Special Cleaning of Laboratories

Custodial staff are instructed not to enter laboratories with the biohazardous symbol posted on the door. Laboratories with the biohazardous symbol on objects inside the lab, but not on the door, will receive service. The objects and/or trash labeled with the symbol will not be cleaned or collected.

Any BL-3 laboratories that wish to arrange for a special custodial cleaning must contact Environmental Health and Safety and the Custodial Manager. Custodians will only collect biohazardous waste that has been properly autoclaved and packaged. Any items improperly disposed of in the regular waste or not packaged properly will be left and tagged with an improper disposal notice for lab occupants to correct.

Biohazardous Waste Disposal

All infectious materials and their containers must be autoclaved before they are discarded with regular waste. The autoclave tape must be black striped before it is considered safe and picked up by custodians.

Below are examples of regular waste items, sharps, and laboratory glassware and descriptions of how they are handled.


Regular Waste. Regular waste items can be deposited in regular trash receptacles. Cups, flasks, and Petri dishes should be rinsed and/or free of materials. Any caps should be removed.
Examples: plastic urine-sample cups, flexible plastic Pasteur pipettes, plastic centrifuge tubes, plastic Petri dishes, tissue-culture flasks, and other small plastic tubes

Sharps Waste - Health Sciences. Sharps waste in Magnuson Health Sciences Building must be kept in red containers labeled “Sharps” and must be autoclaved and showing black striped tape before being placed by (not in) the regular waste containers.

Sharps Waste - Main Campus, Off-campus. Sharps waste in main campus and off-campus facilities must be kept in red containers labeled “Sharps,” but are not autoclaved and are not handled by custodians. Instead, they are collected and boxed for shipment to a medical waste treatment facility.
Examples: pasture pipettes, lancets, dental instruments, razor blades, scalpels or surgical blades, needles, microtome blades (steel and glass), capillary tubes, syringes (with or without needle, and IV drips).

Laboratory Glassware. Laboratory glassware—broken and unbroken—must be boxed, taped securely, and labeled “Laboratory Glassware” before being placed by the regular waste containers. Examples: serological pipettes, glass tubes, scintillation vials, glass slides and cover slips, and plastic pipette tips.

Additional information may be obtained from Environmental Health & Safety’s web site or by calling EH&S Biosafety at 206-543-7278.