Lab Close-Out

This section provides guidance for researchers who are moving to a new lab space or terminating their research. Follow these guidelines to properly remove hazardous materials and wastes, and to ensure the space is cleared for the next occupant.


Assess all biological materials (e.g., r/sNA, microorganisms, cells and cell lines, samples and specimens, Federal Select Agents and Toxins). Terminate protocols and dispose of unwanted materials according to UO guidelines and upon consultation of the Biosafety Officer. Biohazards must either be disposed in labeled red bags and biohazard boxes, or when applicable, autoclaved for disposal in regular garbage after removing any biohazard labeling. Biohazard sharps must be collected in a designated sharps container and then place within biohazard (incineration) box for disposal. Biohazard work areas must be decontaminated with an appropriate disinfectant.

Animal and Human tissues: Consult the Biosafety Officer (346-2864) for specific procedural advice.

Toxins: Consult Environmental Health and Safety for case-by-case advice.


Assess all radioactive materials (RAM) and radiation producing devices. Terminate protocols and dispose of unwanted materials according to UO guidelines and upon consultation of the Radiation Safety Officer (346-3197) or Radiation Safety Specialist. The laboratory may not dispose of any RAM contaminated, or RAM labeled, item in garbage or down the sewer.

Survey and clean all contamination from laboratory facilities and equipment.

Supplies, and wastes, associated with radioactive procedures shall be labeled and handled according to the Radiation Safety Program. Radioactive wastes, or mixed wastes, shall be submitted to EHS for pick-up through the online waste submittal portal found at

A final check-out must be arranged with the Radiation Safety Officer to survey and release RAM work-areas, and to transfer any radioactive materials or equipment in compliance with the University license.


Assess all chemicals (e.g. reagents, solvents, cleaning supplies, research samples). Dispose of unwanted materials according to UO guidelines and upon consultation of EHS. Hazardous chemicals cannot be disposed of in garbage, or down the sewer.

Controlled Substances: Consult the Laboratory Safety Manager, BioSafety Officer about compliance with DEA requirements.

Reagents in good condition may be sent to the EHS Chemical Re-Use Facility or transferred to another research user within the University; inventories shall be updated accordingly.

Labeled hazardous wastes will be disposed through the EHS Hazardous Waste Program. Unlabeled materials must be identified within the laboratory prior to disposal; EHS staff are available to assist with material classification. Submit materials for pick-up through the online waste submittal portal found at Please note:  Unknown materials and High Hazard Materials (e.g. unstable violent reactive materials) require special handling, and are very expensive to dispose of; alert EHS immediately by phone in these circumstances.

Gas cylinders owned by a vendor, or Science Stores, must be returned to the owner. Consult the vendor, and EHS, for shipping requirements. Non-returnable lecture bottles are disposed through the EHS Hazardous Waste Program; materials may be submitted for pick-up through the online waste submittal portal found at Please note: lecture bottles with toxic, reactive, or flammable, contents are very expensive to dispose of; minimize this waste stream as much as practicable.

Non-hazardous chemicals may be disposed into regular garbage. Liquids that have a neutral pH, and are not a listed or characteristic (corrosive, flammable, toxic, reactive) hazardous waste, may be disposed to the sanitary sewer. Dry solids that are not a listed or characteristic (corrosive, flammable, toxic, reactive) hazardous waste, may be bagged and disposed into trash receptacles. Empty, triple-rinsed, chemical containers may be disposed into garbage (take large containers directly to trash hoppers) after all hazard warning and identification labels have been defaced. Consult EHS when there is question as to a chemical’s hazardous nature.


Assess all laboratory glassware, apparatus, equipment, and work spaces.  Dispose of unwanted materials according to UO guidelines and upon consultation of EHS. Appropriate cleaning and disposal precautions must be taken to ensure a safe workplace, and to minimize the university’s environmental footprint.

