Micro Lab Procedures: Clean Up

For your safety and the safety of others, glassware and trash must be disposed of properly. Items contaminated with microorganisms or body fluids must be autoclaved before disposal or washing.

Needles and syringes must be thrown into the red sharps container. Syringes without needles must be disposed of in the sharps container.

A special cart is designated in the laboratory for items that require autoclaving, including:

  • Glassware including flasks, beakers and other containers. Remove all marks from the glass with ethanol and place the items in the cart. Do not throw cultures down the drain. Place the containers and their contents in the cart.
  • Glass tubes are placed in baskets set on an angle so that the contents do not spill. Remove marks before disposal using ethanol.
  • Any items that are contaminated with culture or bodily fluids.

Plastic Petri plates and other disposable plastic items used to culture or contain microorganisms must be placed in the red biohazard bags for autoclaving prior to disposal.

Chemicals must be disposed of properly. Some chemicals must be placed in special containers for disposal to prevent environmental contamination. Your laboratory instructor will inform you about the chemicals you are using.

Never pick up broken glass with your hands; use a broom. Dispose of broken glass in the broken glass container. Disposable glass items that are not contaminated with culture must be placed in the broken glass container - even when they are not broken.

Paper towels should be thrown in the ordinary trash, unless they are contaminated with culture.

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