Hazardous Materials Technical Services

Hazardous Waste Collection

Regular hazardous waste collection form   |    Regular Hazardous Waste Collection Schedule

Hazardous wastes are generated at uOttawa as part of teaching, research, equipment and facility maintenance, and construction activities. The University is registered as a Hazardous Waste Generator with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MOECP) for the various types of waste that it typically generates. The environmental team offers collection services for hazardous wastes generated as part of regular activities and for special cases that may have additional requirements or restrictions.

Regular Hazardous Chemical Waste Collection

This service aims to promote and encourage environmental compliance by providing an easy to use hazardous waste disposal service. The hazardous chemical waste generated through regular research and teaching-related activities is collected directly at the laboratory, brought to a satellite accumulation room, and then disposed of in accordance with applicable regulations, free of charge.

Some examples of waste in this category are:

  • Teaching and research — laboratory supplies and waste; photographic supply waste; biohazardous sharps, etc.
  • Equipment and materials — power plant water conditioning chemicals, refrigerants, used oil, etc.
  • Construction and maintenance work — batteries, paints, thinners, oil, gasoline, etc.
  • Spill response — used spill kits

This service is performed as per the hazardous waste collection schedule and also includes the replacement of hazardous waste containers. To request this service complete a Regular Hazardous Waste Collection Request Form.

Please keep the following in mind when submitting your request form:

  • Provide a detailed description of the waste for collection indicating the specific chemicals and substances in the waste. Avoid generic descriptions such as “solid waste” or “liquid organic waste”.
  • Clearly label all hazardous wastes for collection.
  • In order to request a “next day service” the request form must be submitted no later than 10AM the day prior. All requests received past the deadline will be scheduled in the next available time slot.
cabinet with chemicals

Laboratory cabinet with hundreds of chemical bottles for disposal

Special Hazardous Waste Collection

Hazardous waste that is not generated through normal everyday operations, research or teaching related activities and maintenance. Some examples of waste in this category are:


  • Lab decommissioning*
  • Lab decontamination*
  • Lab Packs (30+ chemicals)
  • Declassified radioactive waste (e.g. scintillation waste)
  • Explosive or highly unstable waste** (e.g. expired chemicals)



There is no set schedule for these requests; they are scheduled in the next available open time slot pending availability (generally outside of the regular hazardous waste schedule).

* Costs are not covered by the ORM

** Costs may not always be covered by the ORM

To request this service please complete the Special hazardous waste form.


Time-Sensitive Chemicals

Time-sensitive chemicals are those that may become unstable or produce hazardous by-products after a given time in storage (e.g. formation of peroxides; rapid polymerization; shock sensitive and explosive hazards). The environmental team monitors the chemical inventory system for time-sensitive chemicals and notifies the affected laboratories when these chemicals are approaching their shelf life (approximately one month prior to expiry). This is to ensure that the time-sensitive chemicals are used or disposed of prior to the formation of these hazards. This also reduces the disposal costs, as expired chemicals are often more difficult and expensive to dispose.


Hazardous Waste Containers

Compatible containers are supplied to laboratories needing to dispose of hazardous waste. The most commonly used hazardous waste containers are 20L black HDPE solid waste pails and 20L white HDPE liquid waste carboys. Other types and sizes of containers are also available. To request hazardous waste containers, please fill out the the “supply and equipment order” section of the Regular Hazardous Waste Collection Request Form. Please note the following about container orders:

  • You can request both waste containers and hazardous waste collection on the same form. (Note: If requesting containers only, please indicate “N/A” in the “Hazardous Material Pick-Up Details 1” section).
  • For specialized waste containers, we strongly recommend planning ahead of time to ensure waste containers are available when required by the laboratory. Depending on the compatibility requirements of the hazardous waste; containers that are not readily available at the University may need to be purchased.
  • These containers are to be used solely for hazardous waste; if the containers are not used for hazardous waste the faculty will be charged for the cost of the container(s).


