Sharps Disposal-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sharps Disposal

Any item of glass, plastic or metal that can puncture human skin is considered to be a "sharp" by OSHA. Examples include (but are not limited to) syringes, glass slides, pipettes, capillary tubes, scalpels and razors. Sharps are NEVER permitted to be disposed of in the standard trash. Depending on whether they are contaminated (and with what) they are to be disposed of in certain ways.

If they are metal (i.e., scalpel or syringe) they MUST be disposed of in a Sharps container and removed as biological waste. If these are also chemically or radiologically contaminated, contact EH&S for instructions.

For glass or plastic items that are not contaminated with any hazardous material, they can be disposed of in a broken glass container or in a heavy cardboard box. The box should be well sealed and marked for standard trash disposal. Again, if they are chemically- or radiologically-contaminated, contact EH&S for instructions.

Any sharp that is solely biologically contaminated should be disposed of in a Sharps container. Sharps containers may be obtained by contacting Andrew Lawson of EH&S at 8-8405. For disposal of sharps containers, request a pick-up at the Bio-safety section of the EH&S web page.