Q: The 2012 Life Safety Code allows for 96 gallon containers outside a hazardous area for clean waste. Unfortunately, our vendor that handles recycling does not have a 96 gallon container that meets the fire rating to take advantage of the LSC specifications (FM Approval 6921 labeling). Hence, how many 32 gallon containers can be stored in an area and is there a requirement to space them apart?
A: The Life Safety Code does address this issue. The 2012 LSC, section 18.104.22.168.1 limits soiled linen and trash containers to 32 gallons capacity. Mobile containers that exceed 32 gallon capacity are required to be stored in a room designed as a hazardous area when not attended. An aggregate of containers with a total accumulated capacity of 32 gallons must not exceed a 64 square foot area. So, technically, you could have many 32 gallon containers as long as they are in their own 64 square foot area.
Section 22.214.171.124.2 of the 2012 LSC has the additional provision of allowing the 96 gallon container used for recycling clean waste and patient records waiting destruction are excluded from the conditions in 126.96.36.199.1 provided the container does not exceed 96 gallons capacity and are labeled and listed as meeting the requirements of FM Approval standard 6921. If your container does not meet the FM Approval standard 6921 (or comparable listing) then you do not qualify for section 188.8.131.52.2. You would then have to follow section 184.108.40.206.1.