Waste and clean-up

All laboratory waste must be segregated, stored, and disposed of appropriately, according to the UNSW guideline document HS321 Laboratory Hazardous Waste Disposal Procedure.

Waste from general research laboratories:

1. Chemical waste

Liquid chemical waste is segregated in four categories: Inorganic acids, inorganic bases, organic (non-chlorinated), organic (chlorinated). Liquid chemical waste is collected in another container made from material that is compatible with that chemical. Solid chemical waste is collected in the white plastic bucket. Once the waste is full and ready for collection, place it in the designated area in each lab, complete HS014 Waste Inventory (completed by lab manager), then the lab manager forwards this to FM. The waste is then collected by the chemical waste contractor.

2. Biological waste

Liquid biological waste is disinfected using the relevant disinfectant as specified in the Risk Management Form/Safe Work Procedure. Then this is disposed of as liquid chemical waste (see above). Solid biological waste is autoclaved and then placed in biological waste bin. A Dangerous Goods Manifest is forwarded to FM by the lab manager. The bin is collected by the waste contractor

3. Infrastructure off-cuts waste

This is high volume non-hazardous waste, such as soil, concrete and metals. This is collected in labelled steel bins or a wheeled mini-skip and transferred into the waste skip in the Oval Lane driveway. These are then collected by FM waste contractors.

4. Sharps

Sharps that have the potential to penetrate skin must be placed in the yellow sharps containers. The containers must not be over-filled, look for the full mark. Once ¾ filled, close the lid, and put it in the designated area in each lab. It is collected by the biological waste contractor.

5. Broken glass

Broken glass is collected in white buckets labelled “Broken glass”. The lid must be kept on to prevent injury. Any glassware with potential radioisotope contamination must be decontaminated and swipe tested before being placed into the bin. The bin is treated as chemical waste and collected by the chemical waste contractor.

6. Domestic waste

Domestic waste (such as packaging, waste paper, hand wash towel) is placed in a bin with black bin liner and labelled as “Domestic waste” in red writing on white background.

 Laboratory clean-up

All research laboratories, except the Radiation Laboratory and PC2 biological laboratory, allow cleaners to enter for general cleaning (clean floor, hand-wash basin and window sills) and collection of domestic waste. UNSW cleaners do not clean work benches, equipment or spills. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the laboratory users to clean their own work spaces and deal with any spill.