Just Arriving? Get to Know EHS

Oct. 2, 2019

Welcome to Princeton! If you've come to do laboratory research, here is some information we hope will be helpful to you. 

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Waste Management

Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) coordinates the hazardous waste program on campus. Procedures differ depending on whether you are generating chemical, biological/medical or radioactive waste. 

Chemical Waste 

Chemical waste is collected directly from laboratories and other points of generation on Princeton University's main campus on Thursdays (excluding holidays and closings).

Pick-ups can be arranged by filling out the Waste Removal Request Form on the EHS website. Requests placed before 5 p.m. on Wednesday are included in the following day’s collection.

Chemical waste is placed in labeled, sealable containers that must remain closed except when being filled. Containers are stored until pickup at or near the area where the waste is generated. 

Waste containers must always be kept closed except during filling. Do not leave funnels in waste containers in anticipation of future fillings. Store away from floor drains and sinks or use secondary containment to contain any spillage. 

Disposal of any hazardous chemical waste down the sink is prohibited. Evaporation of solvents is also a prohibited means of disposal. 

Waste containers must be labeled as soon as waste collection begins. EHS provides containers and labels through our online Safety Supply Order Form (login required).

If you have any questions about chemical waste management, contact Stanley Howell at 258-2711. 

Biological/Medical Waste

Sharps (in approved containers) and solid biological waste (normally autoclaved) are picked up by a waste contractor. Liquid waste is sterilized with bleach or autoclaved before disposal.

Labs requiring medical waste boxes or sharps disposal containers should contact departmental supervisors. If you have any questions about biological waste, contact Jackie Wagner at 258-1427.

Radioactive Waste

Management of radioactive materials is determined by type and nature of use. Contact Steve Elwood at 258-6271 for information about working with and disposal of radioactive materials. 

If you would like more information about waste disposal, visit the Research Waste Management section of the EHS website. EHS works closely with researchers and other waste generators to ensure compliance with state and federal hazardous waste regulations. Please help us to continue our strong record of compliance and environmental stewardship

Training Requirements 

Laboratory Safety

All faculty, staff, students, and visiting researchers working in laboratories are required by University Policy to complete laboratory safety training. An online component, Fundamentals of Laboratory Safety, is completed in the Employee Learning Center, followed by a classroom session. Learn More » 

Additional, laboratory-specific training from one's department and/or principal investigator may also be necessary. A Lab Safety Orientation Checklist is completed by researchers and signed by the PI or laboratory instructor as proof of completed training.

Lab managers and PIs are required to attend a lab supervisor briefing. Briefings are scheduled on an as-needed basis; contact Steve Elwood at 258-6271.

Radiation Safety

Regardless of previous training and experience, anyone planning to use radioactive materials must complete initial radiation safety training. Initial training is divided into two segments: a set of web-based Radiation Basics modules, with accompanying test, accessible through the Princeton Employee Learning Center, and a Radioactive Materials Safety Class. Participants must successfully pass the Radiation Basics Test before attending the Radioactive Materials Safety Class.


Research groups using Biosafety Level 2 materials and/or recombinant or synthetic DNA not exempted from the NIH Guidelines, must attend Intro to Biosafety training. Bloodborne Pathogens training is required annually for all faculty and staff who work with human-source material, HIV or Hepatitis viruses in a laboratory setting. Human-source material includes cells, blood, serum, tissues, feces, and body fluids (sputum, urine, saliva, etc.), originating from humans. 

Personal training records are available by logging into the University’s Employee Learning Center at www.princeton.edu/training and selecting the ‘Learning History’ link found under the My Training section of the left-hand tool bar. Check the Environmental Health & Safety training page under the “Training By Department” tab for dates and locations of upcoming health and safety training sessions.

More information on training for laboratory personnel is available here. Contact EHS at 609-258-5294 if you have any questions.