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How to Dispose of Plastic Tissue-Culture Pipettes

Follow these instructions for storing and disposing of used plastic tissue culture pipettes.

Requirement

Plastic tissue-culture pipettes must be collected and disposed of in rigid, puncture- and leak-proof containers.

Follow instructions based on type of contamination:

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Used but not contaminated with hazardous material

  • Select an acceptable container:
    • The pipettes' original box with a clear plastic bag placed inside.
    • Any other rigid, puncture-proof container
  • Label the container "Non-hazardous."
  • Dispose of the container.
    • If you used the original box, tie the liner bag and tape the box closed.
    • If you stored the pipettes in a storage container, close and seal the container.
    • Place the sealed box or container into a regular laboratory trash can.

Biohazardous contamination only

Two options are available for disposing of pipettes contaminated with biohazards (no chemical or radioactive materials):

Option 1: (available on the main campus and SIO)

BIOHAZARD container
  • Place used pipettes in a BIOHAZARD container that has been lined with 2 labeled, red biohazard bags.
    • Note: Marketplace sells bags preprinted with UCSD identification labels in different sizes.
  • Label the red bag or sharps container (if they are not preprinted) with the following information as soon as you add the first contaminated pipette:
    • "Biohazard"
    • The international biohazard symbol
    • UCSD address and phone number:
      • University of California, San Diego (or UCSD)
        9500 Gilman Drive
        La Jolla, CA 92093
        (858) 534-4357
        OR
      • UCSD Medical Center
        200 West Arbor Drive
        San Diego, CA 92103
        (619) 543-6222
  • Building name and room number where the waste was generated
  • Tie or secure the 2 liner bags closed when full and wheel the BIOHAZARD container to the biohazard waste collection area for your floor or building to be collected by EH&S.
  • Get a replacement container at the collection area.

Request additional BIOHAZARD containers from EH&S Environmental Management Facility, (858) 534-2753.

Option 2:

  • Select an acceptable storage container. Options for pipettes contaminated with biohazard materials include:
    • The pipettes' original box with a labeled, red plastic bag placed inside.
      • Note: Marketplace sells bags preprinted with UCSD identification labels in different different sizes.
    • Sharps storage container, available in different sizes from Marketplace:
      • 28 liter
      • 7.5 gallon
    • Recycled rigid plastic roller bottles
  • Label the red bag or sharps container (if they are not preprinted) with the following information as soon as you add the first contaminated pipette:
    • "Biohazard"
    • International biohazard symbolThe international biohazard symbol
    • UCSD address and phone number:
      • University of California, San Diego (or UCSD)
        9500 Gilman Drive
        La Jolla, CA 92093
        (858) 534-4357
        OR
      • UCSD Medical Center
        200 West Arbor Drive
        San Diego, CA 92103
        (619) 543-6222
    • Building name and room number where the waste was generated
  • Autoclave and dispose of the container:
    • Read Autoclave Guidelines for Biohazard Waste for detailed instructions for both bagged waste and sharps containers.
    • If you stored the pipettes in a red plastic bag inside their original box, follow these steps:
      • Place the box inside a second labeled red biohazard bag.
      • Tie the bag loosely before autoclaving the waste.
      • Tie the bag tightly after autoclaving to prevent leakage.
    • If you used a plastic sharps container, snap the lid shut before autoclaving.
    • Dispose of the autoclaved bag or sharps container in a locked waste dumpster. Your laboratory manager will give you the lock combination.

Chemical or radioactive contamination

  • Select an acceptable storage container: Options for pipettes contaminated with hazardous materials include:
    • The original pipette box with a plastic bag placed inside
    • A sharps storage container
    • Recycled rigid plastic roller bottles
  • Label the storage container:
    • Label with a hazardous waste tag after you place the first contaminated pipette into the plastic bag or other container.
    • Read How to Use UCSD Hazardous Waste Tags for more information.
  • Dispose of contaminated pipettes:
    • If you stored the pipettes inside a plastic bag in their original box, tightly tie the bag closed.
    • Do not tape the bag or box closed. Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) waste technicians must visually inspect the bags before collection.
    • Request a hazardous waste collection.

Contaminated with mixed hazardous material

For pipettes contaminated with multiple categories of hazardous materials (biological, radioactive, or chemical), contact the EH&S Environmental Management Facility for specific disposal instructions.

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Notice: Disposal of hazardous waste using sinks, intentional evaporation, or as regular trash is against the law. Campus laboratories must abide by strict state and federal waste disposal requirements. You may be held liable for violations of applicable laws.