The table below indicates the appropriate waste containers for various types of hazardous waste with special instructions for certain types of containers and the appropriate contact for waste containers questions.

black pail with screw top lid

20 L high-density polyethylene black solid waste pails with screw top lid.


white carboy with screw top cap

20 L high-density polyethylene white liquid waste carboy with screw top cap.


black drum and glass bottle

Specialized waste containers subject to approval (4 L glass bottles, 205L drums, etc.).


hazardous waste label

Hazardous waste label

Waste Type

Waste Container


Contaminated broken glass & sharps

(i.e. hazardous sharp waste materials that are not biohazardous, such as chemically contaminated broken glass and syringes).

· HDPE solid waste pail

· White benchtop plastic non-biohazardous sharp containers


Empty chemical bottles


· Original Container


Liquid chemical waste


· Amber glass bottle – Reused

(Please deface original label and replace with hazardous waste label. These laboratory containers are reused from liquid chemicals bought in either 1 L or 4 L glass containers.)

· HDPE liquid waste carboy

· Plastic waste drum (use of drums must be approved by ORM)


Solid chemical waste


· Black reusable plastic pail

· Metal waste drum (use of drums must be approved by ORM)


Non-flammable and flammable compressed gas including aerosols


· Original Container




Biohazardous / Infectious Waste


· Yellow 4.5L bench top plastic Bio hazardous/infectious sharp containers

· Yellow 23L biohazardous waste pails

· Biohazard boxes with yellow liner



Radioactive Waste

· White single use plastic pail


Chemical & Sensitive Equipment Transfers

Regular Hazardous Materials Transfer Request Form.  | Regular Hazardous Waste Collection Schedule

Regular Hazardous Material Transfers

This service is designed to transfer hazardous materials within uOttawa (on-site) and includes the pick-up at one location and the drop off at another location on campus.
An example of this service would be:

  • Transferring a 4L bottle of acetone from main campus to ARC
  • Transferring hazardous materials for laboratory relocation (moves within campus)

To request this service please complete the hazardous materials Regular Hazardous Materials Transfer Request Form.

Important Note: this service does not include the relocation of non-hazardous equipment or materials.


Special Hazardous Materials Transfers

This service is designed to transfer or dispose of hazardous materials for uOttawa (off-site).

A few examples of this service are:

  • Disposing of wastes generated off-site (Field Stations to Campus for disposal)
  • Relocating Research from a location off-site back to uOttawa

** Costs may not always be covered by the ORM

For special transfer requests we recommend planning ahead of time as the logistics involved in the transportation of hazardous waste and hazardous materials requires a significant amount of resources. To request this service please contact enviro@uottawa.ca  and a representative of the department will contact you shortly for scheduling and the respective logistics.


Sensitive Equipment Transfers

This service is designed to transfer equipment that contain hazardous materials or sensitive components that require special considerations during transport. To request this service please contact enviro@uottawa.ca  and a representative of the department will contact you shortly for scheduling and the respective logistics.


Process Validation (Pre‐approved Sewer Disposal)

The City of Ottawa sewer bylaw prohibits the discharge of hazardous materials into the municipal sewer system. Since most uOttawa lab sinks and floor drains discharge into the municipal sewer system, careful consideration must be put into how the wastes generated from a given activity will be disposed of.

In order to facilitate compliance with the bylaw, the  environmental management team can review the waste being generated by a given research or teaching activity and advise on whether sewer disposal is permitted within the city by-law.

In order to request this service email enviro@uottawa.ca and kindly title the subject line “method validation request”. Please include the following information with your request:

  • A written standard operating procedure for the activity; and
  • An estimation of the total volumes and the average concentrations of contaminants to be generated by the activity.

If this documentation and calculations are not available our department can help guide users through the process.

Spill Kits and Training

Supply of Spill Kits

Any space on campus that stores hazardous materials (solvents, oils, acids, bases, etc.) or has equipment that could release hazardous materials in the event of a malfunction (e.g. fuel storage tanks) requires a spill kit. Universal spill kits are supplied by the environmental team to any space at the University of Ottawa that meets these criteria.Some chemicals required specialty spill kits for which a universal spill kit is not appropriate (e.g. mercury and hydrofluoric acid spill kits). Please contact enviro@uottawa.ca to discuss how your laboratory can obtain one. 

Every spill kit is barcoded and maintained as part of the University’s inventory. If you are unsure as to whether or not you need a spill kit, please contact enviro@uottawa.ca and include the info listed in ‘How to request a spill kit?” below.

