Regulated Medical Waste Disposal Policy Procedures


This Regulated Medical Waste Disposal Policy has been instituted in accordance with Alfred University's Environmental Health and Safety Policy. It shall be reviewed and updated annually by Alfred University Environmental Health and Safety. The waste referred to in this policy applies to Alfred University owned materials only.


Regulated Medical Waste (RMW) containing BSL-2 microorganisms must be autoclaved or otherwise decontaminated by laboratory staff prior to disposal. This is also a requirement for BSL-3 organisms. Non-autoclaved RMW must be carefully packaged to eliminate the chances of exposure during transport to its ultimate treatment site.


To eliminate or limit the chance for exposure to biological and physical hazards in the disposal of regulated medical waste.


All parties using biological products in Alfred University laboratories.


Alfred University, Alfred, New York.


A. Classification of Regulated Medical Waste: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

  1. Cultures and Stocks of infectious agents and associated biologicals, including cultures from medical and pathological laboratories, cultures and stocks of infectious agents from research and industrial laboratories, wastes from the production of biologicals, discarded live and attenuated vaccines, and culture dishes and devices used to transfer, inoculate, and mix cultures.
  2. Human pathological wastes, including tissues, organs, and body parts and body fluids removed during surgery or autopsy, or other medical procedures, and specimens of body fluids and their containers.
  3. Liquid waste, human blood, products of human blood, items saturated and/or dripping with human blood, or items that were saturated and/or dripping with human blood that now are caked with dried human blood including serum, plasma, and other blood components, and their containers, which were used or intended for use in either patient care, testing and laboratory analysis or the development or pharmaceuticals. Intravenous bags are also included in this category.

B. Materials to be collected

Sharps that have been used in animal or human patient care or treatment or in medical, research, or industrial laboratories, including hypodermic needles, syringes (with or without the attached needle), pasteur pipettes, scalpel blades, blood vials, needles with attached tubing, and culture dishes (regardless of presence of infectious agents). Also included are other types of broken or unbroken glassware that were in contact with infectious agents, such as used slides and cover slips.

  1. Contaminated animal carcasses, body parts, and bedding of animals that were known to have been exposed to infectious agents during research production of biologicals, or testing of pharmaceuticals.
  2. Laboratory wastes from medical, pathological, pharmaceutical, or other research, commercial, or industrial laboratories that were in contact with infectious agents, including slides and cover slips, disposable gloves, laboratory coats and aprons.
  3. Biological waste and discarded materials contaminated with blood, excretion, exudates, or secretion from humans who are isolated to protect others from certain highly communicable diseases, or isolated animals known to be infected with highly communicable diseases.
  4. The following unused, discarded sharps: hypodermic needles, suture needles, syringes and scalpel blades.

C. Containers for Regulated Medical Waste

  1. Sharps Containers: for disposal of items contaminated with infectious materials that may rip or poke a hole in a red plastic bag.
    1. All hypodermic needles, suture needles, syringes, and scalpel blades, even if unused.
    2. Pasteur pipets (glass or plastic) blood vials, razor blades, serological pipets (glass or plastic), slides, cover slips, and glass culture dishes and test tubes containing or that were in contact with cultures/stocks of microorganisms, if they are unwrapped/unpackaged or appear as anything other than unused.
    3. Devices and materials listed in item 2, above, may be placed in cardboard boxes (see below) if they are unused and in their original packaging.
  2. Red bags are for items that are not expected to poke or tear the bag when it is lifted. This includes all of following if they are unwrapped/unpackaged or appear as anything other than unused: plastic test tubes, eppendorf tubes, plastic culture dishes, gloves, tissue culture flasks.
  3. Cardboard boxes should be used for disposal of the following uncontaminated, breakable items: glass bottles, wrapped pipets, slides, petri dishes and cover slips in their original packages, staining dishes, etc. These are not RMW. Tissues fixed in a hazardous chemical (e.g., formaldehyde) should be disposed of with the tissue going into red bags and the chemical into a labeled container for hazardous waste. If a large quantity of such material is to be disposed, contact EH&S @ 607-871-2190.

Disposal Procedure

  1. Residence Life, Physical Plant and/or the custodial department may bring RMW to EHS any weekday during normal business hours for waste storage. Athletic training, Student Health Services and Science Labs will store RMW within their department until the end of each semester, or sooner if needed.
  2. Store RMW in a safe and locked location.
  3. At the end of each semester, or sooner if needed, RMW will be brought to/picked up by EHS for transport and final disposal by Stericycle.
  4. EHS will contact each department with stored RMW for dates and times of drop off/pick up of the RMW.