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Biohazard waste bags with used syringes, needles, bandages, and other medical waste.

Regulated Medical Waste Guidelines

Regulated Medical Waste (RMW) is material that may be contaminated with blood, bodily fluids, or other infectious materials. RMW may also be referred to as "biohazardous" or "infectious waste". RMW must be properly handled and disposed of in order to minimize the risk of transmitting infection or endangering human health.

  • Cultures and stock of microorganisms and biologicals
  • Human blood and body fluids, and items contaminated with human blood or body fluids
  • Tissues and other anatomical wastes
  • Sharps (such as needles, syringes with attached needles, suture needles, and scalpels), including sharps generated through veterinary practice
  • Animal carcasses and related wastes when animals are intentionally infected
  • Mixtures and residues of regulated medical waste (such as from cleanups of RMW spills)
  • Solid waste suspected by the health care professional in charge of being capable of producing infectious disease in humans

RMW must be collected in leak-proof, puncture resistant containers with lids, lined with red bags imprinted with the infectious waste biohazard symbol. Any sharps or materials contaminated with infectious agents that may puncture a red bag must be deposited in a sharps disposal container.

Any questions/comments about Regulated Medical Waste, please contact B.S.S.F 683-4199 or EH&S 683-4495.

Guidelines for Disposal of Regulated Medical Waste

Below are the guidelines for disposal of Regulated Medical Waste at approved locations (PDF):

        Approved Bags

        • Must be a RED polypropylene bag that is at least 2 mil thick
        • Must have the Biohazard label, at least 2" in size.
        • Must have the words "Potentially Infectious Material" or "Biohazardous"
        • Must have the words "Autoclave Bag"

        Secondary Containers

        • Have Red Medical Waste bag as a liner.
        • Must be leak-proof, puncture resistant.
        • Have a tight fitting lid.
        • Display Biohazard symbol on container and lid.
        • Kept closed/sealed when not in use.

        Biohazard Labels

        Approved sterilization tray

        • Fisher Scientific (Cat. #13-359-20B) - Thermo Scientific Nalgene Large Polypropylene Sterilizing Pans
        • If there's another tray that could be an option, have it approved through BSSF staff prior to placing an order.

        Approved Sharps containers

        Are rigid, leak-proof, puncture resistant boxes of various sizes made of hard red plastic, with a lid that can be securely sealed to keep contents from falling out, and clearly marked with the biohazard symbol.

        Maximum size per container not to exceed 14 quarts

        Sharps Containers


        Transport of waste

        • All bagged waste must be transported in approved trays, Bins or carts with lids. Never hand carry Regulated Medical Waste outside of the labs without leakproof containment.
        • Serological pipettes must be placed in the approved sterilization trays, covered with foil and placed on a cart for transport for sterilization.
        • For labs that transport waste to MGB 207: Pipettes and liquid waste will be accepted for treatment on any weekday except Wednesday.


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