Department heads where hazardous waste is generated are responsible for establishing procedures for the control, handling and storage of waste in preparation for disposal. All staff involved in the process must have received WHMIS training.


  • Waste must be kept in a secure storage area at all times
  • Storage areas must meet code requirements (fire and ventilation)
  • Storage of waste in public areas is not permitted
  • Draining liquid waste to a sewer is not permitted
  • Reducing liquid waste by means of evaporation is not permitted
  • Diluting liquid waste to¬†allow for¬†disposal is not permitted
  • Placement of solid waste in the normal waste stream is not permitted


  • Staff handling waste must have WHMIS training
  • Handling of waste by custodial staff is not permitted
  • Handling restrictions include hazardous biological and medical waste, needles/sharps; laboratory glassware; and chemical containers either empty or with contents.
  • Coordinate in advance with disposal contractors the size and type of containers for collection, and procedures for packing and storing waste.

Empty Containers

Empty containers that originally held hazardous materials are subject to the following disposal restrictions:

  • Empty containers may not be placed in hallways, recycling bins or garbage bins.
  • Empty containers that held organic waste, solvents or acids must be thoroughly cleaned prior to being placed in the building garbage. Only departmental staff may clean containers using the following procedure:- triple rinsing with a rinse agent and flushing with water.
    – use ethanol or acetone as a rinse agent for organic waste and solvent containers
    – use sodium bicarbonate for acid containers.
    – all rinsing liquid must be collected in an appropriate container
    – all rinsing liquid must be disposed of as hazardous waste.
    – containers may then be rinsed with water, which can be put down the drain.
  • Empty containers that held other chemicals or waste must be disposed of as hazardous waste. Do not rinse or put the contents of these containers down the drain.

Empty containers may be used for the collection of hazardous waste provided the following guidelines are used:

  • Containers must be inspected, have airtight seals and be undamaged.
  • Original container contents must be compatible with the waste material.
  • Original container labels must be removed and containers must be clearly labeled with the chemical name, concentration and volume of the waste. Use of abbreviations on these labels is not permitted

Storage Duration

The Ministry of Environment (MOE) limits the storage of hazardous waste to three (3) months.

If there is a requirement to store hazardous waste longer than three months, the University must submit a request to the MOE within five (5) days after the three-month period. The report must include the name and waste number, quantity involved, manner in which it is stored, reasons for storing and anticipated time and manner of disposal.

Department heads are responsible to gather the required information and provide it to the Manager, Laboratory and Academic Program Safety who will submit the report to the MOE.