Don’t Let an Inconvenience Become an Injury

Jan. 6, 2018

Dropping a bottle, breaking a glass – we’ve all been there. You’re awash with instant embarrassment and want to clean it up and make it go away as soon as possible.

Instead of rushing right in, consider your own safety and the safety of others before just throwing sharp objects in the trash. Each year, Building Services staff report injuries due to sharp objects puncturing a trash bag during trash removal.

There’s no need to sacrifice safety for expediency. Take the time to formulate a plan to clean up and dispose of items properly. This may include steps such as:

  • Let other people know about  liquids or broken glass on the floor either verbally, or put up some kind of barrier using chairs or other furniture to prevent others from walking through it
  • Use a dustpan and brush or broom to clean up broken pieces of glass
  • Place broken glass in a cardboard box and tape the box closed before placing it in the recycling receptacle. 

Other Sharp Objects

Sometimes, you need to dispose of other sharp objects such as razor blades, knives, hardware or even medical sharps. For the protection of our janitorial staff:

  • Tape the blade edge of razor blades or knives to prevent them from puncturing trash bags.
  • Place nails, screws and other pointed objects into a cardboard or other hard-sided container before placing in the trash.
  • Do not dispose of personal medical waste, such as syringes or lancets, in the regular trash. If you have personal medical issues that require the disposal of sharps, contact University Health Services ( for containers and disposal procedures.
  • For regulated medical waste generated in research labs, see the EHS Website on Biohazard Waste Disposal. (