Serological Pipettes and other unclassified items

Laboratory glass and plastic waste items that are not considered sharps can puncture regular waste bags and injure our janitorial staff.

Laboratory glass and plastic waste includes the following items:

  • micropipette tips
  • serological pipettes
  • test tubes
  • swabs/sticks
  • other contaminated items that do not fall under the definition of sharps

Note:  Pasteur pipettes, used or unused, must be disposed of as sharps waste.

Biologically uncontaminated pipettes:

If these items have not been in contact with materials that contain infectious agents, including human and non-human primate-derived material, or recombinant/synthetic nucleic acid molecules:

  • Place into sturdy cardboard boxes that will not weigh more than 25 pounds when full.
  • Label boxes with the room number and seal the box with packaging tape and clearly label as "Laboratory Glass."
  • Place the 'Laboratory Glass' box next to the regular trash container for pick-up by janitorial staff was regular trash.

Biologically contaminated pipettes:

If these items have been in contact with potentially infectious materials, such as body fluids, cell debris, or other materials that may contain infectious agents or recombinant /synthetic nucleic acid molecules there are several acceptable practices for collection, treatment and disposal:

  • Collect items in a sharps container and autoclave when container is ¾ full. Dispose of autoclaved, locked sharps container into the regulated medical waste container.
  • Pipette safe keepers are alternate methods to dispose serological pipettes. Serological pipettes could be collected in them, sealed, autoclaved and disposed in regulated medical waste boxes.


Biobin to dispose serological pipettes
  • Pipette washers or 5-gallon buckets may be lined with two autoclaveable biohazard bags and used for pipette segregation. When the bag is full, pipettes can be treated by autoclave and then disposed of into the regulated medical waste box. Do not over fill the box
  • Waste pipettes may also be collected in a receptacle containing disinfectant (i.e., pipette washer) at the time of use. A biohazard label and identification of the disinfectant should be on the receptacle. At the conclusion of procedures, the pipettes can be drained and transferred from the receptacle to a biohazard bag for treatment by autoclave. Place into regulated medical waste container for disposal.