Waste Disposal

For comprehensive information on waste disposal & to access the forms mentioned below, visit: www.safety.unsw.edu.au Documents and Resources

HS321 Laboratory Hazardous Waste Disposal Guideline 

HS503 Protocol for Chemical Waste Store 

Waste material must be disposed of in an appropriate manner. The disposal of all waste, including biological, chemical and radioactive wastes is coordinate through Facilities Management. All waste collection is managed through Facilities (fmgeneralservices@unsw.edu.au)

When disposing of any type of waste consider what are the most hazardous properties of the waste. Will the release of the material if untreated cause infection and/or spread of disease? If so, ideally the material should be autoclaved prior to disposal as treated biological waste. However, if the biological material has been chemically preserved or treated would the material be potentially more hazardous if it is placed in an autoclave? In this case the material should be disposed of as chemical waste. If faced with this situation ensure the matter has been discussed with the BEES HS Manager prior to disposal.

Under normal hazard conditions following waste disposal procedures apply in BEES:

Biological Waste (other than animal carcases)

  • Biological waste includes any material from vertebrate or invertebrate animals, plants, microorganisms or anything else that could cause disease, and any materials that may have been contaminated by these listed biological materials.
  • Biological waste must be bagged securely, and autoclaved if necessary.
  • Bags are then placed in the yellow bins in Room 506. (Ensure the first bin is full before filling the second bin).
  • Designated members of staff take full bins to the Biowaste Store for pick up by contractors.

Animal Carcases

  • Carcases must be bagged, labelled (including contents and contact details) and stored in Rooms 506 or G14A.
  • A HS015 Biological Waste Collection Form must be completed, scanned and then emailed to Facilities Management.

Chemical Waste

  • Disposal of chemicals down the sink is strictly forbidden. Hazardous chemicals or chemical waste must never be allowed to enter the floor drains or storm water drains.
  • Liquid chemical waste should be segregated into hazard classes and held in secondary containment (120% of the waste volume) whilst awaiting disposal.
  • Liquid chemical waste must be stored in sealed containers at all times (except for when adding waste). If liquid waste generate gases used vented caps and ensure containers are stored such that the fumes do not present a hazard.
  • Chemical waste should not be stored in glass winchesters. All waste containers must be clearly labelled and not have crossed out old label visible. The labelling of chemical waste should conform to all other chemical storage labelling procedures.
  • Chemical waste also includes contaminated laboratory waste, broken glass and sharps.
  • Inform Facilities that there is waste to be collected by going to this site (http://fmtoolbox.unsw.edu.au/chemicalwaste/users/sign_in). Link to waste service from the safety.unsw.edu.au 
  • The supervisor is responsible for informing Facilities Management that there is waste for collection (completing the waste form ) and ensuring the waste is transported safely for storage in the Chemical Waste Store, as per the above guideline.

Radioactive Waste

  • Low level radioactive waste is stored in the lab area in which it is generated until it has decayed sufficiently to allow it to be disposed of via the chemical waste system. You need to complete the declaration on the Online Chemical Waste Form.
  • Higher level radioactive waste is stored in the UNSW Radiation Store. Removal to this store requires submission of a HS016 Radioactive Waste Transfer Request Form.