Glassware disposal

This guidance document applies only to the disposal of laboratory glassware/material that has not been contaminated with infectious material. For guidance on the disposal of laboratory sharps, please refer to the University of Nevada, Reno Biosafety Manual.


Laboratory Glassware

Any glassware/material (broken or unbroken) that is not a “sharp” and/or has not been in contact with infectious agents. Common laboratory items that require special handling as glassware include discarded lab glassware; broken/fragile glass or plastic; non-infectious slides; test tubes; Pasteur pipettes; swabs/sticks; and razor blades.


All syringes, lancets, scalpels and other similar medical instruments (whether contaminated or not), as well as contaminated Pasteur pipettes, broken glass and other instruments or materials that can cut or puncture personnel.

Managing Glassware

Select a Container

Laboratory glassware should be collected in a hard-walled container. 5-gallon plastic buckets with lids are available at no charge from EH&S. Commercially available glass boxes are also acceptable.


Ensure all containers used to accumulate glassware are labeled with a green “glass only” label. Labels are available from EH&S.


Rinse chemical residue prior to placing items in container. Avoid overfilling the container.


When container is full, empty contents into trash dumpster and RE-USE container. Disposal is the responsibility of the laboratory. EH&S does not pick up glassware containers for disposal, and the custodial staff does not transport them to the dumpster.


Do not place needles, syringes, scalpels, or other sharps in glassware containers. These items pose unique hazards and must be managed separately.