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NSLS ESH Highlight #39


Date: September 16, 2005 [Updated: May 2, 2008]
Editor: J. Aloi, L. Steigler

What Are They?

Regulated Medical Waste (RMW) Sharps - Any sharp object used in the diagnosis, treatment (e.g., provision of medical services), or immunization of human beings or animals, in research pertaining thereto, or in the production or testing of biologicals. Sharps used in the manipulation or processing of infectious materials.

  • 'Exacto'-blades
  • medicine droppers
  • razor blades
  • needles
  • syringes (with and without attached needle)
  • microscope slides
  • hypodermic needles
  • suture needles
  • pasteur pipettes
  • scalpel blades
  • blood vials
  • needles with attached tubing
  • glass or plastic culture vessels
  • all other types of broken or unbroken glassware

Industrial Sharps (non-RMW) - ”Exacto” or scalpel blades, razor blades, needles, and syringes with needles attached (non-medical, non-hazardous). Contact the NSLS ESH Staff for additional information, if the non-medical sharps are contaminated with hazardous wastes, including nanomaterials.

Sharp Edged Objects - Any non-RMW, non-hazardous object with pointed, jagged or broken edges (such as pipettes, microscope slides, broken glass) that may pose a hazard by puncturing a plastic bag must be disposed of in rigid containers so as to ensure personal injuries do NOT occur. The rigid containers can be put in the regular trash.


Where Can I Get Sharps Containers?

Go to the NSLS Stockroom (Room 1-116)

  • For RMW, use red, plastic “Receptacles: Infectious Waste Containers”; #K60601 (1 gallon) or #K60597 (8 gallons); only fill until ¾ full
  • For Industrial sharps,
    • Use a yellow sharps container, SAF 0031 or
    • Any existing red sharps container can be used until ¾ full as long as the Biohazard label is obscured
  • For Sharp Edged Objects, (i.e. pipettes or other tall sharp objects)
    • Use boxes, SAF 0033 or equivalent


How Do I Dispose of Filled Sharps Containers?

For detailed instructions, see the Regulated Medical Waste Management Subject Area / Section 1. Containers for industrial and medical sharps are disposed of in the same fashion.
The following are required:

For assistance: please contact Keith Klaus at (631) 344-6399 (