Waste Disposal

The UBC Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering aims to be a good steward of the environment by following all applicable federal, provincial, and municipal environmental laws, and by fostering best environmental practices amongst our employees and students.

Non-hazardous wastes (such as garbage, glass, scrap metal, wood, packaging, etc.) are handled by UBC Waste Management (contact Miles Garcia at 604-822-3857 or Building Operations Service Centre at 604-822-2173).

For a list of Non-hazardous chemicals that are safe to throw out with your garbage, please click here.

For a list of Non-hazardous chemicals that are safe to dispose down the drain, please click here.

To download the full Hazardous Waste Management Manual, click here. Procedures for the wastes that ESF can manage are included in this manual. If you have any questions, please contact the RMS Environmental Advisor 604-822-9840 or an ESF Technician 604-822-1285.

Type of Waste Disposal information
Chemical Waste

All chemicals for disposal must be pre-approved for disposal by an ESF Technician. Generator contact information and full chemical names (no abbreviations), must be listed through the online CHEMICAL WASTE INVENTORY SYSTEM. http://www.hse2.ubc.ca/wis/Login.aspx

For more information about chemical waste disposal, please contact: Environmental Services Technician Valeriy Kichenko (604 822-6306, valeriy.kichenko@ubc.ca)

Frequently Asked Questions about Chemical Waste Disposal http://www.hse2.ubc.ca/wis/userapp/cwis-faq.pdf

 

For more detailed information on Chemical Waste disposal procedures, please click here.

Biohazardous Waste

CHBE currently produces Autoclaved Risk Group 1 waste. Please bring your bag(s) of autoclaved waste to CHBE Stores, when ready.

For more detailed information on Biohazardous Waste treatment & disposal procedures, please click here.

Organic 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.

 

Empty solvent bottles should be triple rinsed and disposed of as laboratory glass waste. Note that these bottles are not accepted for recycling. Refer to the detailed procedure “Disposal of Laboratory Glass Waste” below.

 

For more detailed information on Organic Solvent Waste disposal procedures, please click here.

Laboratory Glass Waste In general, for the disposal of glass waste follow the steps below:

  1. Decontaminate safely as required (more info below).
  2. Clean completely of residues, including organic vapours and chemicals (leave bottles of organic solvents in a fume hood for at least one day, rinse other reagent bottles well with cold water)
  3. Remove all bottle caps.
  4. Remove or deface all labels and hazard warnings.
  5. Place in Glass Waste containers (glass disposal buckets and extra thick clear plastic bags – available in CHBE Stores).
  6. Once glass waste container is 3/4 full, tie bag closed, ensuring that no glass objects protrude past the top of the container.
  7. Label the container indicating your building, room, and telephone number.
  8. Take container to CHBE Stores, when ready

NOTE: NO sharps (e.g. needles, blades, syringes) and glass vials/jars containing chemicals or other hazardous materials can be disposed of in the glass waste containers.

Chemical-Contaminated Glass Waste

Dispose of chemical contaminated glass waste through RMS in the appropriately labeled white 20 litre plastic buckets supplied by RMS. If it is possible to decontaminate the glass waste then this is preferred. For decontaminating:

  • Empty Solvent Containers: allow the solvent residue to evaporate out in a fumehood 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 the rinse pH is outside these values, collect it and dispose of it as acidic / corrosive waste.  Contact RMS regarding hydrogen fluoride & hydrogen bromide glass waste disposal.
  • Inorganic Salt Glass Containers; rinse with water. (ie: potassium chloride, magnesium chloride etc)

Contact RMS regarding ketones, aldehydes, amines or other specific chemically-contaminated glass waste for decontamination procedures.

Once decontaminated deface all labels and hazard warnings and place in clean glass receptacles.  Whole bottles can be placed adjacent to buckets. Do not place this glass waste in the laboratory recycling program.

