Sharps and Biomedical Waste

The Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute uses environmentally friendly sharps containers across the facility. A sharp is any object with corners, edges, or projections capable of piercing the skin. Sharps include both contaminated (biohazardous and chemical) and uncontaminated sharp objects.

Waste that is contaminated with infectious or biohazardous material includes:

  • Human and nonhuman blood, tissue, body fluids and cell lines
  • Cultures or stocks of pathogenic agents, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa, parasites, prions.
  • Recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids (recDNA), including waste products from procedures involving plasmids, viral vectors, E. coli, yeasts and naked nucleic acids

What goes in the sharps bin?

Take extra precautions while using sharps, during the cleanup and during disposal. If possible, avoid the use of sharps!

What goes in the biomedical yellow waste bags?

Glass pasteur pipettes
Glass vials
Glass bottom dish
Glass slides
Glass coverslips
1 mL & 200 µl plastic pipette tips
Glass petri dish
Needles with syringes
Glass ampules
Glass vacutainer tubes
Broken glass (flasks, bottles)
Serological pipettes
Contaminated gloves
Syringes (without needles)
1.5 mL tubes
Plastic pasteur pipettes
Contaminated paper towels
Falcon tubes
6/12/24/96 well plates
10 µl pipette tips
Contaminated absorbent pads
Cell culture flasks
Purification columns
Plastic cell culture tubes
Cell scrapers
Vacutainer tubes
Microfuge tubes
Plastic petri dishes with bacterial/fungal cultures
Bandages or dressing containing dry blood or body fluids

What to do when a sharps container is full:


  • Housekeeping removes and replaces containers that are full and closed.

Shared Tissue Culture Rooms

  • Housekeeping removes and replaces containers that are full and closed.
  • Sharps containers that are not closed will not be replaced.
  • Shared tissue culture space includes rooms- 454 (A&B), 459 (A&B), 550 (A&B), 554 (A&B), 659, 660, 664, 667 (A&B), 755 and 759 (A&B).

Lab area, private tissue culture suites and dedicated equipment rooms

  • Housekeeping will not remove and replace sharps containers from these areas.
  • The north hallway on each floor will be the designated sharps collection site.
  • Sharps collection site will have empty containers.
  • When a lab’s sharps container is full, it must be closed, deposited in the Sharps collection site, and replaced with an empty container.