Hazardous Waste Disposal Guide

Hazardous waste that is no longer used for its original purpose should be disposed of under the BC hazardous waste regulations due to its quantity, concentration, physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics.

Special disposal techniques to eliminate or reduce the hazard are required. The disposal and transportation of hazardous waste are governed by the BC Hazardous Waste Regulation, the federal Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations, as well as UBC Policy SC1 (Health and Safety).

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. The Hazardous Waste Management course was developed to teach waste generators how to handle and submit waste, and is a required course for anyone who produces hazardous waste.


1. Determining waste stream

HSE developed the Waste Flow Chart to help waste generators determine which waste stream their waste falls into, and what to do with it.

2. Preparing for pick-up

Waste must be prepared for pick up by appropriately treating, labeling, tagging and storing the waste. The basics are that the waste(s) must have:

  • A decontaminated exterior
  • No leaks or tears
  • Be no more than 80% full (liquids must be given 20% head space)
  • A filled-out tag describing the contents
  • An appropriate storage location for pickup

For detailed procedures on how to prepare waste for pick up, please see Hazardous Waste Disposal Procedures

3. Hazardous waste inventory system (HWIS)

All waste requests must be submitted through the Hazardous Waste Inventory System (HWIS).

4. Pick-up

Once waste has been approved for pick-up, waste request generators will receive notification of a pick-up date. Waste must be properly prepared prior to pick-up, or it will be refused.


What training do I need to safely dispose of hazardous waste?

The Hazardous Waste Management course is required for anyone who produces hazardous waste, regardless if you are responsible for submitting waste pickups or not.

What are the general guidelines?

All UBC researchers (faculty, staff and students), as users and generators of hazardous waste are personally responsible to ensure that regulatory compliance is met and must follow these general waste disposal guidelines:

  • Complete the Hazardous Waste Management training
  • Create a new Hazardous Waste Inventory System (HWIS) user account if you are the principal investigator (PI) or person designated to dispose of waste in your lab. HSE recommends 1-2 users per lab, not including the PI. Accounts should not be shared.
  • Download the Hazardous Waste Flow Chart for a quick overview
  • Follow the most up-to-date, detailed UBC Okanagan hazardous waste disposal procedures

How do I determine waste stream?

Use the flow chart to help determine waste stream, followed by the hazardous waste disposal procedures. When in doubt, contact Cherie Michels (Safety & Environment Advisor – cherie.michels@ubc.ca), or Melissa Torney (Health, Safety & Environment Associate – melissa.torney@ubc.ca).

What waste streams cannot be submitted directly to HWIS for pick-up?

  • Cytotoxic waste and radioactive waste
  • Unknown & unidentified chemicals, explosive & potentially explosive materials, compressed gas cylinders & lecture bottles of hazardous gases
  • Waste produced by contractors
  • Empty propane/butane cans and tanks of any size

Please contact HSE for more information regarding the disposal of these wastes.