Chemical Disposal


The Office of Environmental Health & Safety operates a Chemical Waste Disposal Program where all University chemical waste is picked up and sent out for proper disposal. (There are some chemicals that they will not take because of their extreme hazards.  They will call a professional chemical disposal agency to remove these types of chemicals.

The Department of Earth & Atmospheric Science has set up their disposal procedures as directed by the Office of Environmental Health & Safety such that all chemical wastes are bagged or bottled, and labeled with the hazardous product contained therein. When an EAS lab has Technicians, the Technician will fill out the appropriate Chematix* form and then submit the chemical waste list to the Safety Officer. When a lab does not have a technician, the Supervisor of that lab must make sure that the bags or bottles have the full name of the chemical waste listed and give the waste to the Safety Officer. The Safety Officer will then fill out the Chematix* forms.

All of the waste is then sent out through the Office of Environmental Health & Safety. (Note: You cannot leave chemical waste in the hallways for someone to pick it up. It is stored in B-09 ESB until EH&S personnel have time to pick it up.)

The rules for safe chemical disposal are:


Liquid and solid waste chemicals are labeled and sent out via the Office of Environmental Health & Safety Waste Disposal program. All waste should be bottled in separate containers, do not mix different chemicals in the same bottle. Explosions have occurred from this practice. Keep all liquid chemical waste separated. Be sure to place waste in the correct containers, e.g. Hydrofluoric Acid waste, (HF), cannot be stored in glass bottles. Do not use metal containers to store corrosive wastes – they may corrode the container and then become a chemical spill hazard.

We CANNOT dispose of UNLABELED chemicals – you MUST label your waste.

If there is a problem with the identification of the waste – contact the Safety Officer for advice. Failure to comply with the proper disposal of chemicals may result in an incident report. If you pour chemicals down the drains or dispose of chemical waste in the regular garbage you can be fined.

Waste Disposal for Broken Glass & Sharps:

Broken Glass:

BROKEN GLASS IS TO BE DISPOSED OF USING THE “GLASS ONLY” PAILS.  BROKEN GLASS CANNOT BE PLACED INTO REGULAR GARBAGE PAILS.  The broken glassware must be “clean” glassware so that chemical fumes are not being emitted throughout the lab/s. 

(And vice-verse, no garbage goes into the “Broken Glass Only” pails; inevitably someone gets cut picking out the garbage!) Be sure to only place rinsed glassware in the broken glass pail; contaminated glassware cannot be placed into the Broken Glass Pails. When this pail gets full – place a notice on it to let the custodians know that you would like it to be emptied. You can also place the clean broken glass into one of the glass only bins by the delivery exit on the south side of the ESB.  Or you can take the broken glass pail to the dumpster behind the building and dump it yourself.


Sharps are:

  • Razor
  • Blades
  • Scalpels
  • Hypodermic needles
  • syringes

These items must be placed in an appropriate “Sharps container” and labeled as SHARPS.  They cannot be placed in any other vessel except a “sharps container” or they will not take your sharps away for incineration.  This includes syringes.

DO NOT place SHARPS into regular garbage or into the “GLASS ONLY” pail.  They go out separately via a Sharps Container.

Recyclable Materials:

All batteries are sent out with EH&S Chemical waste.  The batteries are then sent out to be recycled.

Gas, oil, paint and solvents are also sent out for disposal via EH&S.

*Chematix is a Chemical Waste Database to properly label and quantify the amount and type of chemical waste sent out. The U of A transports this waste on public roads and must meet the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations as to what they are transporting and how much they are transporting on public roadways.