Hazardous Waste Disposal Guide

Hazardous waste that is no longer used for its original purpose should be disposed of under the BC hazardous waste regulations due to its quantity, concentration, physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics.

Special disposal techniques to eliminate or reduce the hazard are required. The disposal and transportation of hazardous waste are governed by the BC Hazardous Waste Regulation , the federal Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations, as well as UBC Policy #9 (PDF) (Hazardous Materials Management)

Hazardous Waste Disposal Guide

How does one access the chemical waste inventory system?

On campus Chemical Waste Inventory System access Off campus Chemical Waste Inventory System access

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What are the general guidelines for the disposal of hazardous waste

All UBC researchers, as users and generators of hazardous waste are personally responsible to ensure that compliance is met and must follow these general waste disposal guidelines

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How does one dispose of chemical waste?

Chemical waste comprises of unused chemicals (toxic, corrosive, flammable, oxidizing and reactive), in their original containers or mixtures of chemicals and byproducts generated from experiments.

  • Chemical waste generated at UBC must go through an online approval process, using the Chemical Waste Inventory System (CWIS).
  • This approval process ensures compliance with the federal, provincial and municipal bylaws, regulations and policies and guides the disposal of hazardous waste.
  • All hazardous waste generators must complete the Chemical Safety Training before using CWIS

Disposal process

  • Dispose of non-hazardous chemicals via the normal trash or sewer. Check if your chemicals are included on the non-hazardous chemical waste lists
  • Follow the Disposal of Chemical Waste procedure, per the Hazardous Waste Manual
  • Enter all hazardous chemicals into the online CWIS. Provide detailed and complete chemical waste information
  • Wait for approval and then package waste according to instructions
  • Take approved and properly packed waste to the designated waste accumulation areas in your building or department
  • Contact your facility managers or supervisors to find out where these locked areas are located and/or obtain keys
  • Note: Off-campus research facilities must request direct pick up of all hazardous waste by an external contractor

Unacceptable waste streams

  • Unknown chemicals, explosives & potentially explosive materials, compressed gas cylinders & lecture bottles of hazardous gases are not acceptable by the Environmental Services Facility
  • The cost of waste removal and disposal by external contractor is the generators’ and/or their department’s responsibility
  • Please contact Valeriy Kichenko to make special arrangements for direct pick-up

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How does one dispose of non hazardous chemical waste?

Some chemicals can be safely disposed of down the drain or in normal garbage bins.

When safe and allowed by regulation, disposal of non-hazardous laboratory waste via the normal trash or sewer can substantially reduce disposal costs. This kind of lab waste segregation makes economic and environmental sense.

Non-hazardous wastes often mistakenly considered hazardous include certain salts (e.g., potassium chloride and sodium carbonate), many natural products (e.g., sugars and amino acids), and inert materials (e.g., non-contaminated chromatography resins and gels). These materials can be disposed of safely and legally in the normal trash if not contaminated.

Waste that is not regulated because it does not exhibit any of the hazardous characteristics (ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity) as defined by BC Hazardous Waste Regulations, 2009, and is not restricted or prohibited by the Metro Vancouver Sewer Use By-law 299 or Metro Vancouver Landfill Banned & Prohibited Materials can be disposed of via the normal trash or sewer. All listed materials which are not controlled by WHMIS (PDF) and with NFPA Regulations (PDF) designation in all related hazards of 0 or 1 can be disposed of safely via the normal trash or sewer.

Things to note

Safe to dispose down the drain

Safe to throw out with your garbage

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How does one dispose of biological waste?

Biological waste includes biohazards, sharps, human blood/fluids, and pathological waste. The different waste streams under this categories have special treatment, packaging and labeling requirements depending on the specific waste stream. Each package must be accompanied by a Biological Waste Disposal tag and a generator bar code. Refer to the relevant procedures in the UBC hazardous waste procedures as described in the Hazardous-Waste-Manual; or for a quick overview the Hazardous-Waste-Information-Sheet-2017 (PDF)

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How does one dispose of solvent, oil, photographic & contaminated solid waste?

These waste streams do not need to be pre-approved for disposal via the CWIS. Each of them has specific packaging requirements, and must be accompanied by a special tag as well as a generator barcode. Refer to relevant procedures in the Hazardous Waste Manual (PDF) and to the Hazardous-Waste-Information-Sheet-2016 (PDF)

Solvent Waste

Includes various types of flammable organic solvents, is collected in a specially provided UBC Jeri cans, and uses a blue solvent waste tag. Halogenated and non- halogenated waste must be segregated for accumulation and disposal. ESF recycles acetone and methanol refer to solvent waste section for details.

Oil Waste

Includes automotive lubricating, cutting, gear, hydraulic, refined petroleum based oil, synthetic, emulsion, crude and, vacuum pump oil. Important note: Waste oils must not be contaminated with water, solvents, toxic materials, or poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s). Uncontaminated waste oil is sent for recycling through M&R Technologies

Photographic Waste

Includes fixer and developer which must be segregated and accumulated for disposal in 20L Jeri cans, accompanied by photochemical tag (purple) ; refer to detailed manual procedure for additional information.

Non-regulated Contaminated Solid Waste

Includes lab solid waste contaminated with traces of ethidum bromide and silica gel contaminated with solvents. This waste must be accompanied by a yellow tag. Refer to detailed manual procedure (PDF) for additional information.

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Are there any videos on Hazardous Waste Management?

There are videos that show aspects of hazardous waste management and these can be viewed under courses and training.

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