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Regulated Medical Waste Disposal

Regulated Medical Waste Removal Request


Environmental Health & Safety's Regulated Medical Waste Program provides safety practices for the packaging and disposal of regulated medical waste at Virginia Tech.

Pickups are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. Requests must be submitted by 5 p.m. the day prior to the pickup.


Regulated Medical Waste Program Summary

The program applies to anyone who is working with human tissues, blood or items contaminated with human blood. It also applies to any lab working with potentially infectious substances, including cultures and plates, pipettes, needles, intentionally infected lab animals, and their bedding.

Any area that is generating regulated medical waste is required to properly package per federal and state regulations. Environmental Health & Safety must be contacted for disposal immediately upon packaging the waste to ensure timely disposal. All disposal and packaging materials are supplied to the univeristy community free of charge. Click here to submit a regulated medical waste removal request.


Regulated Medical Waste Online Program

Wear the appropriate items of personal protective equipment, including, but not limited to:

  • Gloves;
  • Protective smock or apron;
  • Filter mask; and
  • Protective goggles if these is a risk of splashing to the eyes.

Be sure to remove safely any protective equipment and wash hands before:

  • Eating;
  • Drinking;
  • Smoking;
  • Applying cosmetics;
  • Handling contact lenses; and
  • Physically contacting another person.
  • Discarded cultures (bacterial, viral, tissue), stocks of infectious agents and associated biologicals, specimens and vaccines that likely contain pathogenic organisms.
  • Waste consisting of human blood, human blood products, and items contaminated by human blood.
  • All human anatomical wastes and all wastes that are human tissues, organs, body parts, or body fluids.
  • Sharps likely to contain pathogenic organisms and all sharps used in patient care or veterinary practice including hypodermic needles, syringes, pasteur pipettes, scalpel blades, suture needles, blood vials, needles with attached tubing, slides and cover slips which were in contact with infectious agents, and culture dishes.
  • When laboratory animals are intentionally infected with organisms likely to be pathogenic to healthy humans; the animal carcasses, body parts, bedding material and all other wastes likely to have been contaminated by pathogenic organisms.
  • Any residue or contaminated soil, water, or other debris resulting from the cleanup of a spill of any regulated medical waste.
  • Any solid waste contaminated by or mixed with regulated medical waste.

Note: Liquids should not be disposed of within regulated medical waste receptacles. These boxes are only for solid waste. Liquids that contain biologicals must be rendered harmless (either through chemical or mechanical means) and can be poured down the sink, as long as there are not other chemical or radioactive materials in them.

Sharp regulated medical waste:

1. Place sharps in container.

2. Place sharps container in red biohazard bag.

3. Gather the opening of the bag, lap over, and bind with tape.

4. Place the bag in a preconstructed regulated medical waste box.

5. Seal the inner bag by gathering the opening, lap over, and bind with tape.

6. Seal the regulated medical waste box by taping the middle seam 3 times and all other seams 1 time.

7. Complete the generator label and place it on the box.

8. Contact EHS for waste removal.

Non-sharp regulated medical waste:

1. Place waste in red biohazard bag.

2. Gather the opening of the bag, lap over, and bind with tape.

3. Place the bag in a preconstructed regulated medical waste box.

4. Seal the inner bag by gathering the opening, lap over, and bind with tape.

5. Seal the regulated medical waste box by taping the middle seam 3 times and all other seams 1 time.

6. Complete the generator label and place it on the box.

7. Contact EHS for waste removal.

Submit a pickup request using this portal.

Pickups are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. Requests must be submitted by 5 p.m. the day prior to the pickup. View authorized regulated medical waste containers.

In general, all laboratory waste containers (excluding desk/household receptacles) must be kept closed when not adding or removing waste. All waste containers must be labeled according to the type (biological, chemical, radiological) of waste being collected.

All biohazardous waste, regardless of biosafety classification level, must be decontaminated before disposal. Refer to the individual program areas, biological wastechemicalradioactive, and regulated medical waste for specific details.

Questions? Contact 540-231-3600.

Click here for guidance. 

At the present time, EHS must review each process individually to determine best management practices for nanotech waste generated. This includes nano materials alone and/or mixed with other chemicals or products. Please contact the Hazardous Materials Group at 540-231-3600 for a consult.

Authorized regulated medical waste containers include:

1 gallon red sharps container
1 gallon sharps container
5 gallon sharps container
5 gallon sharps container
96 gallon sharps container
96 gallon container
2 gallon sharps container
2 gallon sharps container
regulated medical waste cardboard box
Regulated medical waste cardboard box
Screenshot of label generator
Click image to download the label generator

Contact Information

Phone: 540-231-3600
Email: biowaste@vt.edu

Contact the Regulated Medical Waste Team

Call: 540-231-3600
Emailbiowaste@vt.edu