Waste Disposal




Autoclave training is required before anyone can use the autoclave.

Contact Michael Arlt at 416-978-6178 or michael.arlt@utoronto.ca to sign up for the next training session.

Never pour hot agar into the sinks or into the floor drain

  • Put the plates into doubled autoclave bags that are not biohazard labelled.
  • Tie or tape the bags loosely closed to allow the steam to penetrate, place the bags into an autoclave tub and autoclave.
  • After removing the tub from the autoclave allow it to cool in the autoclave room before handling. 
  • Place the cooled bags into the garbage pails in the autoclave room.

Agar plates used in Level 2 Bio-hazard research

  • Agar plates used in Level 2 Bio-hazard research must be  double bagged  in Biohazard labelled autoclave bags and autoclaved.   
  • The Biosafety Certificate number and room number must be clearly written on the bag.
  • Put this autoclaved material into yellow bio-hazardous waste pails to be collected by the hazardous waste technicians.

  • ESC: Put used batteries in the battery recycling bin in the lobby of Forestry at 33 Willcocks Street.
  • RW: Put used batteries in the battery recycling bin in the lobby of Ramsay Wright at 25 Harbord Street.

Collect materials contaminated with hazardous biological agents in appropriate containers and sterilize/disinfect before disposal.

Biological waste includes:

  • Liquids such as used cell culturing media, supernatant, blood or blood fractions (serum) etc., which contain viable biological agents.
  • Any part of an animal infected (or suspected to be infected) with a communicable disease
  • Non-sharp, solid laboratory waste (empty plastic cell culture flasks and petri dishes, empty plastic tubes, gloves, wrapper, absorbent tissues, etc.) which may be, or is known to be, contaminated with viable biological agents.
  • All sharp and pointed items used in medical care, diagnosis, and research, including the manipulation and care of laboratory animals, which are considered potentially infectious.
  • Laboratory glassware which is known or suspected to be contaminated with hazardous biological agents.

Containment Level 1 Labs

  • Waste should be handled as non-hazardous (except when dealing with needles or if the waste contains Chemical or Radiation hazards).
  • Put waste into doubled, non-hazardous labelled autoclave bags supplied through MedStores.
  • DO NOT OVERFILL THE BAGS.
  • Seal the bags but leave room for steam to enter and exit.
  • Place the bag in an autoclave bin, found near the autoclaves, and place the bin in the autoclave.
  • After autoclaving, remove the bin, using oven gloves, and cool for several hours before placing the bags in the garbage.

Containment Level 2 Labs

  • Waste (including blood, tissue, bacterial plates and biologically contaminated gloves, pipettes and other garbage) must be autoclaved in doubled biohazard labelled autoclave bags.
  • The bags are twist-tied or taped shut and put into an autoclave basin.
  • After autoclaving both the Biosafety Certificate number and room number must be marked visibly on the bag.
  • The material will be picked up by the hazardous waste technicians. To arrange for a special pick up, contact Environmental Protection Services - Bio Waste at 416-946-3473 or email hazwaste.ehs@utoronto.ca.

  • Take books to the Swap Shop for reuse. Small numbers can be recycled in the blue toters. For large quantities call Facilities & Services Waste Management at 416-946-5711 for a complimentary large toter.
  • Waste Management will drop off and pick up the toter once you have disposed of all of your books.

  • Flatten all cardboard boxes and place beside but not in, the blue toters.
  • Do not leave boxes intact - Caretaking staff will not take them away.
  • Treat chemically contaminated glass, that cannot be decontaminated, as chemical waste.
  • Collect the contaminated glass in a pail.

Where to dispose of chemically contaminated glass:

  • ESC: The sealed pail can be placed in the chemical waste storage ES1011 located in Forestry.
  • RW: Collect the glass in a bucket. See Terry in RW033 or call 416-978-3512 for discard in the chemical waste drum in the outside storage room.

For the University's Chemical Waste Disposal procedures, see the EHS website.

  • Collect chemical waste in sealable, leak proof containers compatible with the chemical.
  • Do not fill the container more than 80% full.
  • Do not mix incompatible chemicals.
  • Unused chemicals or out of date chemicals can be left in their original containers.
  • A chemical waste label must be filled in and attached to the container.
  • Larger quantities of chemical waste, such as from lab decommissioning, will be collected by UofT Hazardous Waste Management. They can be reached at 416-978-7000 for pickup.

