Sharps Waste

Type of Sharp Disposal Guideline

Non-contaminated sharps (excluding syringes)

Sharps must be free of all biohazardous, chemical or radioactive contamination.

Container:

  • Use a rigid, leak-proof, puncture-resistant container (a rigid cardboard box with a clear inner bag is also acceptable).
  • Remove or deface any other labels or biohazard symbols on the container.

Use:

  • Store container near where sharps are generated.
  • Carefully place sharps into the container.
  • Do not place free liquids, such as full syringes, into sharps container.

Disposal:

  • Seal full container with tape so it can not be easily opened.
  • Place sealed container into normal trash.
Radioactive sharps

Sharps contaminated with radioactivity might also be contaminated with chemical or biohazardous material; they must be handled as radioactive waste:

Container:

  • Use a rigid, leak-proof, puncture-resistant container.

Labeling:

  • Remove or deface any other labels or biohazard symbols on container.
  • Label container as "radioactive waste" and list the following:
    • Isotope used
    • Any additional chemical or biological hazards
    • Methods of deactivation or disinfectant used, if any.

Use:

  • Store container near where the waste is generated.
  • Deactivate any infectious agents on sharps before placing them in the container. Caution, some isotopes react with certain deactivation chemicals (i.e., bleach will react with isotopes of iodine).
  • Carefully place sharps into container.
  • Do not place liquids, such as full syringes, into sharps containers.

Disposal:

  • Seal full container and move it to your lab's designated radioactive waste storage area.
  • Request a radioactive waste collection from EH&S.
Chemically contaminated sharps

Sharps might have chemical contamination only. No radioactive or infectious contamination.

Container:

  • Use a rigid, leak-proof, puncture-resistant container (a rigid cardboard box with a clear inner bag is also acceptable).

Labeling:

  • Label the container with a UC Merced Hazardous WASTe tag.
  • Remove or deface any other labels or biohazard symbols on the container.

Use:

  • Store container near where the waste is generated.
  • Carefully place sharps into container. Do not place liquids, such as full syringes, into sharps container.

Disposal:

  • Seal full container and request a hazardous waste collection from EH&S.