Infectious waste is any waste with the presence or the reasonable anticipated presence of blood or other potentially infectious materials on an item or surface. The following are typical materials considered infectious wastes (this is not an all-inclusive list).
- Human body fluids like semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult to differentiate between body fluids.
- Any unfixed human tissue or organ (other than intact skin).
- HIV-containing cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and HIV or HBV containing culture medium or other solutions.
- Microbiological cultures and stocks of infectious agents, including cultures and stocks of infectious agents, wastes from the production of biologicals, and culture dishes, assemblies and devices used to transfer, inoculate and mix cultures.
- Contaminated animal carcasses, body parts, blood, blood products, secretions, excretions and bedding of animals that were known to have been exposed to zoonotic infectious agents or non-zoonotic human pathogens.
- Pharmaceutical drugs and chemicals that are not infectious must not be disposed in the infectious waste streams.
- Regulated medical waste that is mixed with chemicals or radioactive agents must be handled in a special manner. Please contact the department EH&S.
There are three types of waste generated in clinical locations and disposed of through the regulated medical waste program. These include:
- Regulated Medical Waste
- Sharp waste
- Non-Sharp waste
- Pathological waste
- Chemotherapeutic waste
Clinical personnel can submit an infectious waste pick-up request to EH&S. The infectious waste will be removed by the university’s vendor during the next pick-up time. In addition, researchers can submit an infectious waste container request to EH&S.
Infectious Waste Removal Process
Non-sharps regulated medical waste and chemotherapeutic waste bags must be placed in a container that is leak-proof on the sides and bottom, impervious to moisture, and sufficient in strength to prevent puncturing, tearing or bursting during storage. Liquid waste must be placed in containers that are break resistant and tightly lidded. Sharps containers must be puncture resistant, tightly lidded, leak proof and labeled. Cardboard sharps containers are not acceptable for use.
Regulated medical waste and Chemotherapeutic waste containers must be labeled in the following manner by research personnel:
- The words “Regulated Medical Waste” or “Chemotherapeutic Waste”
- The universal biohazard symbol and the work “Biohazard”.
- The date the container was full or the date the container was sealed.
- The name, address and telephone number of the generator of the waste.
Clinical personnel must be present during the scheduled pick up time. The contactor will not remove the waste if the clinical personnel are not present. Regulated medical waste cannot be placed in the hallway for pickup. The waste must be secure at all times. Overfilled containers will not be removed.
To service waste containers or to obtain regulated waste containers, please contact the EH&S or use the links to submit a request.
Review the Hazardous Waste Management Plan for information concerning allowable amount accumulated, labeling and permitted accumulation time. Additional information can be found under Environmental Compliance.