Waste disposal

As an employee at Umeå University, you are responsible for sorting and disposing of your waste correctly. This page includes instructions on how to sort your waste and where it can be disposed of. If you wish to learn more, please read our recycling routines.

What goes where?


Are disposed of in a special container for batteries in the recycling room. Primarily use rechargeable batteries.

Biological waste

Must be disposed of as hazardous waste according to separate routines for hazardous biological waste. Genetically modified microorganisms (GMM) must be disposed of according to separate routines. Read more on the page Work with genetically modified microorganisms.


Must be packaged in containers used for this form of waste and handled as hazardous waste.

Computer equipment

Computers, screens, keyboards and other computer accessories are handled as electronic waste. Do not forget to delete the contents of any hard drives. When a computer is to be disposed of as electronic waste, it is the information owner's responsibility to ensure that any information on the device is deleted or the hard drive destructed so that information does not become accessible to unqualified people.


Electronics are disposed of in the recycling room. If the electronic waste can be classed as hazardous waste, separate rules apply.

Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste can be chemical waste and contagious waste. There are separate rules on the disposal of hazardous waste, and this type of waste must be stored separate to other forms of waste, substances and materials. Hazardous waste must be stored under a roof, on a compact, impenetrable surface without a drain. Label the waste clearly, preferably in the original packaging. Hazardous waste that is correctly packaged and labelled, is to be disposed of in clearly marked locations in the recycling room. Chemical waste is disposed of in the Hazardous Waste Building (see further down). Employees who work with something that generates hazardous waste must take note on the amount of waste generated in one year, and which kind of waste it is, and if it is chemical waste, note down if you have disposed of the waste in the Hazardous Waste Building. The notes must be kept for at least five years. The person who transports the waste must also take notes.

Read more on the page Hazardous waste and hazardous goods.


Is to be sorted in staff rooms or similar. The Campus Service Office can be used to empty packaging from office storage. Order the service through Infocenter.

Bulky waste

In need of removal or depositing of bulky waste, such as tables and chairs, contact Infocenter through the form.


Dispose of chemicals in the Hazardous Waste Building (on the eastern end of the university) on Fridays from 8:00–10:00. Transport of chemical waste must be carried out in a safe way to prevent any forms of spill or leakage.

Fluorescent tubes and low-energy bulbs

Light sources must be disposed of in a special container in the recycling room.

Pharmaceutical residue and discarded pharmaceuticals

Must be returned to where they were purchased.

Radioactive waste

Radioactive waste is regarded as hazardous waste and must be handled according to special directives for the disposal of radioactive waste and sources of radiation. Read more on the page Radiation protection.

Waste paper

Waste paper is sorted in a copy room or similar for recycling.

Sharp and pointy objects

Objects that can pose a risk when disposing of due to sharp or pointy edges must be risk assessed and disposed of as hazardous waste unless it is infectious. Infectious sharp and pointy objects must be disposed of as hazardous waste.

Infectious waste

Is normally treated as hazardous waste. Infectious waste that is converted to non-infectious waste through autoclaving is treated as conventional, combustible waste. If the conversion has taken place through chemical methods, the waste must be treated as hazardous chemical waste. Read more on the page Hazardous waste and hazardous goods.

Mobile phones

Electronics are disposed of in the recycling room. When a mobile phone is to be disposed of as electronic waste, it is the information owner's responsibility to ensure that any information on the device is deleted or the hard drive destructed so that information does not become accessible to unqualified people.

Ink cartridges

Ink cartridges from printers are recycled through so-called return boxes. Order a return box on Wisum by searching for "returkartong". The full product name is "Atea miljöstation 2-pack returkartong för förbrukade lasertoner och bläckpatroner". The box can also be ordered in a six-pack. Any sort of ink cartridges can be placed in the box. Phone the logistics company through the phone number stated on the box. They will pick the box up at no further cost and deliver it for recycling. How to order the box:

Other waste

Removal of other forms of waste from the office or labs is paid and order by the department or equivalent. This also goes for fixed installations and self-made apparatus. If apparatus or electronic equipment is too bulky to be stored in the electronics deposit cage in the recycling room, the department or equivalent must also pay for and order removal of the object.

It is illegal to transport hazardous waste without a permit. Make sure the transport operator has such a permit. Originators of hazardous waste are also required to establish a transport document for each transport of hazardous waste.

Some hazardous waste is classed as hazardous goods. There are special regulations regarding the transport of hazardous goods. The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) has summarised information on hazardous goods for road and rail transports.

Read more on the page Hazardous waste and hazardous goods.

Where do I dispose of my waste?

Space for sorting packaging should be set up in staff rooms, staff kitchens or similar. If your workplace has no recycling space set up, you can contact the interior planner at Building Office for ideas.

In the recycling room, you can deposit bigger waste such as cardboard boxes, lighting, phones and others. You can also deposit other recyclable waste such as big batteries, boxes and glass bottles to the House services in each building. Recycling rooms are available in these buildings: the Northern Behavioural Sciences Building, the Teacher Education Building, the Caring Sciences Building, the Natural Sciences Building, the KBC Building, the Biology Building, at Umeå Arts Campus and at the Umeå Marine Sciences Centre in Norrbyn.

Recycling rooms are also available in the Västerbotten County Council buildings in which Umeå University operates. Ask the House services if you cannot locate the recycling room.

In the Hazardous Waste Building, you primarily dispose of waste from laboratory activities. The Hazardous Waste Building is located in the eastern end of the university between the Chemistry and the Physics Buildings and is open on Fridays from 08:00–10:00. You can also dispose of chemical waste in recycling rooms in the hospital building 6 for the Umeå University operations active in Västerbotten County Council buildings.

What can be poured down the drain?

Practically all chemicals that the university uses must be treated as chemical waste. This is regulated by the EU directive on waste (2008/98/EC) and the general provisions of the water works. There is also a recommendation from the local water and waste company Vakin that discharge of CMR substances should be zero. Diluting a chemical substance and pouring it into the drain is not allowed. Read more about the disposal of chemical products and substances (in Swedish).

Frida Fjellström