Lab Chemical Waste Collection Team Led By Dr. A to Z.

13 April 2022 by CSG

Labs, schools, universities, and other research facilities often produce multiple streams of chemical waste stored in smaller containers. The chemicals cannot be mixed; therefore, they cannot be collected by a tanker. Due to the hazardous properties of the waste, it often requires specialist knowledge to ensure safe and compliant transportation and handling.

Our chemical specialist team supports customers with identification, sorting, segregating, and packing laboratory waste, before transporting the waste to a licensed waste treatment facility.

The team consists of chemistry graduates with extensive knowledge of chemicals and hazardous waste. On top of their degrees, they also receive specialist training in the job. With their broad technical knowledge, they can handle hazardous waste safely and compliantly.

The team is led by chemistry experts Assed Zaman and Stuart Atkinson. Both have worked in the laboratory waste industry for more than 20 years.

Meet the Experts

As far as lab chemical waste experts go, there is probably not anyone more qualified than Assed and Stuart. They jokingly call themselves Dr. A to Z.

They know almost everything there is to know about chemical waste. They easily navigate their way through a complex industry consisting of hazardous waste legislation and health and safety concerns to offer a compliant chemical waste disposal service to their customers.

After more than two decades in the industry and a PhD each they are the go-to-experts for advice on chemical waste disposal.

To the average person their achievements are impressive, but both are very humble about their academic accomplishments.

“Chemistry was the only subject I liked in school. That and math. I like problem solving.” Assed explains.

After graduating with a chemistry degree Assed continued his studies in computational chemistry. It’s a discipline concerned with the design, implementation, and use of mathematical models to analyse and solve scientific problems. He received a PhD for his work.

Assed started his career as a financial analyst after leaving university. But he missed chemistry, and left his job to join ASTEC, which would later become part of CSG. He also worked part-time as an A-levels chemistry teacher. After six years as a part time teacher, he left to fully focus on lab chemicals collection and waste management.  Stuart completed his studies while working part-time at ASTEC. Once he had received his chemistry degree Stuart wanted to continue with his studies. His study of the chemical structures of different materials in different physical states, earned him a PhD in Materials. At the time there was very little research around this topic.

More Than 20 Years of Experience

After more than 20 years in the lab chemical industry you are bound to have come across some unusual and rare things.  

“We have had a few explosives; one stands out, where a customer had over a tonne of a chemical which had dried out and become explosive. No other waste company wanted to get involved with this job. After some research and a phone call in broken German later we found a safe solution, involving the re-addition of lost water from the material.” Stuart says.

“I have also removed large animal foetuses in formaldehyde, heat sensitive chemicals, highly-toxic chemicals in old glass vessels and controlled drugs for pharmaceutical companies.”

Animal foetuses and chemicals in old glass vessels are a rarity. A majority of their customer base have regular collections of their lab chemicals. The team has supported many of these customers for years. Therefore, they know what type of waste will need to be collected and how it should be handled safely.

When they get a new customer, or a customer who needs a one-off job like a site closure or a chemical relocation to new premises, the collection process becomes a bigger project.

“We can’t just turn up to a site and collect the waste, because of the potential risks involved. We need to know what chemicals there are, how they are stored and where they are in the building. Sometimes we even need to go out and scope the place out beforehand.” Assed explains.

They both enjoy seeing a project through, from start to finish. Due to the complexity and risks involved our job is more about project management than ordinary waste collections. It is also a big responsibility, which both Stuart and Assed take very seriously.

“When I began collecting lab chemicals a ‘long long’ time ago it was a completely different world. Hazardous waste wasn’t as tightly regulated, and hazardous chemicals were often disposed of at landfill sites. Although legal at the time, I thought we could do a lot better.” Stuart explains.

“Luckily legislation has improved, and today any hazardous waste is heavily regulated.

“We do still get customers who have previously had a waste provider who hasn’t dealt with the waste properly or in accordance with the latest legislation.

“We pride ourselves in knowing that we will take care of these chemicals safely and compliantly, so that they can’t harm other people or the environment.” Stuart says.