Hazardous and other regulated wastes

Certain wastes must not be disposed in ordinary trash receptacles because they pose a hazard to personnel or the environment.

Biohazardous wastes

Infectious materials and contaminated liquids or solids must be treated before they are disposed. Most biohazardous wastes generated at Middlebury College can be decontaminated by steam autoclaving. Depending on the pathogen class as well as the density and total volume, certain biohazardous wastes may require shipment to a medical incinerator.

Biohazardous wastes must be accumulated in an appropriate autoclavable waste bag. To avoid confusion among waste handlers down the line, users should use only transparent bags for wastes that are to be treated on-site. Red or orange biohazard bags should be reserved only for wastes that are to be shipped to a medical incinerator.

After decontamination, autoclaved waste bags and waste containers need to be placed inside an opaque trash bag in the Processed Waste bin for disposal as ordinary waste. Before placing the containers in the outer opaque bag, any visible biohazard symbols should be removed or defaced. Building custodians have been instructed not to touch or empty any labeled biohazardous waste bags.

Please speak with Tim Allen regarding all accumulation and disposal of biohazardous wastes.

Broken glass and sharps

In order to prevent injury to the custodians, all broken glass and other sharps—including Pasteur pipets, pipettor tips, syringe needles, razor and scalpel blades, and similar objects—are to be disposed in specially marked boxes. Floor-standing and benchtop glass-disposal boxes are available from the custodians, and syringe disposal containers are available from the Laboratory Stores.

Uncontaminated sharps should be placed directly in one of the standard sharps disposal boxes. Sharps potentially contaminated with infectious agents—including any that have been exposed to human blood or blood products—must be segregated into their own clearly-marked sharps disposal boxes, and must be treated as a biohazardous waste, as described above, before final disposal.

Hazardous chemical wastes

Disposal of many substances is subject to a variety of federal and state regulations as hazardous waste. Included in this category are most organic solvents, corrosives, materials containing heavy metals, and a variety of other materials. To determine whether any of your wastes are considered hazardous, speak with Tom Sheluga.

Accumulation and disposal of hazardous wastes is required to be in compliance with the College's Chemical Hygiene Plan. Among the requirements, containers in laboratories must be tagged with the college's orange "Hazardous Waste" label, listing the contents and waste generator information, and the containers themselves must remain closed except when wastes are actually being added to the container. Hazardous waste labels are available from Tom Sheluga or Tim Wickland

Please arrange with Tom Sheluga in advance before bringing down any wastes for disposal. Do not simply drop off waste containers at the Lab Stores or the waste storage room!

Radioactive wastes

See the Guide to Disposal under Radioisotope Use.