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Disposal of Sharp Objects in Laboratories

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

PDF Icon View / Download PDF version of Laboratory Sharps SOP (8-31-2012)

This procedure applies to the disposal of all sharps at the University of Pennsylvania. Sharps include both infectious waste used sharps and sharps that pose a safety hazard to custodians and other personnel. All sharps must be segregated according to hazard class and disposed in infectious waste sharps containers.

PDF Icon View /Download PDF version of the Sharps Disposal Poster (11" x 17")


Refer questions about the disposal of sharps to EHRS at 215-898-4453 or email the office at For information on the proper disposal of noninfectious glassware see the Laboratory Glassware/ Plasticware Disposal Policy.


Reuseable Sharps Container Program

A new program is available for the disposal of biohazardous sharps waste:  Curtis Bay Reuseable Sharps Container Program.  This program is being rolled out to schools across campus with the goals:

  • Streamline biohazardous sharps waste disposal
  • Prevent injuries to lab workers and waste handlers
  • Reduce the burden of biohazardous waste disposal for laboratories
  • Save laboratories money on the cost of waste disposal
  • Reduce energy use for Penn and shrink the carbon footprint of laboratories

More information about the program can be found on the Penn Purchasing Website:

To consider opting-in to the program, you can speak to the account representative:

This program is not yet available to all research buildings on campus.  If you have questions about whether it is available in your building, or when it will be available, please contact the EHRS office.