UCL Department of Geography


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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  Resources  /  Laboratory  /  Waste disposal

Waste disposal

Laboratory waste must be disposed of in accordance with the health and safety guidelines. Some of the waste can be sent for recycling. Please read this section before starting work in the labs.

Chemical waste

Chemical waste should be treated in accordance with the risk assessments. In general, containers are provided for each category of waste. Waste should not be mixed and should always be fully labelled. If you are unsure about the disposal methods, you must seek advice. We have a legal obligation to ensure that waste is disposed of correctly.




Recycling bins are provided in the lab and are labelled with a list and images of what items can be disposed of via this route. Everything should be washed before putting it into the recycling bins to ensure there is no chemical contamination. Plastc centrifuge tubes must be emptied of their contents and rinsed thoroughly before puttng them into the bins. Gloves must be washed and dried before you take them off. They can then be placed into the recycling bins.

If paper towels have been used to mop up chemicals they should be washed, but they are still not to be put into the recycling as there still may be chemical residues present. They will therefore be treated as hazardous waste.

Do not put anything that is not free from contamination into the recycling bins. If you are not sure, put it in the general lab waste bins.