Glass Disposal Procedures

Broken glass vial

What can go into the glass trash?

Broken glass that is not contaminated with:

  • Biohazards
  • Radioactive materials
  • Chemicals (gross amounts of dry or liquid)

Do not overfill glass trash; it must be able to be closed for disposal.

Biohazardous contaminated glassware

If glassware is contaminated with biohazards (media plates, etc.), these should be autoclaved before being disposed of in the regular trash (non-sharp glass only). Autoclaved waste must be tracked on the waste treatment log, and red autoclave bags must be used with the Treated Medical Waste label placed on the outside of the original red autoclave bag after autoclaving. The labeled red bag is then placed into a regular black trash bag, another Treated Medical Waste label is placed on the outside of the black bag, and the black bag is placed into the regular trash.

Sharp glass (ex. glass slides, etc.) should be placed in a sharps container rather than autoclaved. If it will not fit in a sharps container (large broken bottles, for example), sweep the glassware into a dustpan, transfer to an autoclavable bin, then place in a regular broken glass container after autoclaving. The dustpan, broom, and other contaminated surfaces should be appropriately decontaminated, as necessary.

Radioactive material contaminated glassware

If broken glass is contaminated with radioactive materials, place it in smaller, rigid container (avoid plastic bags so it doesn’t poke through) and place inside a radioactive waste container (be sure to log this). If you are unable to do so safely, contact EH&S.

Chemically contaminated glassware

If broken glass is contaminated with acutely toxic chemicals:

  • Chemicals (liquid or dry) CANNOT be placed in the glass trash
  • Residues are OK if not acutely toxic
  • If you have chemicals (liquid or dry) in a broken container, re-containerize (if you can do so safely) and call EH&S for a waste pickup
    • If you cannot do so safely, contact EH&S; based on the chemical, you may need to evacuate the lab until EH&S performs the cleanup
  • If glassware had a P-Listed chemical, it is considered acutely toxic
    • While reagents should be removed from other containers via rinsing (be sure to handle rinsate as hazardous waste), if a P-Listed chemical is present it is important to minimize exposure by having EH&S pick it up
  • Some examples of known P-Listed waste at TWU are below; to see if waste is P-Listed, you can search the EPA's webpage 
  • 1,2-Propylenimine
  • 4-Aminopyridine
  • 4-Nitroaniline
  • Arsenic trioxide
  • p-Chloroaniline
  • Cyanides (soluble cyanide salts)
  • Cyanuric chloride
  • Dieldrin
  • Epinephrine
  • Endrin, & metabolites
  • Methyl parathion
  • Muscimol
  • Nicotine & salts
  • Osmium tetroxide
  • Parathion
  • Phenylthiourea
  • Potassium cyanide
  • Potassium ferricyanide
  • Potassium ferrocyanide
  • Potassium hexacyanoferrate(II) trihydrate
  • Sodium azide
  • Sodium cyanide
  • Sodium nitroprusside
  • Strychnine & salts
  • Toxaphene
  • Warfarin & salts

Unbroken lab glassware

Unbroken lab glassware may fall under the Controlled Substances, Precursor Chemicals & Apparatus category; contact EH&S at 940-898-4001 ext. 3 to check/arrange for pickup if necessary. Regulated lab apparatus CANNOT be placed into the regular trash.

Empty reagent containers

Empty, unbroken glass reagent containers can be discarded in the regular trash; the container should be empty, rinsed, and the label defaced prior to disposal. Any waste (i.e., rinsate) removed should be handled as hazardous waste.

Submit a glass trash disposal request

Glass trash boxes must be completely closed, taped shut, in good condition (no glass poking out), and meet the requirements outlined above to be accepted for disposal. Failure to comply will result in a declination of the disposal request. Submit the glass trash disposal request by clicking the button below.

Glass Trash Disposal Request

Page last updated 12:58 PM, August 17, 2023