Glass/Sharps Disposal


Improper disposal of sharps can lead to health risks and fear in any exposed individual. A sharp may be defined as any device or item having corners, edges, or projections capable of cutting/piercing the skin. Examples from laboratories include:

  • Needles
  • Syringes
  • Pasteur pipettes
  • Small pipette tips
  • Scalpel blades
  • Razor blades
  • Any glass/plastic wear contaminated with biohazards that has not been decontaminated

All sharps should be disposed of in non-breakable, leak proof, impervious, rigid, tightly lidded, puncture resistant containers that are red in color and marked with the biohazard symbol.

Disposal Procedures

Broken glass, broken rigid plastic-wear, and glass that could potentially break must be carefully packaged prior to disposal. Waste haulers must be able to remove trash without being subjected to undue hazard. Please take the following considerations when disposing of glass:

  • Decontaminate/disinfect glassware prior to disposal (if contaminated with chemicals or biohazards)
  • Dispose of glassware in a puncture-resistant, leak proof container (examples are plastic buckets or sturdy cardboard boxes)
  • Empty liquids prior to disposal
  • Mark the container "broken glass"
  • Seal the container with tape and place next to the waste basket

Safety Precautions

  • Choose a sharps container with an adequate sized opening for the waste that will be generated
  • Place sharps container near the area of sharps waste generation
  • Dispose of sharps container when no more than ¾ full—never overfill