Ethidium Bromide:

  • All material contaminated with ethidium bromide, including solids (e.g. gloves) should be packaged in a secure container, labelled and treated as chemical waste.
  • Gels contaminated with ethidium bromide should be packaged in leak proof plastic containers (not garbage bags) and disposed of as chemical waste.

To dispose of chemical waste:

  • ESC: Take chemical waste to the waste storage room ES1011. Your PI should have a key to ES1011. See Michael Arlt in ES1023C.
map to ESC chemical waste room
  • RW: Take small and large amounts of chemical waste and solid chemically contaminated waste, collected in buckets, to Terry in Stores (RW033) for disposal in the chemical waste drum in the outside waste storage room. Black buckets are available from Terry or call the Chem. Tech at 416-978-4821. Buckets can be reused, but if they become dirty or malodorous, use for true chemical waste or leave in the waste storage room for disposal.

 

  • ESC: Place food waste for composting in the green bin on the counter in the kitchen (ES3042). Do not compost dairy products, meat or fatty foods.
  • RW: Place food waste into the green bins in the kitchen areas and when full empty them into the large compost toters in the loading dock.
  • Do not put anything with a cord into the garbage.
  • ESC: Place functional items including all software (i.e. floppy disks, CDs) on the table in room 3052 or drop off for reuse at the Swap Shop. Broken items can be picked up for recycling by calling Recycling and Waste Management at 416-946-5711.
  • RW: Electronic waste goes to the computer systems for recycling/reuse. Please speak with David Richardson at 416-978-6060. Large batches can be sent to the Swap Shop by arranging for pickup through Recycling and Waste Management at 416-946-5711.
  • Orange bins for recycling glass, blue bins for recycling paper and teal bins for recycling plastic are available from Caretaking. Call them at 416-978-6252.
  • Yellow 20L pails for bio-hazardous waste, which display the biohazard warning symbol, are available from Environmental Protection Services (EPS) - Bio Waste at 416-946-3473.
  • Biohazard Bags are available from Med Stores, VWR, Fisher.
  • Autoclave Bags are available from Med Stores, VWR, Fisher.
  • Chemical waste drums are available by calling Environmental Health & Safety at 416-978-7000.
  • Buckets for contaminated glass are available from the Chemical Technicians.
  • Four-compartment units with receptacles for garbage, bottles and cans, coffee cups, and paper are found in the hallways.
  • Other acceptable items include: glass, plastic, and metal food and beverage containers, aluminum trays, household plastic bottles, clean and formed plastic (i.e. cups, trays, lids, food containers, flattened milk and juice cartons, and coffee cup lids).
  • All types of polystyrene (resin code #6) used for packaging can be recycled.
  • Place packaging in clear bags and set it in your garbage/recycling area for collection by the caretaking staff who will take it to a centralized location for pick up by the recycling staff.
  • Please note that any soft foam packaging labeled other than "6" should not be mixed with polystyrene. This can be bagged separately and recycled as plastic.
  • Please call Recycling and Waste Management at 416-946-5711 for bags and to arrange a pick up.
  • More information is available at www.fs.utoronto.ca/recycle/plastic.htm
  • Usable items can be sent to the Swap Shop.
  • Broken items may be recycled as scrap wood or metal.
  • Call Reno Strano, Supervisor of Waste Management, at 416-946-5711 for an assessment, and contact EEB Reception in ESC and Tamar Mamourian in RW to arrange for disposal.
  • ESC: When ordering gas cylinders please ask that the cylinder be labelled with the name of your PI on the invoice for identification purposes.
  • Gas cylinders are delivered and stored on the loading dock shared by EEB and Forestry.
  • Access to the loading dock is on the first floor through the back door of the large elevator between Forestry and EEB or through a door on the ground floor in Forestry.
  • All cylinders must be secured behind the chains in the aisles. Do not order more cylinders than you will need since space is limited.
  • A cart is available near the cylinders to transport cylinders.
  • Empty cylinders are returned to the loading dock and stored on the right hand wall.
  • RW: When ordering gas cylinders please request that the name of your PI is on the cylinder and on the invoice for identification purposes.
  • Gas cylinders are delivered to RW033.
  • Contact Terry at 416-978-3512 to arrange pick up.
  • Return empty cylinders to RW033.
  • Amber glass contaminated with chemicals should be triple rinsed or deactivated in accordance with the procedures outlined in the chemical's Material Safety Data Sheet, prior to disposal.
  • ESC: Place clean, triple rinsed amber glass in the green bin located outside ESC, close to the loading dock outside Forestry.


