Re: Recycling

From:Barbara Stancel

Dear Toni,

We have two CBG recyclers. One for xylene and one for ethanol.(We were very 
lucky to have been received these thru a hazardous waste reduction effort by 
our agency.) We have been recycling for 12 years.

1)Have you found it to be cost effective?  YES! We have reduced our xylene 
purchase by more than one half. We used to buy 10 gallons a month when we 
had only one tissue processor! Now we have two VIP processors and we 
purchase 4 gallons every month to 6 weeks. Our hazardous waste was the 10 
gallons of xylene and any xylene contaminated ethanol (purge from processors 
and alcohols after xylene in the deparaffinization of our slides). Now our 
waste is about 1 gallon of the water/ethanol/xylene mix which comes from the 
first cut of the xylene distillation and the xylene contaminated ethanol. A 
percentage of xylene binds to the alcohol and cannot be separated during 
recycling, so it will always be considered hazardous waste.

We purchase only 200 proof ethanol, about 10 gallons per month. Recycling 
recovers ethanol at 94% to 97% depending on the type of ethanol put in to 
the recycler. We make any lower percentage alcohols from our recycled 

Our hazardous solvent waste went from 15-20 gallons every 4 weeks to 15 
gallons every 8-10 weeks. A great savings!

2) How dirty a job is it?  Very clean. Recycling is not an option for us. It 
is a requirement. But it couldn't be easier. When we have 3-5 gallons of 
solvent collected, we pump it into the recycler, open the valve and press a 
button. Walk away. Couldn't be easier. No smells. No noise. No sweat. Our 
product is recycled into carboys with valves. To use the recycled product we 
just stick our containers under the spigot and fill it up. Our units are 
mobile. If they need to be moved for any reason, we just unplug them and 
roll them away! Of course, as with any instrument there are some 
preventative maintenance procedures which are done periodically like 
cleaning the filters of solidified fats.

3) Where do you use the recycled product?  Anywhere we need xylene or 
ethanol: tissues processors and all staining areas. Our IHC techs do like to 
use one freshly purchased xylene for the last deparaffination for their 

4) How many tissue processors does your lab have?  Two. Also, one automatic 
stainer and one glass coverslipper. We do about 75 special stains per week.

We are very happy!

Histologically yours,
Barbara H. Stancel, HTL(ASCP)HT
USDA, FSIS, OPHS, Eastern Laboratory, Pathology
RRC, 950 College Station Road
Athens, Georgia  30604
phone: (706) 546-3556
fax: (706) 546-3589

Original message:

From: "Fisher, Toni" 
To: "''" 
Subject: Recycling
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 15:02:37 -0600

Thanks to all for helping with drying times and job rotation.  Here are
other issues we would like the communities help with.  For those who recycle 
alcohol and xylene:  Have you found it to be cost effective?   How dirty a 
job is it?  Where do you use the recycled product?  How many tissue 
processors does your lab have?

Thank you all, Toni

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