Laboratory Waste Streams

Descriptions of CVS Laboratory Waste Streams

CVS laboratories have a large number of complementary waste streams to ensure the safe and appropriate disposal of laboratory waste from experimental work done within them

Full information on these streams are displayed at various sites in every main laboratory but the information can also be found here  



Waste Procedure Examples
Human Blood and Tissue 
  • Blood tubes and pieces of tissue are placed into a red lidded sweetie jar, labelled as HUMAN. Once full, put into an autoclave bag. Loosely close around the top (swan neck) with autoclave tape. Put bag onto trolley for collection. 
  • If tissue remnants (from cell isolations) or contaminated stripettes, put into an autoclave bag and send for autoclaving immediately once finished. Loosely close around the top (swan neck) with autoclave tape. Replace bag.
  • If large tissue remnants, put into yellow clinical waste bag, close with tag and then store in -20 and tell lab support you have this waste for collection.

Red lidded sweetie jar for 

  • All containers contaminated with human blood or tissue
  • Excess tissue
  • Blood or blood product tubes

Autoclave bag for

  • Tissue remnants
  • Contaminated stripettes

Yellow bag for

  • Large organs
  • Placentas 


Unfixed Animal tissue and fluids
  • Put waste into yellow bag or red lidded cin bin. 
  • When full,
    • For cin bin, pull lid shut and write the date and lab number* on cin bin lid.
    • For bag, swan neck then close with tag and write the date and lab number* on bag.
  • Leave by lab sink for pick up.

*If RODENT waste, also write RODENT on bag /cin bin lid.

 Red Lidded Cin bin for

  • Blood and fluids
  • Contaminated sharps

Yellow Bag for

  • Blood/fluid soaked tissue
  • Contaminated plastics/ gloves
Waste contaminated with Genetically Modified Organisms
  • Place into small autoclave bags located by each hood.
  • When ¾ full, loosely close around the top (swan neck) with autoclave tape and place on orange trolley. Replace bag.

Autoclave Bag for 

  • All TC plastics, stripettes, paper and gloves
  • Bacterial cultures and plates.
  • Small quantities of tissue remnants from cell isolations.

Liquid waste from Biological and Genetically Modified organisms

  • Add Virkon to liquid to generate a 1% w/v solution.
  • Leave for at least 10 minutes.
  • Discard liquid to drains and put soaked plastics into autoclave bags or soaked tips into orange biobin.
  • Human liquid waste
  • TC media
  • Bacterial cultures
  • Put into yellow lidded cin bin.
  • When reached fill line, pull lid shut and write the date and lab number on cin bin lid.

Yellow Lidded Cin Bin for 

  • Needles (unsheathed)
  • Glass pipettes,
  • Glass slides
  • Scalpels and microtome blades.
  • Small chemically contaminated bottles (not cytotoxic or pharmaceutical)
  • Paraffin embedded blocks



Biologically contaminated
  • Once reached fill line, close and put into YELLOW bag.
Yellow Biobin
Non -Biologically Contaminated
  • Once reached fill line, close and put into ORANGE bag.
Orange Biobin
Cytotoxic waste
  • Put into Purple lidded cin bin.
  • When reached fill line, pull lid shut and write the date and lab number on cin bin lid.


Purple Lidded Cin Bin for 

  • Phenol contaminated plastics, tips and empty glass stock bottles
  • Cyanide contaminated plastics, tips and empty stock bottles
Other lab based waste
  • Put into ORANGE bag.
  • When full, swan neck and close with tag.

Orange Bag for 

  • Plastics
  • Anything that looks like it has come from a lab.

Stripettes (in main lab only)

If contaminated with GMO or biologically see above.

  • Put into bag in the stripette box.
    • NOTE: if used for decanting hazardous chemicals in fumehood, allow to vent and dry in fumehood before putting into stripette bin.
  • Once box is full, close the lid.
  • Put entire box into yellow wast bag and tape to bag to lid.
  • Write lab number and date on top.
  • Leave by lab sink for collection.
  • Replace box.
Paper and Wrappers
  • Put into black bin with clear bag.


Cardboard boxes or Polysterene box
  • Leave flattened cardboard and polystyrene boxes by the lab sinks.
  • Put into glass recycling box.
  • When full, close box and write date and lab number on the top.
  • Leave by lab sink for pick up.

If a 2.5L Winchester bottle

  • Clean and deface the bottle.
  • Leave on trolley with dirty glassware for collection. 
  • Broken lab glassware
  • Clean empty clear bottle
Hazardous Liquid Waste
  • White plastic bottles are used to dispose of smaller quantities of these liquids in the lab.
    • Specific bottles will be labelled for specific liquids.
  • Once full, they are taken down to the basement for disposal.

Lab support check these regularly. However, if full email and use another located under CVS fume hoods.

NOTE: There are 6 liquid waste streams for commonly used lab liquids however other liquids may need to be stored and collected by the specialised chemical uplift company, Veolia. This should be detailed in the Annexe A of the RA. Please store in the correct location and await a call out for chemicals or liquids requiring uplift.

There are 6 waste streams in the basement for different types of liquid waste

  1. Formaldehydes
  2. Bouins
  3. Liquid DAB
  4. Chlorinated waste
  5. Non-chlorinated waste
  6. Oils (not CCl4 waste) 
Recyclable Plastics
  • Put into green bin
  • Empty tip boxes cleaned
  • Defaced chemical bottles

Used batteries

  • Put into tip box labelled 'Used batteries' generally by sink or on trolley.

If you have large batteries from freezer alarms etc, please get in touch with lab management.


Tissue culture laboratories also have specific waste streams to follow and more information on these can be found here