Laboratory waste disposal and recycling

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Cardboard/paper and other packaging materials: Wherever possible, empty cardboard boxes and polystyrene containers should be returned to the supplier for recycling. Many companies now supply materials in boxes which have return address labels attached, so it couldn’t be easier!

Plastic media bottles: Recycle in bins under mushroom

Plastic tip boxes: Recycle in crate under mushroom

Other plastic containers: If it has a recycle symbol with the number 2 please place in appropriate bin under mushroom.

Returnable polystyrene boxes: Place on the rack below Mushroom – dry ice and ice packs must be removed unless otherwise specified by the supplier. The box should be sealed and the return address label firmly attached.

Non-returnable cardboard/polystyrene boxes, packaging materials and general domestic waste: Place in the roll-container (cage on wheels) which can be found on the laboratory floor below mushroom. Please ensure that boxes are collapsed/broken up first.

Glass waste:This includes all clean glass, such as empty chemical bottles that are non-returnable and which have been thoroughly rinsed with water and all traces of hazard signs removed or obliterated. These should be placed in the blue waste glass bins located below Mushroom. They will be sent for recycling.

 Chemical waste:Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with details of the type and quantity of waste and arrangements will be made for collection and disposal.

 Pipette tip boxes: a recycling crate for used pipette tip boxes and reload decks is located below Mushroom. Autoclave tape should be removed.           

Clinical waste bags/sharps boxes– all items must have the appropriate plastic tie attached (see below):

White:Neuroscience;      Orange: Paediatrics;           Black: Cutaneous;                Yellow: Diabetes; 

 Blue: Oral Path;              Green: Gastroenterology;      Red: Infectious Disease;      Brown: MRU

 ONLY BIOHAZARD WASTE SHOULD BE PUT INTO CLINICAL WASTE BAGS WHICH SHOULD BE DOUBLED UP TO DECREASE RISK OF SPILLAGE AND PUNCTURE 

SHARPS INCLUDING PIPETTE TIPS AND HARD PLASTIC ITEMS INCLUDING PIPETTE TIPS MUST BE PLACED IN THE SHARPS BINS – NOT IN BAGS

Colour-coding of plastic boxes for clinical/infectious waste and dirty glassware etc

Red with Centre ID: infected/GM waste requiring autoclaving prior to disposal. Autoclave bags must be no more than 50% full and secured with a blue rubber band wrapped around the bag ONCE ONLY. Autoclave bags must be placed upright in the red box and not stacked on top of each other. Do not overfill the boxes; ask for more boxes if required. Small bottles and other containers must capped and placed in a rack or basket in order to prevent them falling over and leaking their contents. Sharps boxes containing infectious/potentially infectious material should have a piece of autoclave tape attached indicating the Centre of origin before placing them in the red box.

Blue with Centre ID:Dirty (uninfected) glassware– which must be thoroughly rinsed and emptied first. These boxes will be collected and taken to the central autoclave/glass wash facility for cleaning. Please try to separate delicate glassware from others such as Duran bottles to minimize the risk of breakage.

White with Centre ID:Clean glasswarefor return to Centre (MLA staff will normally place glassware on shelves or wherever directed.

Green with Centre ID:Clean items (e.g. tips, tubes, instruments, solutions and buffers) that require sterilization by autoclave or dry heat before use. Please leave materials together with a note providing details of your requirements. Please note that there are also several autoclaves available for use in the Media Room, off the north corridor which can be used for the sterilization of smaller quantities of media, buffers and pipette tips.

For further supplies of clinical waste bags and sharps boxes call 2301 or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

If you require further information regarding the above procedures, please contact Dr Jeff Maskell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on extension 2324.