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.

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Starting with the “How To” document below, use the following information to sort, store, label and dispose of unwanted hazardous materials.


If your materials are still useful, the Chemical Exchange Program can be used to rehome them.

Proper segregation of wastes, provides opportunities for recycling, reuse and appropriate disposal. Your participation in good segregation is essential and appreciated.

Database Access and Submissions

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.

You can register new users on the HWIS webpage.

Waste Tags

Waste tags are available electronically.

All tags must be completely filled out with the type of waste and the name of the responsible laboratory.

Chemical Waste

See specific disposal procedures for the hazardous materials listed below:

For other chemical hazardous material disposal procedures contact the HSE office at HSE.ok@ubc.ca

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.

Instructions for disposing of biologically contaminated glass is given below under Glass Waste Disposal.

Glass Waste Disposal

Glass is disposed in buckets according to the risk from type of contamination.

Collection in buckets helps to prevent accidental contact with sharp surfaces. In order for buckets to be transported, lids must cover the bucket completely. No items can be sticking out of the bucket during transport.

Empty Chemical Containers

Empty chemical containers can be reused by Health, Safety and Environment 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 waste according to the pH
    • pH between 6 – 8 – rinse water can be disposed of in the sewer.
    • pH below 6 or above 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. Attach lid loosely. Request pick-up through the Hazardous Waste Inventory System (HWIS) as “Other Wastes”. Bottles will be re-used in the hazardous waste system.

Radioactive Waste

For information on the proper disposal procedures for radioactive materials contact the HSE office at HSE.ok@ubc.ca.