Amber glass disposal bin at ESC

  • RW: Place clean, triple rinsed amber glass in the green bin located at the loading dock in RW.
  • Glass contaminated with chemicals should be triple rinsed or deactivated in accordance with the procedures outlined in the chemical's Material Safety Data Sheet, prior to disposal.
  • Place clean, uncoloured glass in the teal coloured toters found on each floor.
  • Do not place anything in the toters that poses any biological, chemical or radioactive hazard.
  • ESC: Toters are located on each floor.
  • RW: Toters are located near the elevators.

For more information on Non-hazardous Glass click here.

  • Gloves contaminated with hazardous biological material can be autoclaved and placed in the yellow, biohazard Level II pails.
  • Gloves contaminated with radioactive material are disposed of in pails supplied by Environmental Protection Services - Radiation. They can be contacted at 416-978-2050.
  • Chemically-contaminated gloves are placed in sealed containers, such as bottles or bags, and disposed of as solid chemical waste.
  • Non-contaminated gloves are garbage.
  • Occasionally laboratory waste may contain or be contaminated with a combination or mixture of biological, chemical and radioactive materials. This type of waste poses a challenge for disposal. Inactivation and disposal will be considered on a case-by-case basis, as required. See the Environmental Health & Safety webpage for more information.
  • As a general rule for waste containing combinations of hazardous chemical, radioactive and biological agents, the biological hazard should be inactivated first.
  • Steam sterilization is generally not recommended for waste containing combinations of significant quantities of hazardous chemical, radioactive and biological agents. Chemical disinfection should be used.
  • Do not leave items on the loading dock or in the hall for pick up.
  • ESC: For disposal of large items like furniture, refrigerators or research equipment please contact Diane Yeager to arrange pick up.
  • RW: For disposal of large items like furniture, refrigerators or research equipment please contact Tamar Mamourian to arrange pick up.
  • All lights and tube are collected by the Caretaking staff and put out for proper recycling.
  • Do not throw them into the garbage.
  • To have lights replaced/recycled, call Caretaking at 416-978-5262.

Mixed paper [copy, binder, computer, fax, and fax paper, text books, newspapers, magazines, clean paper towels, clean napkins, clean tissue, empty paper bags, bristol board, illustration board, boxboard (i.e. tissue, ink jet cartridge, cereal, snack boxes, etc.)] can be placed in:

  • Your blue desk-side recycling containers (You are required to empty your own container into a nearby blue toter);
  • Blue box in work areas and labs;
  • The 4 compartment depots located inside the building; or
  • The large, blue toters located in the hallways.

For office clean out call 416-946-9511 to request the loan of a blue toter.

  • Tips contaminated with Bio Level II organisms are autoclaved and put with Bio Level II waste.
  • Put radio isotope contaminated tips into the pails supplied by radiation safety protection.
  • Put chemically contaminate tips into chemical waste.
  • Put clean, disposable pipette tips into the orange toters for recycling.
  • DO NOT PUT PIPETTE TIPS DOWN THE DRAIN.
  • Put only waste soil and plants for composting into the large blue toters that are available in B123, in the penthouse head-house and outside the elevator on the penthouse level. Do not confuse these with the blue toters for paper.
  • All plant potting must be done in the head house in ESC or RW or in ESC B121. Do not do your potting in the labs.
  • DO NOT PUT SOIL IN ANY SINK to prevent clogging the drains.
  • Contact Bruce Hall or Andrew Petrie, or call 416-946-8780 if you have any questions.
  • Lab ware contaminated with chemicals should be triple rinsed or deactivated in accordance with the procedures outlined in the chemical's Material Safety Data Sheet prior to disposal.
  • Place clean laboratory plastics in the orange-coloured toters. Do not place anything in the toters that poses any biological, chemical or radioactive hazard. Do not dispose of gloves here. 

Where to find toters

  • ESC: Toters are found on each floor.
  • RW: Toters are found on each floor near the elevators. Small items like pipette tips can be rinsed in a special bucket found in the 3rd floor autoclave room.

