They only stay in the test tube for the first year. During this time the colony only grows to about 20 workers, thus waste is low. They do keep their waste separate from the larvae and food, so it is easy to clean, but it is not a lot.
I start my colonies in Spring, after the first rain, when queens fly in the late afternoons and early mornings. These queens are easy to spot as they are usually bigger than normal ants, and are wandering about alone on sidewalks and pavements.
Digging out a colony in the wild is risky, as it is difficult to find the queen, and when you do find her, she might be injured, so I would not recommend this.
"Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."