Special Medical or Pathological Waste

Definition: Waste potentially contaminated with infectious agents, human, or animal tissues, or body fluids, or "sharps".

Examples: Microbiological cultures, clinical specimens (urine, feces, blood, etc.), all human and anatomical waste, all animal carcasses except those containing radioactive materials, contaminated animal bedding, all "sharps" not contaminated with radioactive materials.



Biologically contaminated laboratory materials, blood soiled articles, cultures, petri dishes containing media and stocks of infectious agents.

  1. Place a plastic bag in a bio-hazard waste disposal box or "burn box". Double bag any wet waste using absorbent material in the inner bag.

  2. Twist the plastic bag(s) at the top; bend the twisted portion to form a loop and seal using filament tape. Seal the bags individually when double bagging.
  3. Close the box and secure it with filament tape.
  4. Call EHS @ 6-7055 to request a Special Medical Waste pick-up. Please specify the number of new or replacement boxes needed.


  • Please Note: EHS will provide boxes and bags for new and existing bio-hazard waste producers.
  • Please Note: Do not place free flowing liquids in any containers
  • Please Note: Petri dishes or stock solutions with media containing hazardous chemicals such as mercuric chloride must be containerized separately from the infectious waste without a hazardous chemical component.
  • Do not place chemical or radioactive waste in any Bio-hazardous "burn boxes"


  1. Place intact needles and syringes and other sharps into an autoclavable, puncture resistant "sharps" container.

  2. Do not recap, bend, remove or clip needles.
  3. Fill 3/4 full, snap the lid closed and secure with filament tape.
  4. Do not overfill or force fill the "sharps"container. This may result in puncture wounds.
  5. Call EHS@ 6-7055 to request waste pick-up.
  • Examples of "Sharps": needles, syringes, scalpel blades, razor blades, etc.
  • Please Note: EHS does not provide "Sharps" containers
  • Please Note: Do not place free-flowing liquids in sharps containers.



All laboratory wastes suspected of being contamined with potentially infectious materials must be autoclaved.

Autoclave bags (polypropylene) must be used. Ordinary plastic bags will melt in the autoclave. All bags must be secondarily contained in either a polypropylene tote or a stainless steel tote.

See the web page to the right for much more infomration on the proper use and operation of autoclaves.

Once the autoclaving of the potentially infectious material is complete, allow the bag(s) to cool. Once the autoclave bag(s) cool, place the bag into the grey cart found in autoclave rooms throughout the campus.

Most carts are scheduled for weekly pickup by EHS. If you need a mid-week or an immediate pick up because of higher volume of waste, call 6-7055. EHS will remove and replace the cart at the earliest possible moment.


Grey Biohazard Bin
  • Please Note: No chemical, radioactive waste or free flowing liquids should ever be placed in grey bins. Only dry solid medical and lab waste.
  • Please Note:Do not stack items on or around the grey bins. Waste should be placed inside bins and not around them. If a bin is to full to place your items in bin properly please call for a pick-up.
  • Please Note: Biohazard Boxes should no be stored in bins. It is acceptable to place them next to a bin and EHS will remove them at the time they remove the bin.
  • Please Note: Only special medical waste should go in the grey biohazard bins, all other refuse should be disposed of in proper places. (i.e. cardboard, office trash)
  1. Items placed into grey biohazard bins should be in a bag and either tied or taped shut.
  2. No free flowing liquids should be placed in cart.
  3. No loose objects should be placed in bins.
  4. No sharps containers should be placed in bins.
  5. If bin is full or close to being full please call EHS at 6-7055 or submit pick-up online for removal.


"Contaminated Disposable Glassware"
Please Note: EHS does not provide Disposable Glassware boxes.
  1. Decontaminate the glassware (e.g. autoclave, gas or chemical methods).
  2. Place in sturdy, sealable, cardboard box for disposal.
  3. Close the box and secure it with filament tape.
  4. Dispose as General Waste.

Animal Carcasses/Tissues

Animal carcasses that have been injected with regulated hazardous chemicals during the course of an experiment must be labeled with the amount of that hazardous chemical remaining in the animal carcass and disposed of as chemical waste..

  1. Place animal/tissue in a plastic bag, close, then double bag and place in the freezer.
  2. For pickup, call EHS at 6-7055
  3. Questions: call EHS at 6-7055


Whole Blood, Blood Components or Other Body Fluids

COMAR allows for sewer disposal of untreated blood and macerated tissue