Changes to Radioactive Waste Disposal Rates


The cost of disposing radioactive waste is recovered via a cost center at the UW. Fortunately, the rates for disposing most radioactive waste streams decreased this year due to switching to a waste processing facility with thermal treatment capabilities. The new waste processor charges by the pound for thermal treatment so the new rates are calculated based upon weight as opposed to volume as in the past.

What are the new waste disposal rates?

Waste rates for common waste streams such as dry solid, absorbed aqueous liquid and animal carcasses are available here. Exotic items such as activated metals and sealed sources must be priced on a case-by-case basis.

How are the rates calculated?

EH&S management evaluates and adjusts the rates periodically to recover the cost of providing goods and services. The last rate change for the radioactive waste disposal cost center occurred in July 2015.

There are a number of factors that go into calculating the waste rates including site-use fees charged by the government; disposal fees charged by waste processors and the disposal site; and supplies and labor needed to collect and package the waste.

How can I dispose of my radioactive waste? 

Complete and submit an online Radioactive Waste Collection Request. Visit the Radioactive Waste Management page for more information.

What about my scintillation fluid waste?

EH&S personnel analyze samples of the liquid scintillation fluid and vials to determine isotope(s) and activity. If the sample(s) indicate H-3 and/or C-14 <0.05 µCi/ml, the vials are disposed as chemical waste without regard to the radioactivity and there are no charges other than the sampling fee. If other isotopes or chemicals are identified, the price will be quoted on a case-by-case basis.

Can I request a waste evaluation?

For more information or to request a waste evaluation, contact Michael J. Zittle, Radioactive Materials Compliance Manager, at or 206.616.8901.