Biological Waste Disposal Instructions

Biohazard Symbol

Biohazardous waste is common to most labs on the KUMC campus. Proper disposal of all biohazardous waste must be done to ensure the safety of all personnel handling the waste from production to shipment off campus. All biohazardous waste should be treated as infectious and personnel should always wear gloves and use universal precautions when handling biohazardous waste. Anything described as a biohazardous waste below or bearing a biohazard symbol should be considered to be biohazardous until proven otherwise.  The Biological Safety page can be consulted for further information regarding handling of biohazard materials. 

General Information:

All of the biohazardous waste is removed from the labs by the Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) office. It is contained within a 28 gallon red tub. Many labs are supplied with these 28 gallon red biohazard bins. Each week,  a company called Stericycle removes and incinerates all of the biohazardous waste according to state regulations.

Examples of items that are disposed of as Biohazardous Waste:

  • Infectious agents or items potentially contaminated by infectious agents.
  • Un-autoclaved waste contained in biohazard bags
  • Human blood, blood products or other human body fluids or tissues
  • Items contaminated with animal or human tissues or fluids
  • Contaminated Personal Protective Equipment

Preparation of Biohazard Waste for Disposal:

The 28 gallon tubs are provided , at no cost, to labs lined with a red biohazard bag.  These liners are NOT autoclave safe.  If you do not have a bin and need/want one, please contact the EHS office. Once the tub is full, the red bag should be securely tied closed with a knot. Then the lid should be oriented on the tub so that the tabs are aligned with the handles. Pushing down on the tabs will engaging the locking mechanism with a snap and secure the lid on the container. After the waste has been prepared a request for pickup can be made.

All biohazard waste must be double-bagged and properly closed to avoid leakage.  Do not overfill bags or biohazard bins. The biohazardous waste must fit in the 28 gallon red tubs to be shipped off campus.

For more information regarding the disposal of sharps containers, please consult the Sharps Waste page and the Guidelines for the Safe Handling of Sharps.

NOTE: If you are disposing of animal bedding or animal carcasses, please contact Laboratory Animal Resources  for further information.  In rare cases, laboratories may generate animal wastes that are contaminated with other hazardous substances.  Recent examples of this include animals injected with TCDD, the radioisotope C-14 or with EPA regulated compounds.  Please contact the EHS office for instructions on disposing of these types of animal carcasses.  DO NOT return these carcasses to LAR.

Requesting a Pick-Up:

Once your waste is ready for pick-up, please fill out the Biohazard Waste Pick Up Request form. This form will ask several questions. You will need to know:

  • the laboratory Principle Investigator (PI) (the person who is in charge of the lab)
  • who is filling out the form and their contact information
  • the building and room where the waste is located
  • the type and amount of waste you are disposing (i.e. tub, bag, or sharps container)

At the end of the form is a comments section. This can be used for any special requests or information. Some examples of information to put into the comments section is, if your lab has limited access, if the waste is located in a hidden location (under a bench, behind a door, in a cell culture room) or if you need extra tubs.

After you submit the form, it will be sent electronically to several members of EHS and someone will remove the materials - usually within hours, but in can take up to three working days. If you are submitting a pick up request for a tub, a new one will be provided with a liner. EHS does not replace sharps containers or biohazard bags. Each lab must purchase these items.

If your waste is not removed within 3 working days please contact the EHS office at 8-1081 or

Rendering Waste "Non-Viable":

Some biohazardous wastes need to be rendered "non-viable" or "non-infectious" before disposal, using acceptable methods such as autoclaving. Please reference the Biological Safety page for information about what materials need to be rendered "non-viable" and acceptable methods. There is also information regarding autoclaving.

 If you have any questions, please contact the EHS office at 8-1081 or

Last modified: Sep 13, 2013