INTRODUCTION

Proper disposal of hazardous materials is required whenever a responsible individual leaves the University or transfers to a different laboratory. ("Responsible individual" can include, but is not limited to: faculty, staff, post-doctoral, and graduate students.) Plan the disposal of hazardous materials carefully. Hazardous materials such as chemicals, microorganisms, tissues, and radioactive materials can injure faculty, students, staff, contractors and visitors if handled inappropriately.

Complete this form to request a Lab Clearance from EHRS.

GENERAL LABORATORY SPACE

  • Empty all chemical fume hoods, drawers, storage cabinets, closets, cold rooms, flammable liquids cabinets, biosafety cabinets, refrigerators and freezers of all chemicals, biohazardous materials, radiological materials and equipment.
  • Departing researchers must carefully inspect any shared facility in order to locate and appropriately dispose of their hazardous materials.
  • Clean and decontaminate all surfaces where hazardous materials have been used.
  • Notify EHRS of the lab closure.

EQUIPMENT

  • If moving biosafety cabinets, they must be decontaminated before moving and certified in the new space before use. Contact an approved 3rd party vendor to arrange for decontamination and certification services. 
  • Deface or cover hazard labels on equipment to be moved or discarded.
  • When discarding laboratory equipment: remove capacitors, transformers, mercury switches, mercury thermometers, radioactive sources, chemicals and biohazards before disposal.  Contact EHRS for disposal of hazardous materials.  
  • Computer & electronics recycling and disposal options
  • Battery Disposal

CHEMICALS

  • Determine which chemicals are usable. Transfer responsibility for these chemicals to a party willing to accept it. If a new user cannot be found, dispose of materials following Penn's Laboratory Waste Guidelines.
  • Contact EHRS for waste collection. Do not pour chemicals down drains or discard them in the trash.
  • Label all chemical containers with the proper chemical name. Abbreviations, chemical formulas or structures are not acceptable. Close all containers securely.
  • Notify your school's Facilities Management (Building Administrator) when laboratory clean-up is complete. Facilities Management will contact EHRS to arrange a close-out inspection.

GAS CYLINDERS

  • Remove gas connections, replace cylinder caps, and return cylinders to suppliers.
  • If cylinders are non-returnable, please contact EHRS.

SHARPS

  • Dispose of infectious waste sharps: Autoclave sharps container and dispose through your school’s infectious waste stream.  
  • Chemical contaminated sharps: Segregate from other sharps into special containers and label "Chemical contaminated Sharps Waste-Do Not Autoclave". Discard without autoclaving. 
  • If uncertain, contact the University Biosafety Officer at 215-898-4453.
OTHER BIOHAZARDOUS MATERIALS

   Animal and Human Tissue

  • Liquid preservatives may be hazardous waste. Do not separate specimens from the preservative. Label the container with the name of the preservative (formalin, IPA/EtOH, etc.).  Contact EHRS for waste collection.
  • If human tissue is recognizable contact Dwayne Hallman, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, 215-898-8054, to arrange for its disposal. Place other human tissue specimens in a biohazard waste bag per University infectious waste procedures.
  • Discard animal tissue by placing it in a biohazard waste bag per University infectious waste procedures.
  • If tissue was stored in a refrigerator or freezer - defrost, clean and disinfect the refrigerator and freezer when emptied.
  • Locate an appropriate person to take responsibility for retained samples.
  • If appropriate tissue disposal is uncertain, contact an EHRS Biosafety Officer at 215-898-4453.
   Microorganisms and Cultures
  • Locate an appropriate person to take responsibility for retained samples
  • Autoclave materials for disposal
  • If the material cannot be decontaminated, contact an EHRS Biosafety Officer at 215-898-4453..

DISPOSAL OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

  • Controlled substances are regulated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  Detailed information relating to controlled substances can be found online at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov.

RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS

Amend your radioactive material license to add the new space and delete the old.  Doing so, will initiate contact with the Radiation Safety group so we can assist you with moving out of your space.  
Please refer to the Radiation Safety User Guide for a summary of requirements.