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Segregation and Disposal of Regulated Medical Waste

Applicability: These procedures apply to disposal of research-associated or clinical materials having the potential for causing disease or adverse health effects in humans.

Containers: 'Sharps' containers and grey plastic Medical Waste containers with liners are provided and removed by EH&S and their vendor, (Morningside) 4-8048.

Sharps containers must be used for disposal of the following items used in research activities: hypodermic needles, syringes, scalpel blades, slides, cover slips, serological pipets (glass or plastic), and blood vials. Essentially, any contaminated item that may tear a red bag during transport.

Syringes and needles must never be separated and needles must never be recapped prior to disposal.

Sharps containers are available for the bench-top and in an 8 gallon size (floor model). Laboratories using large quantities of serological pipets may request an 8-gallon container. Containers must not be filled to the point where pipets stick out through the top.

The red plastic bags are to be used for biologically contaminated 'soft' items such as gloves and paper towels-items that will not rip through the bag when it is picked up. Do not use red bags for 'regular' trash (e.g., packing materials, papers, card board boxes).  When a red bag is ready for removal, tape it closed and put the Principal Investigator’s name and room number on the bag or on a piece of tape affixed to it

Serological pipets may not be disposed in red bags!

Every Tuesday and Friday between 11am – 2pm, Stericycle will be on-site to remove regulated medical waste from your lab.  Please help us ensure a smooth transition into this new program by following a few basic instructions:

  1. Lab must ready their medical waste for safe handling and disposal.
    • Labs must tie red bags closed and engage interlocking lid on grey medical waste containers
    • Snap closed lids on sharps containers
  2. Lab should roll properly containerized waste on dollies into corridor outside of lab door between 9am and 11am on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Medical waste must not be rolled out on the night prior to service.
  3. Lab should place full sharps containers along side the full, closed grey medical waste containers in the corridor.
  4. Stericycle will replace the grey medical waste containers on a one-for-one, each lined with 1 red bag.
  5. EH&S will provide each lab with a supply of 8-gallon and 2-gallon sharps containers.  Additional containers will be available upon request from the EH&S Office.


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