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Ask a biosafety officer

How should a DIY-biologist dispose of BSL-1 sharps?


How should a DIY-biologist dispose of BSL-1 "sharps" such as pipettes used for E. coli or a broken culture flask?

Answer from a Biosafety Officer:

March 28, 2014

It is best practice to decontaminate waste contaminated with biohazardous materials before disposal. A 10% bleach solution would work well in this case.


Sharps should be disposed of within a sealable puncture resistant container (empty detergent container, milk jug, coffee can). Return programs for medical waste are available at some pharmacies and other collection sites(1). Because you mentioned pipettes and not medical waste it would be best to check with your local waste municipality for more specific disposal requirements. Local and state regulations may apply to disposal of contaminated needles or other sharps.