Lab Close Out, Transfer, or Temporary Shutdown Procedures

Policy Information
Policy TitleLab Close Out, Transfer, or Temporary Shutdown Procedures
Responsible OfficeEnvironmental Health and Safety (EH&S)
Policy TypeEnvironmental Health
Policy Number1016
Last Revision Date10/25/2023


Throughout the University, principal investigators (PI)/faculty members leave, relocate labs and/or go on sabbatical. This document will provide general guidelines to address requirements that must be met prior to any of these actions taking place


This policy applies to all labs, darkrooms, animal rooms, and workshops throughout Binghamton University or other space where regulated waste may be present.


This policy applies to all students, principal investigators, faculty, staff, and department chairs.


To maintain a safe working environment, reduce hazardous waste generation and to comply with all applicable regulations.

Roles and Responsibility

  • Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) - Will provide guidance for lab close out, decontamination, relocation and other issues that may arise.  Waste disposal will be coordinated through EH&S.
  • Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) - Must survey and sign off on close out procedure form for all rooms where radioactive materials were in use. Will assist with and confirm proper disposal of radioactive materials. Decontamination of a lab may not take place until RSO has signed off on form.
  • Biosafety Officer (BSO) - Will provide direction on proper decontamination methods for equipment and exposed materials.  Assure proper disposal of regulated medical waste and sharps in lab.
  • Department Chairperson - Must assure all work is complete.  If work is not completed, it is the department's responsibility to do so. Upon departure of PI or faculty member, department chairperson will assume full responsibility for the lab until a new lab occupant is assigned.
  • Faculty Member or Principal Investigator (PI) - Responsible for following these guidelines in order to assure lab is left in appropriate condition.


Faculty Member or PI Leaving University

Notification must be sent to EH&S as soon as occupant is aware of their pending departure from the University.  Prior to leaving the University, principal investigator or faculty member must complete a Lab Close Out Checklist form and send it to EH&S. Laboratories cannot be reoccupied, nor work done by Facilities Management, until EH&S has verified that the close out procedure has been completed.

Note: This process can be time intensive and should be initiated as early as possible.  It must be completed prior to leaving the University. 

Radioactive Materials

  • All radioactive material must be removed from lab (lead pigs, lead bricks, sheeting, and radioactive sources).
  • All radioactive equipment must be unplugged and locked down to avoid unauthorized use.
  • Radioactive waste must be removed from lab. For information regarding disposal of radioactive waste, please contact the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) at 607-777-3589.
  • Area must be surveyed by RSO to assure that all radioactive source has been removed and area is free of contamination.
  • Radiation Safety Officer must sign off on Lab Close Out Checklist form.

Biological Materials

In a lab where biohazardous materials were present, the area must be decontaminated.  Wipe down all areas with a 10% bleach solution or 70% alcohol with water solution.  Allow solution to sit on surfaces for 30 minutes prior to wiping up.

  • Place all sharps (syringes, Pasteur pipettes, serological pipettes, razor blades, etc.) in a sharps container and dispose of through the University Regulated Medical Waste Program.
  • Dispose of all solid media, supplies and all other potentially biohazardous waste from the laboratory in red bags as red bag waste, per University Regulated Medical Waste guidelines.
  • Decontaminate all liquid media and non-regulated medical waste by autoclaving or by treating for 30 minutes with bleach solution (final concentration to be 10%) before drain disposal.
  • For disposal of Regulated Medical Waste, please contact the Bio-Safety Officer at 607-777-2211.

Biological Safety Cabinets (BSC)

  • Remove all contents.
  • Disconnect tissue culture media vacuum flask.
  • Decontaminate all accessible surfaces with appropriate disinfectant.
  • If a BSC is being relocated to another building, it must be decontaminated by a certified contractor before being moved.  Please contact the Biosafety Officer at 607-777-2211 regarding decontamination.
  • Biological safety cabinets must be recertified before being placed back in service.


  • Specimens cannot be disposed of down the drain or in regular trash.
  • Specimens with formaldehyde or formalin solution must be disposted through Hazardous Waste Program by emailing
  • Human specimens must be disposed of as regulated medical waste.

Compressed Gas Cylinders

  • Remove regulators.
  • Replace cap.
  • All attempts should be made to return to cyclinder company.  If all options are exhausted cylinders may be disposed through Hazardous Waste Program (607-777-2211).
  • Do not roll cylinders; use hand carts designed for cylinders.


  • Inventory all chemicals using Binghamton University online chemical inventory form.  The completed inventory forms must be typed.  The chemical inventory form can be located under the forms and documents section of the EHS website.
  • Dispose of unwanted chemicals through the Hazardous Waste Program by emailing 
  • Defrost.
  • Clean all spills and residues.
  • Wipe down door and handle.
  • Leave plugged in.


  • Offer unwanted chemicals to other faculty and staff first.
  • Inventory all chemicals (refrigerator, flammable cabinets, acid cabinets, etc.).  Be sure to include location, bottle size, and CAS number on the online chemical inventory form.  The completed inventory form must be typed. The chemical inventory form can be located under the forms and documents section of the EHS website.
  • Identify location of all chemical storage areas.
  • Check all chemicals and samples for proper labeling (chemical name is legible, no chemical formulas, labels are not degrading, no chemical structures, labels are facing out, etc.)
    NO chemicals should be stored in drawers.
  • Dispose of expired chemicals through the Hazardous Waste Program by emailing
  • Dispose of all unstable chemicals i.e. peroxide formers and reactive chemicals.
  • Do not transport chemicals in vehicles or outside of building.  If transporting chemicals outside building, please contact EH&S for guidance.

Chemical Waste Disposal

EH&S is able to remove small amounts of unwanted chemicals from a lab.  Due to time and labor constraints, we are unable to handle large amounts of chemicals.  Therefore, if you have large amounts of unwanted chemicals, please contact EH&S as soon as possible so we can facilitate disposal through an outside vendor.

  • Store all waste in a central location.
  • Inventory all waste. Include chemical name, bottle size, CAS number, and amount in container using the online chemical inventory form.  The completed inventory form must be typed.  The chemical inventory form can be located under the forms and documents section of our website at 
  • Try to indentify all unknowns.
  • Waste must be compatible with container.
  • Waste containers must be closed with appropriate top, which will prevent material from spilling.
  • Label all waste with hazardous waste sticker.
  • All bottles need a completed hazardous waste tag (chemical formulas and structures are not accepted).


Glassware with substantial residue that cannot be removed should be disposed of through the Hazardous Waste Program.

  • Clean all glassware with appropriate solvent.
  • Store glassware in boxes, drawers, and cabinets.
  • Dispose of broken glassware in box designated for broken glassware. Boxes may be purchased through Science Stores, located in the basement of Science II or .


  • Shut off.
  • Unplug.
  • Decontaminate with solution of soap and water.
  • Store in appropriate location.
  • Fill our a laboratory equipment decommishioning form located under the procedures section of the Facilities Management website.


Must be accounted for and turned in to department chairperson upon completion of lab clean out procedures and before final departure from Binghamton University .

General Laboratory Cleanup

All laboratory areas must be thoroughly cleaned to assure removal of all hazardous residues. All surfaces where hazardous chemicals have been used or stored must be washed down with a solution of soap and water.  This includes fume hoods, bench tops, cabinets, drawers, walls, floors, etc.

EHS Inspection

When all work has been completed and checked off per the lab close out checklist, send original to department head. Department head will insure all work is complete, sign off on form, and send to EH&S. Upon receiving Lab Close Out Checklist form from department head, EH&S will conduct an inspection to confirm completion.