Sharps are lab instruments used to puncture, cut, or scrape. They are hazardous because they could cause injury and/or infection - as they may be contaminated with hazardous biological agents

Examples include needles, blades, tweezers, and probes. Broken glass and other items with sharp edges and points are also considered sharps. 

Sharps are generated in research and diagnostic laboratories, pharmaceutical and health care facilities, facilities services, and by individuals discarding broken glass and other sharp items.

Rhodes University Procedures

Rhodes University requires all staff and students to adhere to its socially and environmentally responsible hazardous waste disposal practices, in line with the Occupational Health and Safety Act:

Each laboratory, pharmaceutical or health care facility, and sanitary service provider should manage the sharps waste generated in its area of responsibility.

  • Sharps should be placed into designated, labelled, yellow sharps containers, in the relevant laboratory or research facility.
  • Once filled, all sharps containers should be capped and disposed of (not emptied and re-used) so that the operator does not have to come into contact with the contents.
  • Only approved hazardous waste collection services should be used - Compass Waste collects from RU every second Tuesday.

Sharps Waste Info

Return to main Hazmat Waste Disposal page.

More Info

Return to Rhodes University's Safety front page. Questions/Suggestions? Contact safety(at)

Last Modified: Wed, 04 Apr 2018 15:59:52 SAST