Hazardous Materials Management

Hazardous materials disposal is governed by strict local, provincial and federal regulations. HSE manages and handles hazardous materials generated on campus in accordance with these regulations. By following the policies and procedures found on this website, the University will ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, UBC Policies and best management practices.  For hazardous materials spills please view the Hazardous Materials Spills Procedures.

Laboratory wastes and hazardous materials generated by the University through research, academic and operational activities are consolidated, recycled, re-used, neutralized or disposed. The Laboratory Pollution Prevention and Waste Management Manual was created to assist the University community in the handling, management and reduction of wastes in the laboratory.

Submitting Hazardous Requests for Pick-Up

For hazardous materials pickup complete an online request via the  Hazardous Waste Inventory System (HWIS).

The HWIS is an online system for hazardous waste generators to submit hazardous wastes for pick up and disposal.

If you do not have access to HWIS contact Health, Safety and Environment Services at riskmanagement.ok@ubc.ca or (250)807-8656.

Waste Tags

Waste tags are available electronically.

Chemical Waste

See specific disposal procedures for the hazardous chemical material listed below. For other hazardous chemical material disposal procedures contact the HSE office at riskmanagement.ok@ubc.ca or (250)807-8656:

Biohazardous Waste

Segregate biological materials according to the classes listed below.  Package and store the materials according to the specific procedure for each class.  Affix a Biological Waste Tag for easy identification.  For biologically contaminated glass see below for procedure:

Radioactive Waste

For information on the proper disposal procedures for radioactive materials contact the HSE office at riskmanagement.ok@ubc.ca or (250)807-8656.

Glass Waste Disposal

Uncontaminated Glass Waste

Uncontaminated lab glass waste is disposed of through Health, Safety and Environment Services (HSE). Clean, uncontaminated lab glass can be collected in green “clean lab glass” buckets that are supplied by HSE. Please contact HSE to obtain a “clean glass” bucket.

Clean glass must be visually clean (no dirt) and free from chemical contaminants.

Flat (sides) or plate (windows) are not permitted in the clean glass buckets. Dispose of them as chemically or biologically contaminated glass.

Chemically Contaminated Glass Waste

Dispose of chemically contaminated glass waste through HSE in the appropriately labeled white 20 litre plastic buckets supplied by HSE. If it is possible to decontaminate the glass waste then this is preferred.

For decontaminating:

  • Rinse glass and appropriately dispose of rinse water
  • Allow materials to dry / air out inside a fume hood
  • Clean glass must be visually clean

Empty Chemical Containers

Empty chemical containers can be reused by Health, Safety and Environment Services in our hazardous waste program.

  • Empty Solvent Containers: allow the solvent residue to evaporate out in a fume hood for 1 day then rinse well with water. (ie: methanol, ethanol, acetone, dichloromethane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, ethyl ether, hexanes).
  • Corrosives’ Glass Containers: rinse with water and dispose of the rinse as non-hazardous waste only if the rinse has a pH of between 6 – 8. (ie: hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, nitric acid, acetic acid, ammonium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide). If not between 6-8, dispose of rinse water as chemical waste.
  • Inorganic Salt Glass Containers: rinse with water. (ie: potassium chloride, magnesium chloride etc).

Once decontaminated deface all labels and hazard warnings (easiest method is to tape spare paper to the surface). Attach lid loosely (or not at all). Request pick-up through the Hazardous Waste Inventory System (HWIS) as “Other Wastes”. Bottles will be re-used in the hazardous waste system.

Biologicals & Chemical-Contaminated Glass Waste

Glass contaminated with biologicals must be autoclaved prior to being disposed of as hazardous waste. Separate glass waste according to Risk Group. Autoclave the biological-contaminated glass waste. Dispose of autoclaved glass waste as Risk Group 1 or Risk Group 2 through HSE in the appropriately labeled red 20 litre plastic buckets.

  • Biologicals & Chemical-Contaminated Glass Waste
  • Glass contaminated with both chemical and biological Risk Group 1 must be autoclaved prior to being disposed of as chemical-contaminated glass waste.
  • Glass contaminated with both chemical and biological Risk Group 2 must be autoclaved prior to being disposed of as Risk Group 2 biological-contaminated glass waste.