Broken Glass

Updated August 15, 2016

Recycling clean broken glassware is done on a case by case basis due to safety requirements. 

Non-Biological Labs CAN recycle clean broken glassware.

To Recycle:

  1. Collect the clean broken glassware in a puncture-resistant box, such as the VWR broken glassware cardboard box. To reuse boxes that lab supplies were shipped in, put one box inside another one to minimize the hazards.
  2. Label the container clearly so NO gloves, wipes, napkins or other trash items enter the container. You can request a label from EHS by simply emailing environment@mit.edu.
  3. When the box is full and/or weighs 35-40 lbs. max (or no longer needed) tape the container closed, label for RECYCLE and put with the other lab trash & recycling receptacles for Custodial Services to remove from the lab.


Biological Labs – this will be approved on a case by case basis by BSP:

  1. Clean, unbroken, glassware and bottles may be recycled.
  2. Collect all broken glassware in the provided Bio-sharps containers. The VWR Broken Glassware boxes cannot be used in biological research laboratories. Past attempts at allowing these boxes in biological research laboratories showed that gloves, agar plates, used pipettes, tissue culture flasks, etc. ended up in these boxes along with some broken glassware.  This mixing of contaminated research materials with the supposedly “clean” broken glass led to several expensive and time consuming incidents during disposal.  
  3. Again, all broken glassware including broken bottles from biological research laboratories should be placed in the Bio-sharps containers.
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