Waste will be generated regardless of the type of work. Whether this waste is hazardous or not, an integral part of planning new work is planning for the safe and responsible removal of the waste generated.
Do not begin new work until you have determined:
- The types of waste you will generate
- The amounts of waste you will generate
- A plan to dispose of the waste
This page provides guidance on the proper segregation, packaging, and labelling practices for hazardous waste at the University. If after reading this page you still need assistance, contact your supervisor then the Safety Office.
Topics discussed on this page:
- Locations, hours, bookings and contact information
- Waste segregation and handling guidelines
- Waste profile forms (required at each drop-off and pick-up)
All hazardous waste generated at the University is disposed of through the Environmental Safety Facility (ESF). 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||
|Sharps and Glass Waste Segregation Guideline||
Contact the ESF at ext. 35755 for advice.
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.
Contact the ESF at ext. 35755 for advice.
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 it to one of the waste drop-off locations on campus at a consistent interval. Do not store waste longer than it is needed, it can lead to dangerous situations.
Waste drop-off procedures have changed. Please ensure waste bottles (liquids and solids) are accompanied by a Waste Profile Form. The form should mimic the label, indicating percentages and concentrations of materials within the containers.
Download the Waste Profile Form.
If you intend on removing six or more items of waste from your location, you will need to pre-arrange a waste pick-up, contact the ESF.
Service Message (August 6, 2020)
Beginning the week of August 10th, the processes for hazardous waste drop-off and pick-up will be changing. All drop-offs and pick-ups will need to be scheduled in advance using Microsoft Outlook and everyone bringing waste to a waste facility on campus will be expected to follow the traffic flow guidelines in place for that area. Operating hours for each waste facility have also changed.
Refer to the resources below for guidance on booking time slots and the traffic flow guidelines for the different waste facilities. Contact Greg Friday with questions about hazardous waste.
- How to book a hazardous waste drop-off or pick-up
- Please note that hazardous waste bookings must be made from a computer; cell phones and tablets will not connect to the ESF calendars.
- Main campus traffic flow guide
- Pharmacy traffic flow guide
Environmental Safety Facility (ESF)
|Monday - Friday: 11:00 am to 12:00 pm|
|Monday: 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm|
Engineering 6 (E6)
|Tuesday: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm|
Douglas Wright Engineering (DWE)
|Tuesday: 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm|
Optometry, BMH, RAC1, RAC2, EV1, EV2, EV3, EV4
|Contact Greg Friday to schedule a pick-up|
The anatomical waste stream includes any identifiable body part and also includes pathological specimens, biopsy specimens, and tissue taken during surgery or autopsy.
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.
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
Used electronic waste (e.g. computers, monitors, cell phones, mice, keyboards), batteries (e.g. lithium ion, nickel metal hydride, alkaline, lead, mercury), paints and paint solvents.
Any solid, liquid, or gas that contains a nuclear substance or that is contaminated by a nuclear substance.