Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Procedures

Disposal of Biological Waste

Research, Environmental Health and Safety   |   Approved May 14, 2015


Dispose of biological waste on campus.


Laboratory personnel at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and includes the disposal of any waste that is potentially contaminated with infectious agents, human or animal tissue, or bodily fluids. 

For more information on biological waste see EHS’s Biological Waste/Special Medical Waste website.


EHS will provide boxes and bags for new and existing bio-hazard waste producers, contact EHS at 6-7055 for more information.

Contaminated waste should never be placed outside of containers. 

No chemical, radioactive waste, or free flowing liquids should never be placed in biological waste disposal containers. 

Laboratory Materials (Biohazard Box): 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".
  2. Double bag any wet waste using absorbent material in the inner bag.
  3. 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.
  4. Close the box and secure it with filament tape.

Sharps: Biologically contaminated needles, syringes, scalpel blades, and razor blades.

  1. Place intact needles and syringes and other sharps into an autoclavable, puncture resistant "sharps" container.  Do not recap, bend, remove or clip needles.
  2. Do not place free-flowing liquids in sharps containers.
  3. Fill 3/4 full, snap the lid closed and secure with filament tape.
  4. Do not overfill or force fill the "sharps" container.

Autoclaved Special Medical Waste (Grey Biohazard Cart):

  1. Items placed into grey biohazard cart should be in a bag and either tied or taped shut.
  2. No loose objects should be placed in cart.
  3. No sharps containers should be placed in cart.
  4. If cart is full or close to being full please call EHS at 6-7055 or submit pick-up online for removal.
  5. Grey Biohazard Cart is for Special Medical Waste only.  Biohazard Boxes should not be stored in cart. It is acceptable to place them next to a cart and EHS will remove them at the time they remove the cart. 

Tissues or Pathological materials:

  1. Place animal/tissue in a plastic bag, close, then double bag and place in the freezer.
  2. Contact EHS at 6-7055 for disposal.

Glassware: Such as biologically contaminated beakers or vials.

  1. Decontaminate the glassware using autoclave 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.

Additional Instructions and Exceptions:

  1. Flush human blood, human blood components, and other human body fluids down the sanitary sewer.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Submit appropriate Special Medical Waste Removal Request Form to request pick-up of waste disposal container. 
    • This includes any additional servicing or early pick-up of disposal containers to prevent overflow. 
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