Disposing of hazardous laboratory wastes through ordinary trash is illegal and dangerous. Keeping ordinary trash out of the hazardous waste management streams helps to minimize the amount of hazardous waste generated at UVM, promotes the proper disposal of all waste streams generated in the laboratory, and reduces unnecessary expense.

When full, lab personnel must securely close the black bag liner and tape all seams on the box. Do not overfill any Uncontaminated Lab Waste Box.  Lab Personnel are required to bring the boxes to and place them insideof a building dumpster or compactor.  Custodial services will not remove these containers from labs or hallways. Please never abandon an Uncontaminated Lab Waste Box on a loading dock. 

Due to financial constraints, Risk Management and Safety will no longer provide UNcontaminated Lab Waste boxes or black bag liners to campus labs. 

We will provide labels that can be placed on ANY CARDBOARD BOX so that you can make your own UNcontamionated lab waste box. Please ensure you place a poly bag liner in your box.  

Tape all seams and dispose of your UNcontaminated lab waste box in your building trash compactor or dumpster. 


Lab personnel are required to remove regular trash from the lab and place it in a common trash container (usually in the hallway) supplied by UVM Custodial Services. Custodial Services staff remove the trash from the central container to a dumpster. If a custodian suspects that a laboratory is improperly disposing of hazardous laboratory waste, they will report the situation to Risk Management & Safety.

Uncontaminated Waste and Broken Glass Collection in Labs

Laboratory glassware cannot currently be recycled. Uncontaminated broken glass should be disposed of in a corrugated cardboard box labeled "Broken Glass" or "Uncontaminated Lab Waste" or in a purchased box that says "Glass Box" from lab supply vendors. 

Labels saying "Uncontaminated Laboratory Waste" are available to UVM labs to help label the removal of UNCONTAMINATED laboratory waste from both the biohazardous and chemical waste streams.

Items that are safe for trash, but may be suspect to a custodian, waste hauler or landfill facility should be disposed of in the uncontaminated laboratory waste box.

NEVER line an uncontaminated lab waste box with a red bag liner or seal with biohazard tape.

Lab personnel are responsible for handling and disposing of boxes of broken glass. If you have a large glass box, the lab is responsible for getting it to the compactor or dumpster for your specific lab building. Use a cart to transport it, tape all the box seams before filling or moving, and buddy lift if the box is heavy.

Disposal of Full Uncontaminated Waste Boxes

Uncontaminated broken glass and "pointy things" (items that might puncture a plastic bag) should be placed in the Uncontaminated Laboratory Waste & Broken Glass Box. Examples of items that should be disposed in these boxes include any of the following that are NOT contaminated with hazardous chemicals, biological agents, or radioactive materials:

  • broken glass
  • serological pipettes
  • pipette tips
  • glass pasteur pipettes
  • empty syringes (NO NEEDLES)
  • empty conical tubes
  • empty eppendorf tubes
  • empty vials

As a reminder, uncontaminated gloves, paper towels, plastic wrap, and small boxes can be placed into regular lab trash and recycling and do not need to be disposed of in the uncontaminated laboratory waste boxes.

Chemically contaminated items must be disposed of as hazardous waste.  Items contaminated with biohazardous material must be disposed as biowaste. Materials that could puncture the box (needles, razor blades, scalpel blades, etc) must be managed as sharps.

Close & Dispose

When full, lab personnel tie, tape, or securely close the bag liner in some way and then close the box - be careful not to overfill the Uncontaminated Laboratory Waste & Broken Glass Box.  Lab personnel remove full boxes from the lab, bring them to, and place them inside a dumpster or compactor. Custodial services will not remove these containers from labs or hallways. Never abandon a Uncontaminated Laboratory Waste & Broken Glass Box on a loading dock or biowaste shed.

Quick Links

Empty Uncont. Box Storage Locations

  • Colchester Research Facility: 1st floor, biowaste storage room
  • Dewey 421
  • Given: 1st floor loading dock, in black metal cabinet
  • HSRF: 2nd floor loading dock, in metal cabinet
  • Innovation: liquid nitrogen/dry ice room off the loading dock
  • Jeffords 222, 316, and loading dock autoclave room 
  • Marsh Life Science: basement, outside the Biology Stockroom
  • Terrill 111 freezer/equipment room
  • Votey 225B

Buildings not listed above contact safety@uvm.edu


More information