste container. That pair of gloves that you had on and removed before you used radioactive material is one example. The paper towel you used when you washed your hands after removal of your gloves, outer wrappers from disposable items -all of these are examples of materials that often find their way into radioactive waste containers.
If there is any question whether an item is contaminated, please put it in the radioactive waste container. But each unnecessary item in the waste container has to be carried, stored, and handled by Safety personnel. If it is in a container with radioisotopes with half lives over 120 days, the material can not be decayed in storage at Tufts. Instead Tufts must pay for proper disposal at a limited number of radioactive waste disposal sites. So please, if an item is clearly not contaminated, take the time to place it in the appropriate bio or regular waste container.