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Wastes Contaminated with Infectious Agents/ Sharps Disposal


205a. Wastes Contaminated with Infectious Agents/Sharps Disposal

The following items are usually considered to be infectious waste:

  • Tissues, bulk blood, body fluids from humans or from animals carrying an infectious agent that can be transmitted to humans
  • Items soiled or spotted with human blood or body fluids (e.g. semen, vaginal secretions, saliva) such as blood spotted gloves/gowns/instruments and soiled or blood-soaked bandages
  • Microbiological laboratory waste such as cultures derived from clinical specimens, pathogenic microorganisms, and all laboratory equipment that has come into contact with the cultures (e.g. culture dishes/tubes, swabs used to inoculate cultures)
  • Contaminated sharps such as needles, razors, scalpels, lancets, Pasteur pipettes, and broken, infectious capillary tubes and glass



  • Use appropriately labeled and color-coded (red or orange) “biohazard” bags and puncture-resistant, rigid, leak proof plastic sharps containers for the collection of all infectious waste.
  • Contaminated needles and other contaminated sharps shall not be bent, recapped or removed. Shearing or breaking of contaminated needles is prohibited. Do not allow the sharps containers to become more than ¾ full.
  • Segregate infectious waste from other solid waste.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment when handling infectious waste containers. This includes protective gloves (latex, nitrile), masks, eye protection, face shields, and protective body clothing if necessary.
  • Any single Stericycle container of waste should weigh less than forty (40) pounds.
  • Standardize the use and labeling of receptacles for the placement of “biohazard” bags and sharps containers. The containers for disposal of infectious waste shall be closed prior to being stored, transported, or shipped.



  • Generators of infectious waste should be trained in the proper procedures prior to handling. This should include initial and periodic training.



  • Utilize autoclave/steam sterilization to reduce the overall volume of waste.
  • Offer services to collect hypodermic needles and syringes from individuals who must take medication by injection.