PLS: "Hey, I'm just calling to find out what you guys suggest doing with large plastic tubes that have had phenol and chloroform in them."
Health and Safety Officer: "Hmmmm, can you hold on for a second?"
PLS: "Sure." *Mentally humming the theme to Final Jeopardy while listening to the muffled conversation behind the hand over the receiver at the other end of the line.*
HaSO: "Just put them in a clear plastic bag, autoclave them and throw them out."
PLS: "Wait, they're volatile chemicals. You want me to heat them under high pressure? How will that make them less hazardous?" *Imagining finding an unconscious undergrad in front of an open autoclave with organic fumes everywhere.*
HaSO: "Well, it should make the tubes unrecognizable."
PLS: "So you want to melt the tubes and plastic together with the volatile chemicals and then throw them in the garbage."
HaSO: "As long as the tubes are destroyed it should be fine."
PLS: "...Um, for who?"
HaSO: "Was that your only question?"
PLS: "Yes." *Thinking: Until I have to call and ask about the treatment for hot phenol vapor inhalation, yes.*
So, uh, yeah. That's not what we did with those tubes. At least now I know that the office is interested in the safety of the university.