Laboratory Services

The University of Mississippi

Disposal of Laboratory Glassware

Glassware must not be disposed of with normal trash. Building Services Personnel and others have been injured when carrying trash bags with broken glassware in them.

  • Several cuts or lacerations due to the improper disposal of laboratory glassware have recently been reported on the campus. In an effort to eliminate or minimize these injuries, certain procedures will be followed when discarding broken or unserviceable glassware.
  • Broken glassware should immediately be cleaned up. A laboratory should already have a small brush and dust pan available to clean up after small accidents. Forceps or duct tape can be used to pick up the smaller pieces of broken glass.
  • Discarded glassware must not contain any hazardous wastes, Medical Waste, Pathological Waste or Radiological Wastes.
  • If the glassware contains hazardous wastes or Radiological Wastes, please call Laboratory Services (5433) for disposal instructions.
  • If the glassware contains or is contaminated with any pathological or biological materials, refer to the Sharps and Biological Waste Disposal Flow Chart (pdf file) or call Laboratory Services (5433) for disposal instructions.

What you need to know :

  • Discarded glassware must be placed in a small puncture proof, double-lined cardboard box or a container specifically designed for the disposal of glassware
  • The box must be securely sealed with tape.
  • Any cardboard box may be used, provided it is sturdy and of a size that will not weigh more than 40 pounds when full.
  • The container must be labeled as to the contents.
  • Never allow Custodial Services to handle broken glassware.
  • Never use laboratory glassware boxes  for the disposal of
    • Sharps
    • Biohazardous materials
    • Liquid wastes
    • Chemically contaminated laboratory glassware/plastics or plastic-ware
    • Chemical containers that can’t be disposed of as regular solid waste

Glassware must not be disposed of with normal trash. Building Services Personnel and others have been injured when carrying trash bags with broken glassware in them.

Laboratory glass that is disposed of in cardboard boxes must be appropriately decontaminated, where necessary, prior to disposal. If you have any questions about this disposal procedure, please contact Laboratory Services (5433) for additional information or instructions.

Empty Containers

Empty containers of five (5) gallons or less may be placed in dumpsters if they meet the definition of the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) empty container rule.

  • Any container that previously held a hazardous chemical or waste is defined as empty if:
  • No hazardous materials can be poured, pumped or drained from the container, AND,
  • No hazardous materials remain in the container that can be feasibly removed, AND,
  • the walls of the container must not contain any significant residual materials, AND,
  • The label is removed or defaced, AND,
  • The lid is removed, AND,
  • The container is placed directly into a dumpster.

Triple-rinsing is not required to comply with the RCRA empty container definition.