Hazardous Waste Disposal

Frequent disposal will minimize accumulation of hazardous waste materials in work areas reducing potential risk to lab occupants and facilities.


The types of waste generated at the University of Calgary are numerous and ever changing. The information provided under the Hazardous Materials Disposal Manual will guide you in preparing your waste for collection in most situations. For information on other waste streams that are not handled by HMS, visit the Office of Sustainability.

HMS will endeavor to provide services of the highest quality. While it is our aim to remove hazardous materials quickly, safely and efficiently, there are some wastes that we cannot accept. Our training and operating permit do not allow us to transport explosives of any kind.

There are chemicals that may become explosive under certain conditions. For example, Picric Acid  (2,4,6 trinitrophenol) and Dinitrophenols could be potentially explosive if allowed to dehydrate. These should be carefully monitored.

We are unable to accept for transport materials that are forbidden for transport under Transportation of  Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations. A few examples of such materials include 2,4-Dinitrophenyl-Hydrazine, Hydrogen Cyanide and Hydrazine Azide.

Clean lab glass and plastic is collected by Caretaking Services. To obtain a blue bucket or request service, complete an ARCHIBUS Work Request.


Large Quantity Collections

A large quantity of chemicals is defined as ten containers or more. To ensure the efficient and effective removal of large quantity of chemicals from your lab, complete the below initial procedure.

  1. Read Section 2.11 Large Quantity Disposals of the Hazardous Materials Disposal Manual and follow the directions provided.
  2. If you are not a Chematix user, download the Large Quantity Spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel).
  3. Email the completed spreadsheet to hazmat@ucalgary.ca
  4. A classified spreadsheet will be returned within ten business days from the day it was received. When you receive the completed list, download the preparation documentation to prepare your chemicals.

Large quantity collections will occur at a time mutually agreed upon if Hazardous Materials Services must perform the collection outside of our normal collection times.


Chematix Users

The following departments and locations are required to use Chematix for laboratory inventory and chemical waste submissions. 

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Schulich School of Engineering
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Heritage Medical Research Building
  • Health Sciences Centre
  • Health Research Innovation Centre
  • Energy Environment and Experiential Learning
  • Mechanical Engineering Building
  • Calgary Centre for Innovative Technology
  • Spyhill Campus
  • Geosciences

Non-Chematix Users

If your lab, workshop, or location is not registered in Chematix, contact Hazardous Materials Services via email at hazmat@ucalgary.ca to receive a copy of the Chemical Waste Disposal Authorization and instructions for completing the form.


Radioactive Waste

Leave a message on the appropriate Hazmat phone line to notify Hazardous Materials Services that your radioactive waste is ready for collection (see collection schedule below).

Each liquid or solid radioactive waste container must have a separate Radioactive Waste Disposal Authorization. Multiple stock vials can be listed on a single Radioactive Waste Disposal Authorization.

Scintillation vials must be listed on a Scintillation Vial Tag.

Carcasses must have Carcass Tag.


Biohazard Waste

Biohazard Container Waste Cards or Labels

Effective Jan. 8, 2012, all Chematix labs must use the Bioactive Material waste card to submit their biohazard containers for collection. One waste card is required for each container and the estimated weight for each container provided. Multiple containers of the same weight can be generated easily. At the time of collection, HMS will replace containers on a one-for-one basis. If more containers are required, contact HMS via email to arrange for the delivery of additional containers.

All non-Chematix labs must attach a Biohazard Waste label to each bucket or box. Contact HMS via email for a copy of the label file.

Closing Biohazard Buckets

The preferred method for closing a biohazard bucket is to use a rubber mallet. Hold lid in place with your hand at the 9 o’clock position and strike the edge of the lid at the 3 o’clock position. The blow must be quite forceful to properly seal the lid. Rotate the bucket 60 degrees and repeat until the lid is secured. If you can fit a finger between the bottom lip of the lid and the bucket ring it is not properly closed. Remove any excess dust and visible liquid residue from bucket’s exterior with a damp paper towel.

