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Environmental Health and Safety

Environmental Health and Safety
108 Edwards Hall
1810 Kerr Dr.
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506

785-532-1981 fax

Biohazardous/Medical Waste

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.

Waste Treatment

  1. All biohazard waste/materials must be collected in red or orange biohazard bags or tubs. These containers must be kept closed.
  2. Pathogenic organisms or contaminated materials must be decontaminated prior to disposing in the trash.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.).
  5. Sharps contaminated with Category 1 waste must be placed in puncture-resistant plastic containers that have the biohazard symbol.
  6. Pathogen-containing waste must also be labeled “Infectious waste-name of the pathogen”,
  7. Do not put Hazardous Waste labels on biohazard/medical waste.

Sharps and medical waste pick up request form

By entering my name I certify all containers are closed, properly labeled. All information is complete and accurate to the best of my knowledge.


Medical waste at Kansas State University consists of many materials that are utilized in the process of research and education. These materials include vials, ampoules, gloves,gauze, bloody bandages and towels, and sharps. 

  • Sharps include needles, syringes, razor blades, scalpel blades, pasteur pipets and similar sharp items contaminated with infectious or biohazardous materials or agents.  Collect sharps in suitable sharps containers. Departments are responsible for purchasing appropriate sharps containers. Label the container with the word “Sharps” and the words “Biohazard” or “Medical Waste”. The containers must be:
    • rigid sided,
    • puncture resistant,
    • closable with a tight fitting lid that prevents sharps from coming out, and
    • leak proof 
    • bare the biohazard symbol
  • Do not overfill sharps containers. Before requesting pickup of your sharps containers from Environmental Health & Safety,make sure the lid fits on the container securely, or tape the top of the container so no items fall out. 

  • Do not place sharps in biohazard bags. Biohazard bags are for solid waste such as gauze, gloves, and bandages. Anything which could puncture the container must be placed in a sharps container. Use this form to request additional biohazard bags.

  • Carcasses and animal parts may be discarded via the medical waste program. This waste must be kept frozen until pick-up. Someone in the laboratory must be available at pick-up time to ensure the proper material is discarded.

  • Dispose uncontaminated broken glassware in a closable box.  Do not throw glassware in regular inside trash cans.   Broken glass or glassware waste containers are available from lab supply vendors. Any sturdy, undamaged corrugated box is suitable.  The boxes should be lined with a 2 mil poly bag. When full, close the bag, secure and tape the lid on the box and take the waste box to the dumpster.