No matter what type of work is being undertaken, waste will be generated. Whether this waste is hazardous or not, an integral part of planning to do work is to also plan for the safe and responsible removal of the waste generated. Therefore DO NOT begin new work until you have determined:
- an estimate of the types of waste you will generate
- an estimate of the amounts of waste you will generate; and,
- a plan to dispose of the waste
This page has been designed to help individuals understand the proper segregation, packaging, and labelling practices needed to dispose of hazardous waste. If after reading this page, you still need assistance, contact your supervisor, then the Safety Office.
Waste Segregation and Handling
All hazardous waste is ultimately disposed of through the Environmental Safety Facility (ESF). In order for our personnel to efficiently and safely handle the wastes they must be SEGREGATED where they are generated.
Segregation, packaging and labelling instructions are provided for each type of waste you are likely to generate. The table below identifies the types of waste, and the links in the "Guideline" column link directly to segregation, packaging, and labelling guidance for that category of waste.
Note: Please do not bring household waste to the ESF. The ESF is strictly for the collection and handling of wastes generated at the University of Waterloo.
|Guideline||Scope of Guide and Examples of Waste|
|Chemical Waste Segregation Guideline||
Flammable solvents - toluene, xylene, MEK
Organic solvents - carbon tetrachloride
Peroxides and oxidizers - hydrogen peroxide, MEK peroxide
Acids - Nitric acid, chromic acid, hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid
Bases - Sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, potassium nitrate
Air reactives - phosphorus, alkyl metals
Water reactives - sodium metal, lithium metal
Contaminated solids - soils contaminated with organic or inorganic chemicals
Nanomaterials - nanomaterials, nanomaterials in solution, or solids (gloves, pipettes, etc...) contaminated with nanomaterials
Blood, bodily fluids, tissues, organs, and items (tools, gloves, paper towels, etc...) contaminated with these materials.
Used pipettes, petri dishes, test tubes, centrifuge tubes
Human body parts (frozen or embalmed)
Animal carcasses (frozen or embalmed)
Sharps such as syringes, scalpels, etc...
Nuclear substances - Cesium-137, cobalt-60, hydrogen-3 (tritium),
Contaminated items - soils, liquids, absorbent materials
|Sharps and Glass Waste Segregation Guideline||
Syringe assemblies, needles, scalpel blades, razor blades, etc...
Glass with sharp edges (microscope slides)
E-waste - keyboards, mice, computers, monitors, etc...
Batteries - lithium ion, alkaline, nickel metal hydride, lead, mercury
Paints and Paint Solvents
|Unknowns (no guideline - see note in adjacent column)||Contact the ESF at ext 35755 for advice on any unknown. This is especially important if the unknown has chemical residues, crystals, or other evidence of deterioration. Please note, upon acceptance, any unknowns will be charged a fee for characterization.|
Call ext 35755
Biological + Radioactive = inactivate biological waste, dispose of as radioactive waste
Chemical + Radioactive waste = segregate and dispose of as radioactive waste
Biological + chemical waste = inactivate biological waste and segregate into it's own container
Waste Drop off and Pickup
The most efficient method of removing properly segregated, packaged, and labelled waste from a laboratory is for the individual responsible for generating the waste to bring the waste to one of the waste drop-off locations on campus at a consistent interval. Do not store waste longer than is needed, it can lead to dangerous situations.
If you intend on removing six (6) or more items of waste from your location, you will need to pre-arrange a waste pick-up. Please contact Greg Friday at extension 35755.
The chart below provides details on each facility and appropriate drop off time.
|Environmental Safety Facility (ESF) - Location is along the first floor link to the EIT and ESC buildings in room ESC 150||Monday: Friday from 11 am to 12 noon|
Pharmacy - Location: 10 Victoria Street South, Kitchener, Ontario - room PHR 1016. Note - waste should not be left unattended.
|Monday: 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm|
|Engineering 6 (E6) - Location: E6 1022. Note - waste should not be left unattended.||Tuesday: 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm|
Douglas Wright Engineering (DWE) - Location: DWE 1521A. Note - waste should not be left unattended.
|Tuesday: 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm|
|Optometry - Location: Columbia Street, West, Waterloo Ontario: No location designated||Contact Greg Friday to schedule a pick-up|
Anatomical wastes - The anatomical waste stream includes any identifiable body part but also includes pathological specimens, biopsy specimens and tissue taken during surgery or autopsy
Biological wastes – biological wastes are wastes that contain or have been contaminated by a biohazardous agent. This includes:
- Human, animal, or plant pathogens
- Recombinant nucleic acids
- Human or animal, blood, bodily fluids, tissues, cultures, cells, or other potentially infectious material.
- Contaminated materials include - tissue culture dishes and flasks, petri dishes, centrifuge tubes, test tubes, pipettes, vials, absorbent materials, used gloves, face masks, soiled lab coats or clothing.
Chemical waste – solids, liquids, or gases containing or contaminated with any of the following:
- Flammable solvents
- Leachable toxic materials (heavy metals, pesticides)
- Corrosives (hydrochloric acid, potassium hydroxide pellets)
- Reactives (oxidizers, cyanides, sulphides, explosives, unstable materials and water reactive materials – sodium metal, benzoyl peroxide)
- Toxic materials including carcinogens, mutagens, teratogens, and other items that are considered chronically toxic
- Non-returnable gas cylinders
Hazardous waste - used electronic waste (computers, monitors, cell phones, mice, keyboards), batteries (lithium ion, nickel metal hydride, alkaline, lead, mercury), paints and paint solvents.
Radioactive Waste - Any solid, liquid, or gas that contains a nuclear substance or that is contaminated by a nuclear substance.