Biohazard Box Assembly Instructions

  1. Fold in flap #1
  2. Fold in flap #2
  3. Fold in flap #3
  4. Fold in flap #4
  5. Pull up on flap #1 to close the bottom
  6. Fold in the box handles
  7. Fold in the flap with the hole
  8. Place yellow bag in the box
  9. When full, close bag with twist tie supplied with bad
  10. Close the lid
  11. Secure the tab and tape

PCB Disposal

The disposal of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) is handled on a cost recovery basis. No service or handling charges are included in the cost quoted by Hazardous Materials Services. The procedure outlined below must be adhered to for timely removal of these items.

  1. PCBs will only be accepted in drums provided by our unit. Contact us at hazmat@ucalgary.ca to request a drum.
  2. A completed PCB Disposal Authorization Form is required at the time of collection. PCBs will only be accepted when accompanied by a completed form.
  3. Drums containing light ballasts must not be filled beyond two-thirds of the drum capacity.
  4. Contact us at hazmat@ucalgary.ca when the drum is ready to be collected.

Gas Cylinder Disposal

The process for requesting disposal of gas cylinders is outlined below.

  1. In Chematix, complete the gas cylinder waste card for the gases you wish to have removed.
  2. When assigning the waste card to a pickup worksheet, include the account number to be charged for the disposal in the comments section. Include the name of the Dept Id owner for the account and then submit your pickup request.
  3. We will establish the disposal cost for the cylinder(s) with our contractor and submit an invoice to the identified budget owner.
  4. Once the invoice is approved for payment the cylinder(s) will be collected on the next regular pickup day for your area.

Propane and torch gas cylinders will continue to be disposable without charge. Gasses that are classified as ‘Forbidden’ under Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations will remain unacceptable. This restriction no longer applies to hydrogen sulfide lecture bottles.


Collection Schedule

Chematix users must submit pickup worksheets the day before the collection day.

Non-Chematix users must call the Hazmat phone line at 403.220.8255 a minimum of one day prior to the collection day.

Radioactive labs must call the Hazmat phone line at 403.220.8255 for radioactive waste collection.

The cutoff for receipt of pickup requests is 3:30 p.m. Requests received after that time will not be processed the next day but will be added to the list for the following pickup date.

 

Main Campus

Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30 a.m to noon. 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Foothills Campus

Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30 a.m to noon. 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Spyhill Campus

First and Third Wednesday (as required) in the morning.


Waste Rejections

The following are some of the reasons that HMS will not collect waste.

  • Door Locked - HMS does not possess master keys to access locked laboratories. Hazardous materials should never be left unsecured in hallways
  • No Hazardous Waste Authorization - HMS requires paperwork for transportation and disposal.
  • Waste Authorization Incomplete or Completed Incorrectly - HMS requires accurate and complete information about the waste for proper transportation and disposal.
  • Waste Container Overfilled - HMS will not accept containers which are overfilled for reasons related to safe transportation, handling, and storage.
  • Improper Container For This Waste Type - HMS will not accept containers that are not compatible with the type of waste being offered for disposal for reasons related to safe transportation, handling and storage.
  • Waste Container Leaking or Improperly Sealed - HMS will not accept waste containers that are leaking or improperly sealed. Leaking or improperly sealed containers have the potential to contaminate common areas and the transport vehicle presenting an unacceptable hazard to other building occupants and HMS staff. Ask for assistance if you are unsure of how to proceed.
  • Exceeds 12L Limit For Similar Waste in Multiple Containers - Minimizing the quantity of waste retained in the lab for extended periods is an integral part of safe storage. HMS encourages you to contact HMS for pickup whenever you have filled the container you are using for your liquid waste.
  • Waste Container Has External Contamination - HMS will not accept any container that has external contamination that may or may not pose an actual safety risk. External contamination is anything that is not part of the container except for labels or added markings.
  • Chemical Name Not Written in Clear English - Non-Chematix users must ensure proper English chemical names are provided for accurate and complete information for transportation and disposal.
  • Swipe Check Results Not Attached to Waste Form - HMS will not accept radioactive waste without confirmation that waste containers are free of external contamination.
  • Carcasses Incorrectly Packaged - HMS cannot move carcasses through hallways and elevators without proper packaging.
  • Carcass Disposal Tag Missing or Incomplete - HMS requires complete and accurate information to properly dispose of carcasses.