Notify EHS of any processes (e.g. perchloric acid digestion) that may have contributed to toxic or reactive chemical residues on surfaces, including interiors of exhaust ductwork or drain lines.

Notify EHS of contaminated equipment or areas that cannot be fully decontaminated (e.g. interior of apparatus, drain lines, exhaust ductwork, etc.).

Chemical fume hoods, or other local containment devices, should be emptied and work surfaces should be neutralized with a bicarbonate slurry, or other appropriate neutralizing agent, and then wet-wiped with a soap and water mixture. Wear appropriate PPE when performing this work. Service tickets may be issued to EHS to HEPA vacuum large quantities of dust or debris.

Tubing and regulators connected to corrosive, toxic, or flammable compressed gas should be detached after purging and vented to an exhaust device, or adequately ventilated work area.

Washed, reusable, laboratory glassware may be transferred to another research user within the University, or offer the glassware to the Media Kitchen. Laboratory glassware that cannot be re-used must be cleaned, gathered into sealed boxes, Labeled as "Broken Glass" and placed in dumpsters for disposal.

Equipment that is to be disposed, or moved, must be emptied of contents, wiped with detergent and water, and then with a 10% in water solution of household bleach. When bleaching equipment, work in a well-ventilated area, and wear appropriate PPE. Contact EHS to obtain a clearance posting prior to disposal. Central Support, facilities or privately-contracted movers may not move equipment that has not been decontaminated.

All laboratory drawers, shelves, and other storage devices must be emptied of contents, and should have horizontal, potentially contaminated, surfaces wet-wiped with soap and water.

Turn off, and disconnect, all equipment from power supplies.

Un-contaminated sharps (e.g. broken glass, broken silicon wafers, metal tools with sharp points, etc.) must be collected in hard-sided, lined, containers. Broken Glass boxes are appropriate, and may be purchased from Science Stores. Filled containers must be taped closed, labeled, and will then submitted to EHS for pickup and disposal. Contaminated Sharp must either be managed as Hazardous Waste Sharps, or as Biohazard Sharps, depending upon type of hazard.

Universal Wastes (e.g. batteries and lamps containing heavy metals, and used oil) must be submitted to and disposed by EHS.

Equipment containing a hazardous material integral to the operation of the equipment (e.g., halocarbons, solvents, oil, mercury and asbestos) must have the hazardous material removed prior to disposal. Examples include mercury switches, mercury thermometers, transformers, oil pumps, and compressors. Contact EHS for support.

Electronic equipment (e.g., computers, peripherals, lab electronics) must be labeled as “working” or “non-working”, decontaminated if appropriate, and submitted to Business Affairs Property Control for disposal or sale as surplus. No potentially contaminated equipment should be made available for surplus. Follow procedures for How to Dispose of Surplus Property.


Assess material transportation needs and requirements associated with transporting containers of biological materials, chemical and radioactive materials. If transporting to another location on campus, place original containers in a secondary container capable of holding all contents if originals break, use a wheeled cart or bucket, and have appropriate spill clean-up supplies readily available.

Containers must be in good condition, tightly sealed and labeled. An unlabeled container is considered and unknown, and cannot be transported.

Liquids should be packed in vermiculite, with spill pads, and restrained against vibration or impact. Note:  Containers without lids cannot be used to transport liquids.

Gas cylinders must be transported on a cylinder cart. Lecture bottles, and other small cylinders, should be transported in a crate that restrains the cylinders and protects the valve head.

Liquid nitrogen should be transported in specially designed rolling low-pressure cylinders, or in loosely capped dewars on a rolling cart.

Transportation of hazardous materials off campus, including across public streets to campus branches occupying leased properties, must be in compliance with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. Do not use personal vehicles or public transportation; University vehicles, or services of a specialized contract shipper are necessary. Air Transportation of hazardous materials is also highly regulated. Contact your purchasing/shipping agents and EHS for assistance. EHS will advise on options within these specialized situations.

Lab Close-Out Notification Form

Lab Close-Out PI Checklist