Laboratory Waste

Laboratory waste may disposed of in recycling, trash, laboratory glassware disposal boxes, sharps containers, or regulated medical waste boxes; it may need to be submitted to the Chemical Waste Program or Radioactive Waste Program pending contamination.


Empty glass containers and bottles, aluminum cans, most plastic containers and bottles, and paper can be recycled.  Princeton University utilizes a mixed recycling program where various recyclables may be comingled in the same receptacle. 

Empty chemical containers that contained hazardous materials must be triple rinsed and dried before submitted to recycling.  Empty solvent bottles must be dried before submitted to recycling. 


Trash and rubbish from your general work area or the laboratory area that cannot be recycled and is not required to be disposed of via laboratory glassware disposal boxes, sharps boxes, regulated medical waste boxes, or the Chemical Waste program may be disposed of via trash.  Building Services provides and manages small bins with liners for trash in all buildings. 

Laboratory Glassware Disposal Boxes

Laboratory glassware, broken glassware, and Pasteur pipettes, slides are disposed of in laboratory glassware disposal boxes.  Laboratory glassware is often made of tempered borosilicate glass or soda-lime glass and is not beneficially recycled. Laboratory glassware disposal boxes are disposed of in municiple waste landfills with trash.   The boxes serve as a rigid outer container, minimizing risk of laceration or impalement to sanitation workers.  Do not over fill the boxes as this increases the risk of impalement. 

Glassware Disposal boxes are obtained from Building Services.  Call 609-258-8000 to request. 

Sharps Boxes

All razor blades and syringes are placed in regulated medical waste sharps collection/disposal systems, i.e., sharps containers.  Regulated medical sharps are required to be disposed of in sharps containers as well.  Regulated medical sharps are sharp or potentially sharp (if broken) items used in animal or human patient care or treatment or in medical research.  Examples include but are not limited to hypodermic needles, syringes and their components, pasteur pipettes, scalpel blades, blood vials, carpules, needles, acupuncture needles, culture dishes, glass slides and cover slips. 

Sharps boxes are obtained from the science building stock rooms or from third party vendors. 

Regulated Medical Waste Box

Cultures and stocks of infectious agents and associated biologicals, human pathological waste, human blood and blood products, needles syringes and sharps, contaminated animal waste including carcasses, and isolation wastes from patients with highly communicable diseases are all required to be disposed of as regualted medical waste.  These wastes must be placed in a regulated medical waste box with liner. 

Regulated medical waste boxes are obtained from specific loading dock and stockroom areas.  Call EHS for the closest location at 609-258-5294.   


Stanley Howell
Chemical Waste

Meagan Fitzpatrick
Biological Waste

Stephen Elwood
Associate Director