Pending approval, spill kits may also be borrowed for field work conducted by uOttawa students and researchers. If you are interested in this, please contact enviro@uottawa.ca with at least 5 business days’ notice.

yellow bag spill kit

Universal Spill Kit, Yellow Bag, can be used for up to a 20L spill


blue drum spill kit

Universal Spill Kit, Blue Drum, may be used in open concept laboratories or hallways


hydrofluoric acid spill kit content in white pail

Hydrofluoric Acid Spill Kit, White pail, can be used for hydrofluoric acid spill only. Training required.


mercury spill kit contents in red briefcase

Mercury spill kit, reb brief case, can be used for mercury spills only. Training required.


 How to  Request a Spill Kit?

To request a spill kit please contact enviro@uottawa.ca. Please include the following information:

  • PI name
  • Faculty
  • Building and lab number
  • Types of chemicals handled or stored and their approx. volume
  • Type of spill kit requested (e.g. universal, hydrofluoric acid, mercury, other)

How do I report a spill?

If this is an emergency dial protection services at 613-562-5411 or at extension 5411. Every spill should be reported by using the incident report form

What do I do if I used my spill kit?

Once a spill kit has been used, even if it is only partially used, it must be replaced. Following a spill report, the environmental management team will replace your used spill kit. Every chemical spill that occurs at the University of Ottawa must be reported. In order to report a spill complete the incident report form. Once submitted, the environmental team will replace your spill kit and collect the used kit for disposal as hazardous waste.

Spill Response Training

Spill response training is offered by the environmental team several times throughout the year. This training provides instructions regarding the safe handling of chemical and hazardous material spills, including:

  • uOttawa’s spill response procedure
  • Responsibilities of parties during a spill
  • Procedures for safely handling minor and major spills
  • A look at the supplies found inside the Spill Kits and their usage 

***Note that due to COVID-19 an online training module is being developed to replace the in-person course. In the interim period, training is being delivered by Microsoft Teams. Please contact enviro@uottawa.ca or visit the spill response training website to schedule a training session for yourself, your students, or your group.

Where should my spill kit be located?

Space permitting, the universal spill kit should be hung on the wall or  near the entrance door with a spill kit poster affixed above the hooks. The environmental team will supply the hooks and posters to labs that require them. (Please contact enviro@uottawa.ca to request signs or hooks).

If there is insufficient space on the wall, your spill kit should be located near the entrance to the lab and must be in a highly visible location where all laboratory personnel can easily access the kit. Spill kits are emergency equipment and as such caution must be taken as to not obstruct access to it.

Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) — Exposure Kit

An HF exposure Kit is not a spill kit. Any exposure to HF must be medically evaluated. Exposed people and responders must take necessary precautions to prevent self-exposure. An exposure kit includes the PPE required to assist in the event someone working with HF came into unwanted contact with it including calcium gluconate, 2 pairs of Neoprene gloves, 1 heavy duty polyethylene waste bag and calcium carbonate (antacid tablets).

Exposure kits must be immediately accessible at all times when working with HF.

Hazardous Material Emergency Management

If this is an emergency, call protection services at 613-562-5411 or by dialing extension 5411 from a landline.

The University has an emergency management plan in place to address any potential hazardous material incidents or spills at the University. All spills are reported to Protection Services by calling 613-562-5411 or by dialing extension 5411 from a landline. Small-scale spills with limited to no health hazards are generally cleaned up by lab personnel using spill kits that include absorbent materials and other safety equipment. If it is determined that the spill is beyond our immediate emergency response capabilities, protection services will dispatch a specialized emergency response contractor to assess the situation and coordinate the cleanup in collaboration with the Office of Risk Management.

Laboratory Decommissioning

Fume hoods, associated ventilation exhaust systems and plumbing components can potentially be contaminated with biological material, chemicals or radioisotopes. The equipment must be assessed, cleaned or decontaminated in order to protect workers working on the equipment and to ensure waste materials are managed in an environmentally safe manner.

This work must be carried out by specialized contractors with the proper training and equipment. The Office of Risk Management can provide information and guidance about the environmental aspects of laboratory decommissioning and the decommissioning process. The following procedure provides more information about decommissioning fume hoods, exhaust systems, and plumbing systems in laboratories.

Please contact enviro@uottawa.ca for more information.

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