For more detailed information please go to:

  • Radioactive waste is picked up on Tuesdays from ESC and RW.
  • Information about waste pickup and waste containers can be obtained by calling Ron Provost of Environmental Protection Services - Hazardous Materials at 416-978-7000 or by email.

Below is a list of different types of plastics:

#1: Polyethylene terephthalate (soft drink bottles)
#2: High-density polyethylene (bottles, grocery bags, milk jugs)
#3: Polyvinyl chloride (pipe, curtains, lawn chairs, non food bottles)
#4: Low-density polyethylene (plastic bags, wash bottles, tubing, various molded laboratory equipment)
#5: Polypropylene (auto parts, food containers, dishware)
#6: Polystyrene (clamshell containers, packaging peanuts, styrofoam)
#7: Other plastics including acrylic, nylon, polycarbonate, and polylactic acid (bottles, plastic lumber, headlight lenses, safety glasses/shields)
#9: ABS-acrylonitrile, butadiene, styrene (high-impact and chemical resistant extruded or molded objects)

Source: Wikipedia Resin Identification Codes

  • Put hypodermic, surgical, suture, or IV needles, syringes with needles, lancets, scalpels, blades and similiar metallic sharp or pointed items for disposal that are capable of causing punctures, cuts or tears in skin or membrane into yellow sharps containers which can be purchased through Medstores.
  • Razor blades and needles used in Biological, Chemical or Radioactive work are collected separately. Sterilization, disinfection or decontamination of needle and blade waste may be required prior to disposal.
  • Filled containers must be closed by securing the attached cap over the top opening.

Biologically Contaminated Sharps

  • According to the principles of universal blood and body fluid precautions, all needles and blades used in medical care, diagnosis, and research, including the manipulation and care of laboratory animals, should be considered potentially infectious. Needles and blades pose a risk to those who use them and needle and blade waste may pose a health risk to those involved in its handling, transportation, and disposal.
  • If the needle and blade waste is contaminated with or contains viable biological agents, it must be treated to inactivate the biological agents. The filled container may be steam sterilized along with other laboratory waste. Steam sterilization is generally not recommended for laboratory waste contaminated with or containing a combination or mixture of viable biological agents and significant amounts of hazardous chemical or radioactive materials. These situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Contact the Hazardous Waste Technicians at 416-946-3473.
  • Chemical disinfection of needle and blade waste is generally not recommended since it requires additional handling, increasing the potential risk of injury.
  • Put autoclaved sharp containers with other autoclaved biological waste.

Radioactively Contaminated Sharps

  • Needle and blade waste containing trace radioactive materials must be collected in a yellow sharps container. All liquids containing radioactive material must be drained from the disposable syringes and collected for appropriate disposal.
  • Autoclaving of the sharps may be required if any of the needle and blade waste is contaminated with viable biological agents. Needle and blade waste contaminated with significant quantities (any quantity greater than listed for select isotopes in Table 2 Column E of radioactive materials must be disposed as radioactive waste.
  • Environmental Health Safety will provide containers for sharps contaminated with significant quantities of radioactive materials. Contact EPS at 416-978-2050 prior to starting any work for container drop off.
  • The liquids must still be drained from the syringes and must be placed into the provided plastic container.
  • Do not overfill or force waste into the container.
  • The collected waste must not interfere with the installation of the lid.
  • The container must be clearly labelled to indicate that it contains radioactive needle and blade waste. The activity, isotope, solvent, date and permit number should be indicated on the waste tag.
  • The yellow containers will be picked up with other radioactive waste.
  • Call Environmental Health & Safety at 416-978-2050 for pick up. For more information see webpage

Chemically Contaminated Sharps

  • Drain all liquids containing hazardous chemicals from disposable syringes and decontaminate all sharps in accordance with the procedures outlined in the chemical's Material Safety Data Sheet, prior to disposal. Environmental Protection Service may be consulted for further chemical deactivation procedures.
  • Put sharps into the yellow container.
  • Filled containers must be closed by securing the attached cap over the top opening.
  • Call the Hazardous Waste Technicians at 416-978-4821 for pickup of containers with chemically contaminated needles and blades.

  • ESC: Printer cartridges and toner can be left in the toner recycling bin in ES3042 near the large blue toter by the entrance for recycling.
  • RW: Printer cartridges and toner can be recycled through Terry Hill in RW033.