Hazardous Waste Disposal

General Information

The Environmental Services Division is responsible for collecting hazardous waste from U of A laboratories and facilities. Once collected, the hazardous waste is transported from the main campus to the Cloverbar Hazardous Waste Facility for storage and disposal or recycling. The types of hazardous waste materials that are managed include chemical, radioactive, and biohazardous waste.

The Hazardous Waste Management service has been in operation on campus for approximately 30 years. Our mandate is to provide a disposal service that is environmentally appropriate, safe and reliable.

We play a crucial role in the research work being performed at the U of A by ensuring that hazardous materials are managed to minimize chemical disposal through the Chemical Exchange Program and that all disposal options comply with applicable federal and provincial regulations.

Hazardous Waste Management

Hazardous waste materials are divided into the following five categories:

  1. Radioactive
  2. Chemical
  3. Biological
  4. Hazardous Recyclable Material
  5. Non-regulated

These different waste types are picked up from the labs as requested, usually within three to five working days. The waste is transferred by truck to the University's Hazardous Waste Facility at Cloverbar, where it is sorted and stored and then shipped to licensed waste facilities in and around the City of Edmonton for final disposal.

Hazardous Waste Disposal Information

The Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Act 1992 - under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government -regulates the transportation of specific products by air, marine, rail, and road. The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, adopted by all provinces and territories, establishes the safety requirements for the transportation of dangerous goods. Due to this regulation, the following information must appear on the container label:

  • Name of chemical substance: must be clearly and legibly identified with all the chemical constituents* listed (no generic names, formulae, structures, or abbreviations will be accepted).
  • Quantity (Weight or volume of each component in metric units)

* For general waste collection containers (i.e. mixed solvents) place a label on the container and list each substance added to the container.

Container and Packaging Requirements:

Chemical Waste
  • Containers must be free of external contamination
  • Containers must be chemically compatible and should be suitably sized for the material stored.
  • Containers must be in good condition with either screw tops or sealed lids.
  • Leaking containers must be placed in secondary containers that are chemically compatible.
  • Do not overfill containers.
  • Leave approximately 10% air space.
Biohazard Waste
  • Autoclave and dispose into regular garbage.

  • Package all needles, syringes, or fluid wastes in appropriate biohazard container (box, bag, or pail).

  • Refer to Biosafety Manual for additional guidelines.

Solid Radioactive Waste
  • Clearly label the container with the following information:
    • Radiation warning symbol
    • Name of radioisotope
    • Activity
    • Date of assay
    • Chemical/physical form of substance
    • Use only clear plastic bags, do not use orange biohazard bags.
    • Deface ALL radioactive labels inside the bag.
    • Perform contamination survey and decontaminate outside of container if necessary.
    Vials Radioactive contaminated
    • Clearly label the bag/container with the following information:
      • Radiation warning symbol
      • Name of radioisotope
      • Activity
      • Date of assay
      • Chemical/physical form of substance
      • Should be separated based on size and material of construction (plastic or glass).
      • Must be double-bagged or boxed in the original shipping container.
      • Keep separate from other solid waste.
      • Perform contamination survey and decontaminate outside of container if necessary.
      Liquid Radioactive Waste
      • Clearly label the container with the following information:
        • Radiation warning symbol
        • Name of radioisotope
        • Activity
        • Date of assay
        • Chemical/physical form of substance
        • Lids must be tight-fitting
        • Do not overfill 20 litre or glass containers.
        • Leave approximately 10% air space.
        • Perform contamination survey and decontaminate outside of container if necessary.
        Combined Waste
        • Use biohazard bags with isotope and activity clearly labeled.

        For more information on radioactive material please contact Carl Schumaker (780-492-5655) or Tony Selinger (780-988-8077).

        Hazardous Recyclable Material

        Most common hazardous recyclable materials are typically batteries and compressed gas cylinders

        • Lecture bottles must be clearly labeled indicating contents of cylinder.
        • Small or leaking batteries should be packaged in a secondary container that is acid-resistant and clearly labeled.
        • For chemicals see Chemical Exchange section.
        Non-Regulated Waste

        Waste products that - while not provincially or federally regulated - are disposed of in an environmentally-appropriate manner (i.e., some epoxy resins, deoxyribosenucleic acid, or ascorbic acid).

        Unidentified Chemical Wastes

        Unidentified or unlabeled chemical wastes will not be accepted. Under the TDG Act*, hazardous substances cannot be transported with out clear identification nor may the generator of the waste offer goods for transport that have not been identified.

        *Please contact Lois Dvorsky (780-492-1638) should you require further clarification.

         

        Procedure for Hazardous Waste Pick-up 

        Requests for hazardous waste disposal are made through CHEMATIX:

        CHEMATIX is...

        ...a web-based system for the handling of hazardous waste at the U of A.

        The system is designed to streamline the waste handling process and enable users as well as Environmental Services staff to process the removal and disposal of hazardous materials in a timely and efficient manner.

        Register for CHEMATIX/Reset your password (include your name in the email) note: Chrome browser recommended; form will not work in Explorer

        Access the CHEMATIX user manual.

        Access the CHEMATIX website