We have had good results using the taller glass boxes (12x12x27") that we purchase from scientific vendors. It takes leadership from the teaching assistants/faculty to make it work. They have to repeatedly remind students about the proper disposal of glass items and the need to keep the glass disposal separate from all other items (i.e., filter paper, gloves, paper towels).
I have included this important issue in my handbook for teaching assistants under the heading of "Laboratory Housekeeping".
We want to protect our custodial staff from injury, as well. Broken stir rods and sharp edges on broken beakers can cause serious injuries. My lab staff remove the full glass boxes from the laboratories and take them to the appropriate disposal site.
If the tall glass boxes are not working well for you, then I suggest that you try using the smaller benchtop boxes (typically 8x8x10") if you have sufficient bench space for them. Maybe your TAs will be better able to monitor the contents of the small boxes.
Stay safe out there.
Barbara L. Foster
College Safety Officer
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry
West Virginia University
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of David Roberts
Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 11:39 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] broken glass containers
While I recognize that this is not totally relevant to this group, I want to ask people about broken glass and how they handle/manage it. For us - we have performed EPA audits (by EPA lawyers as well as IDEM) and discovered that it does not need to be handled as hazardous waste, and thus can be disposed of in regular trash. However, managing broken glass is mostly an OSHA thing to protect our staff who clean rooms and dispose of regular refuse.
So for us - the way I presently handle it is to have large boxes in labs for disposal of glass. When they fill, I go around, pick them up, and take them to the dumpster - where they are then taken to our local trash transfer station.
With that said - I routinely purchase broken glass boxes (3‰?? high boxes that are clearly labeled - you all know them). Students quickly fill these up with used gloves, kimwipes, pipets, and other random things.
My question is this: Has anybody been successful at having such boxes around and ending up with them filled with only glass? Should I use smaller boxes placed in hoods, or just smaller boxes on bench tops or ?????? I‰??m just looking for options - these boxes are a bit expensive but also they are dangerous. I‰??ve had a few incidents where I‰??ve picked up a full box and a pipet speared through the box right in to my hand. The weight is a bit much - so I‰??m certain to go to bench top ones and ones in hoods.
I was just curious as to what others have found that works. The situation I presently have does not work well - at least not with undergrads.
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