Chemical Waste Disposal


Okanagan College manages the disposal of chemical waste through the Safety Office. Any questions with respect to the disposal of chemical wastes should be directed to this department at local 4573 

The following waste handling procedures are mandatory when preparing chemicals for disposal. The procedures apply to operations on all OC campuses.  


  • Chemical wastes sent for disposal should not be mixed with biohazardous or radioactive wastes. 
  • Hazardous liquids must not be flushed down drains as a method for disposal. This practice is illegal and may lead to dangerous reactions and damage to the draining system as well as create a potential hazard to trades personnel working on the system. Solid or liquid waste chemicals must not be mixed with general garbage.



  • In order to avoid explosions, fires or spills, incompatible combinations of chemicals must not be mixed in a single container (see Segregation of Chemical Wastes).



  • The waste generator bears the primary responsibility for proper packaging and labelling.



  • Materials requiring special handling include organic peroxides, PCBs [polychlorinated biphenyl’s] and explosives.



      • Before disposing these materials, consult the Safety Office.





    1. All containers used for storing chemical waste must be sealed and undamaged. Any container not properly sealed will not be removed. (corks or rubber stoppers are not recommended)



    2. Liquid waste containers should only be filled to 70-80% capacity to allow for vapour expansion and to minimize the potential for spills occurring from overfilled containers.



    3. Container material must be compatible with the stored chemical waste [eg. hydrofluoric acid cannot be stored in glass containers].


      Appropriate packing materials may be obtained from the Safety Office, local 4573.



      To prevent the mixing of waste that could create an incompatible reaction, all materials must be clearly identified by means of labels


      The following information must be provided:


      1. Specific generic names of the components in the container along with approximate percentages of each component present must be listed. No abbreviations or trade mark names are to be used. Vague categories [eg. Chemical waste] are not acceptable.



      2. Building name, room number and individual to contact..



      If the waste is not identified, the containers will not be removed.




      1. Waste chemicals should, if possible, be stored in the central waste-holding facility located at the Kelowna Campus



      2. If this is not possible, the chemical waste should be temporarily stored in the generator's laboratory.



      3. All safety precautions required for handling and storage of chemicals will also be observed with generated wastes.



      4. It is recommended that waste be segregated according to compatibility groups.






        1. The individual managing the area in which the waste is generated is responsible for scheduling collection.



        2. Chemical waste collection is arranged through the Facilities Management Department.



        3. Chemical waste must not be allowed to accumulate. The frequency of collection is dependent upon the type and amount of waste generated.



        4. The Safety Office will arrange collection from the central waste holding facility at the Kelowna campus.



        5. Waste or empty gas cylinders generally can be returned directly to the supplier. If this is not possible, contact the Facilities Management Department.