Biohazard Disposal

August 2000
Chapter 7

Section: 7:060

Biohazard Disposal

A biohazard is any potentially infectious biological material that may be capable of or that can harbor microorganisms capable of producing disease in plants, animals, or humans. Biohazard waste products that have not been rendered innocuous determined non-infectious by the principal investigator or their authorized representative should be considered infectious.

Disposal of Biohazard Waste

Biohazard waste that has not been sterilized must be disposed of by Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) or an authorized biohazard waste disposal vendor selected/approved by EHS. The biowaste must be properly labeled, containerized, and stored prior to transport.

Packaging and Labels

Packaging and labels will be provided by EHS or their authorized biohazard waste disposal vendor, with the exception of special packaging for articles that could potentially puncture bags or boxes.

  • Article that could puncture bags or boxes (“sharps”) must be placed in puncture-proof containers available from University Hospital Materials Management (882-2805), or from commercial sources. The containers can then be picked up separately if liquid-free, or placed in the biohazard bags and boxes provided.
NOTE: Leaking containers or improperly packaged sharps will not be accepted by EHS or their authorized biohazards waste vendor.

Transporting Biohazards

Transportation from individual laboratories can be arranged by contacting EHS (882-7018). Collection points for biohazards are available at several locations on campus that may be more convenient for some laboratories. Contact EHS for the nearest location and to determine availability.

Disposal of Biohazard Waste Containing Hazardous Chemicals or Radioactive Materials

Biohazard waste that contains radioactive materials or hazardous chemicals must be picked up by EHS personnel. Disposal of biohazard waste containing these materials may require special handling procedures.

  • Contact EHS (882-7018) for information on biohazard waste containing hazardous chemicals, or call 882-7221 for information on radioactive biohazard waste disposal.

Disposal of Sterilized or Treated Biohazard Waste

Biohazard waste that has been sterilized or rendered innocuous and does not contain hazardous or radioactive materials may be disposed of directly into a sanitary landfill by placing it in the normal trash.

  • All sterilized or treated biowaste must be placed in black bags prior to disposal. Red bags or any materials marked as a biohazard will not be disposed of by custodial staff and will be reported to EHS.
  • It is the responsibility of the principal investigator or their authorized representative to make the determination that the biohazard waste has been sterilized or rendered innocuous and place the material in black bags.
  • Pickup times for trash should be noted and putrescible materials refrigerated or picked up within 24 hours.


Training on the handling and disposal of biohazard waste is provided free of charge by EH&S to MU faculty and staff. To schedule training please contact EHS (882-7018).