Decontaminated glass bottles can be used to hold liquid hazardous waste for disposal as long as all labels and hazardous waste symbols are removed or clearly defaced.

Biologicals-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.

  • Risk Group 1 Autoclaved Glass Waste: dispose with chemically contaminated glass if chemically contaminated or if glass is a slide. If glass is not chemically contaminated or visibly dirty, autoclaved risk group 1 waste can be disposed of as clean laboratory glass.

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.

Aqueous Waste For more detailed information on Aqueous Waste disposal procedures, please click here.
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.

For more detailed information on Non-regulated contaminated solid waste disposal procedures, please click here.

Unknown laboratory chemicals

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.

For more detailed information on Unknown laboratory chemicals disposal procedures, please click here.

Potentially explosive chemicals For more detailed information on Potentially explosive chemicals disposal procedures, please click here.
Waste Oil

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).

For more detailed information on Waste Oil disposal procedures, please click here.

Mercury Waste

Burnt out light bulbs/tubes can be brought down to CHBE Stores for recycling/disposal.

For more detailed information on Mercury Waste disposal procedures, please click here.

Sharps For more detailed information on Sharps disposal procedures, please click here.
Waste batteries

Batteries can be brought to CHBE Stores for recycling.

For more detailed information on Waste batteries disposal procedures, please click here.

Laboratory equipment For more detailed information on Laboratory equipment disposal procedures, please click here.
Polychlorinated biphenyls For more detailed information on polychlorinated biphenyls disposal procedures, please click here.
Propane and butane gas cylinders For more detailed information on propane and butane gas cylinder disposal procedures, please click here.
Ethidium bromide liquid waste For more detailed information on ethidium bromide liquid waste disposal procedures, please click here.
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.

For more detailed information on Photographic waste disposal procedures, please click here.

Waste paint For more detailed information on Waste paint disposal procedures, please click here.
Biomedical waste For more detailed information on Biomedical waste disposal procedures, please click here.
Pharmaceuticals and controlled substances For more detailed information on Pharmaceuticals and controlled substances disposal procedures, please click here.
Non-human primate pathological waste For more detailed information on Non-human primate pathological waste disposal procedures, please click here.
Uncontaminated pathological animal waste For more detailed information on Uncontaminated pathological animal waste disposal procedures, please click here.
Non-indigenous species For more detailed information on Non-indigenous species disposal procedures, please click here.
Animal bedding For more detailed information on Animal bedding disposal procedures, please click here.

For more information on UBC Hazardous Waste Disposal, please click here.

Electronic waste, printer cartridges, batteries, and burnt out light bulbs/tubes can be brought down to CHBE Stores for recycling/disposal.

For more information on UBC Recycling Programs, please click here.

What are UBC hazardous waste tags and generator barcode stickers and how do I get them?

For repeated waste streams such as: solvents, oils, non-regulated contaminated solids, and biological waste UBC has implemented a serialized, colour-coded, tag system that identifies the type of waste and allows for specific waste package or container tracking. The barcode sticker is a self-adhesive label that must be affixed to the UBC Hazardous Waste Tags on each container of waste sent to ESF. The barcode allows ESF to identify the Hazardous Waste Generators for waste tracking and legal purposes. Without the barcode sticker affixed to the tag, ESF may refuse collection and disposal of hazardous waste. In order to register as a UBC Hazardous Waste Generator and receive barcode stickers, tags, or waste containers, contact an ESF Technician at 604-827-5389.

Waste Disposal Contacts:

CHBE Safety Coordinator

Miles Garcia (604-822-3857, miles.garcia@ubc.ca)

 

Technician, Environmental Services

Valeriy Kichenko (604 822-6306, valeriy.kichenko@ubc.ca)

 

 

Technician, Environmental Services

Bang Dang (604-822-1285, bang.dang@ubc.ca)

 

Technician, Environmental Services

Kenneth Cheng (604-827-5389, Kenneth.cheng@ubc.ca)