Biohazardous/Medical wastes and contaminated materials are disposed of by category. There are three categories of waste:
- Category 1 waste is known, assumed, or suspected of being infectious to humans, plants, or animals and could cause harm if released to the environment,
- Category 2 waste has the appearance of biohazardous/medical waste, but is not contaminated with regulated materials,
- Category 3 wastes are contaminated with hazardous chemicals or radioactive material.
For more information, see Biohazardous and Sharps Waste Management Manual.
- All biohazard waste/materials must be collected in red or orange biohazard bags or tubs. These containers must be kept closed.
- Pathogenic organisms or contaminated materials must be decontaminated prior to disposing in the trash.
- Once a biohazard waste is autoclaved/sterilized, place the red bag into a dark, sealed trash bag prior to placing it into a dumpster. This will prevent others from mistaking it as biohazardous/medical waste.
- Materials designated as Category 1 waste must be disposed of as medical waste. This includes sharps contaminated with Category 1 waste (needles, syringes, scalpels, razors, Pasteur pipettes, etc.).
- Sharps contaminated with Category 1 waste must be placed in puncture-resistant plastic containers that have the biohazard symbol.
- Pathogen-containing waste must also be labeled “Infectious waste-name of the pathogen”,
- Do not put Hazardous Waste labels on biohazard/medical waste.