Laboratory personnel are responsible for developing protocols for identifying, segregating, decontaminating, and properly packaging biohazardous waste. Arrangements can be made to have sealed boxes of biohazardous waste picked up for storage and disposal through EHS.

Identifying Biohazardous Waste

The following materials are defined as biohazardous waste:

  1. Human blood and blood products.
  2. Cultures and stocks of etiologic agents and associated biologicals.
  3. Laboratory waste that has come in contact with a biohazard as listed in 1. and 2. above. This includes, but is not limited to, culture dishes; blood specimen tubes; devices used to transfer, inoculate and mix cultures; and other materials that have come in contact with biohazards (including disposable personal protective equipment and clothing).
  4. Contaminated sharps.
  5. Human pathological waste.

Drugs are not biohazardous waste. To dispose of DEA scheduled drugs or expired drugs, please contact EHS for guidance.

Biohazardous Spills

Spills must be cleaned up immediately. Use personal protective apparel available in your work area. Absorb liquids with paper towels or other absorbent materials to prevent spills from spreading. Use a dustpan and brush or a similar method to pick up broken glassware or sharps, then dispose them in a sharps container. Sharps must never be handled with bare hands. 

Disinfect the spill area with 10% bleach or other appropriate disinfectants and let it stand for a few minutes (15-20 minutes if 10% is used). This allows the disinfectant time to kill the organisms present. The UNE Housekeeping staff should not be contacted in the event of a biohazard spill incident. Please call EHS or Security if assistance is needed.


Waste containers, equipment, storage freezers and other materials that come in contact with blood and potentially infectious materials must be labeled with the biohazard warning label. The label must incorporate the universal biohazard sign and a predominant florescent orange or orange-red background with contrasting lettering and symbol.

Waste Pick-ups

  • For questions regarding packaging of waste, please call EHS.
  • To arrange for a pick-up of packed, sealed and properly labeled biomedical waste boxes, please contact Facilities Management through the work order system. Boxes must be closed and sealed for pick-up.
  • To arrange for a pick-up of sharps containers, please call EHS.