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Regulated Medical Waste 

Biomedical waste consists of all biological, pathological and infectious wastes such as the following:

  1. Anatomical Material: Human or animal body parts including tissues and organs or whole animal carcasses..
  2. Blood: Human or animal, whole or blood components.
  3. Blood-soiled Articles: Any article that contains blood in any form as a result of contact with blood.
  4. Sharps: Syringe, needle, surgical instrument or other article which has cut or punctured human skin or has come in contact with an infectious agent.
  5. Unused cultures and stocks of infectious agents.
  6. Biologically Contaminated Laboratory Materials: Any article that is contaminated with or has come in contact with a pathogenic or infectious organism such as petri dishes, glassware, etc.

All Biomedical waste must be either treated and disposed of as solid waste through Autoclave Key personnel or consigned to Environmental Health and Safety for incineration by a local vendor.

Instructions for the disposal of Biomedical waste.

1.     Anatomical Materials, Tissues: Place anatomical material in plastic bag. Tie bag closed. Place the first bag into a second bag. Place the bag in a freezer until EHS can contact vendor for a pick-up. Call EHS at 3-4495 to request a Special Medical Waste pick-up.


2.     Sharps (needles, syringes, scalpel blades, etc.): Place the sharps in an approved, autoclavable puncture resistant "sharps" container. Do not recap, bend, remove or clip needles. Fill 3/4 full, snap lid closed and secure with tape. Overfilling or forced filling may result in puncture wounds. Sharps should be treated/disinfected prior to being disposed of. Request Medical Waste pick-up thorugh EHS (link below


NOTE: Please do not place free flowing liquids in sharps container.


a.     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 bio-hazard symbol.


3.     Biologically Contaminated Laboratory Materials, Blood Soiled Articles, Cultures, and Stocks of Infectious Agents:  Refer to the guidelines below set up by B.S.S.F and EHSO for disposal of these items as "bagged" waste.




Request for Medical Waste Pick-up.


1.     All Regulated Medical Waste contained in bags must be submitted for sterilization in approved Red bags, double bagged. (Please contact the B.S.S.F. Manager or EH&S before purchasing these bags, so the bags can be approved prior to your outlay of funds.) The B.S.S.F. or EH&S will not provide these bags.

2.     No glass or plastic pipettes may be placed in red Regulated Medical Waste bags.

o    Broken glass:

·         Contaminated, glass should be placed in a sharps container.

·         Non-contaminated, glass can be placed in a cardboard box marked "Broken Glass".

o    Plastic Pipettes (12-14 inchs) shall be placed in red bags separate from all other waste.

3.     No sharps may be placed in red Regulated Medical Waste bags. 

4.     Unless specifically used to cleanup a biohazard spill, no paper towels should be placed in red Regulated Medical Waste bags. Towels used to routinely clean a work surface before and after use, should be placed in "uncontaminated" waste receptacle.

5.     All bags shall be filled no more than 3/4 full.

6.     All bags must be tied or rubber banned closed, prior to submission, to allow steam penetration during sterilization, i.e., do not tape bags closed tightly.

7.     Regulated Medical Waste bags will be accepted for sterilization as follows:

o    B.S.S.F (MGB Rm 207): on Wednesdays only, no later than 10:00 am.

o    Health Science: Discreation of Autoclave operator

o    Center for BioElectrics: Discreation of Autoclave operator

8.     All regulated medical waste generated by your laboratory must be disposed of (i.e., brought to the departments sterilization area) within 7 days of generation.

o     If your department does not have a sterilization area, contact EH&S for pickup of medial waste.

9.     All regulated medical waste bags must include: the generator's name, Bldg & Room number, clearly labeled on the bag prior to submission for sterialization.

10.   The generator of the Regulated Medical Waste assumes all responsibility for assuring the autoclave operator, B.S.S.F and personnel that absolutely no hazardous waste, i.e., chemicals, or radioactive waste is contained in the red Regulated Medical Waste bags submitted for treatment.

NOTE: If you are working with a known, biological pathogen, please inform the B.S.S.F. personnel of the pathogen, as a courtesy. The B.S.S.F. will treat ALL waste with Universal Precautions, but may be able to process or quarantine specific pathogens more readily if known.


  1. All sharps must be submitted in a closed, approved sharps container, seal with tape.
  2. All sharps containers must have the following information clearly labeled on the container, prior to submission to the departments Biological Storage room: Researchers name, Room number and building.
  3. Once sterilized, ODU must send sharps off campus to a contracted vendor for incineration.