Round up your high-hazard chemicals until March 31!

The U of A’s Chemical Round-Up is your opportunity to turn in your expired or damaged chemicals and learn about the risks associated with high-hazard chemicals on our campuses.


What is The Chemical Round-Up?

Human Resources, Health, Safety and Environment invites staff from across our campuses to take a closer look at the chemicals they have stored in their labs, workshops, and other spaces. You may end up finding chemicals that are discoloured or crystallized, have lost their integrity, or are expired.

High-hazard chemicals that have expired or are unstable can be costly and complicated to dispose of, so the program presents an opportunity to get rid of them safely and easily.

Why should I round up my old chemicals?

To keep our labs and campus community safe, it’s essential that we safely dispose of expired or damaged chemicals. Nobody wants to discover volatile and expired chemicals—when they are found they require immediate disposal, so the sooner they are identified and located, the easier it is to remove them.

Occasionally, the university even requires support from the City of Edmonton Police and Fire Rescue Services to conduct specialized disposal. For example, you may have heard safe and controlled detonations taking place this past November in Hawrelak Park.

To avoid costly and risky disposal processes, we’re working hard to ensure everyone’s following the best practices possible and getting rid of their used or damaged chemicals before they become major issues.

How do I participate?

Not sure where to start? Watch HSE’s video on what to look for in your lab or workspace.

Take a look around your research space (including drawers, storage closets, and anywhere else you may have chemicals stored) to see if you have any high-hazard chemicals, including:

  • peroxides and peroxide formers
  • nitro compounds
  • pyrophoric and water-reactive substances
  • highly-toxic chemicals
  • unstable substances

Check the condition of any high-hazard chemicals, including their containers. If they’re safe to work with, you’re good to go! If they’re discoloured, showing signs of crystallization, or expired, it’s time to dispose of them.

Most importantly, if you find unstable chemicals in your lab, don’t touch them. Report your findings to Health, Safety & Environment for full instructions on what to do next.

Help keep our campus spaces safe! The program runs until March 2022, so now’s the time to take a look around your labs for any high-hazard chemicals that are ready to be disposed of.

Learn more