Pro-Medical/Biological Waste Segregation

procedure Medical Biological Waste Segregation modified Wed Oct 12 2022 09:34:23 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)

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University of Louisville



Medical/Biological Waste Segregation



This procedure applies to the University Community (administrators, faculty, staff, and students).


The cost for the incineration of medical and bio-hazardous waste has exponentially increased. Due to increased costs for the incineration of medical (aka biological, infectious waste), university labs, and clinics are required to follow medical waste segregation guidelines.


Medical waste that must be incinerated (pathological waste, BSL-3, Category A [inactivated], select agent, chemotherapeutic) must be separated from all other lab biological and medical waste. All other medical/biological waste can be disposed via off-site vendor steam sterilization.

Medical Wastes Acceptable for Autoclave (Vendor White-colored bar code label)

The following wastes will be sent off-site for disposal via steam sterilization (autoclave) and landfill. Waste containers will be bar-coded with a Stericycle white-colored label. 

  1. Bio-hazardous biological waste.
  2. Bio-hazardous waste containing Infectious Category A or select agent, which have been inactivated in-house using a validated method, respectively.
  3. Sharps.

These items shall be placed in a puncture-resistant container with universal biohazard symbol. Full sharps containers shall be securely closed prior to placement into a red bagged lined bio-hazardous waste container.

Medical Wastes that Require Incineration (Vendor Yellow-colored bar code label)

The following wastes will be sent off-site for disposal via medical waste incineration. Waste containers will be bar-coded with a Stericycle yellow-colored label. To obtain yellow-colored bar code labels, contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (DEHS) Hazardous Waste Coordinator at 502-852-2956.

  1. Pathological (Animal or Human Related) 

    Labs that generate animal carcass and parts waste should bag and take waste to an RRF location for disposal. For the disposal of human specimen parts obtained from the ASNB Fresh Tissue Lab, in accordance with their program policy, all specimens must be returned to the Fresh Tissue Lab. Gross Anatomy Lab wastes will continue to be managed for disposal by the Body Bequeathal program.

    If your lab generates pathological waste (either human or animal) that does not or cannot be disposed through the CMRU or Fresh Tissue Lab, contact the DEHS Hazardous Waste Coordinator at 502-852-2956 for assistance.

    DEHS stream-lines the collection of pathological wastes, such as human and animal parts and specimens, generated by university labs. DEHS is also working with the Comparative Medicine Research Unit (CMRU) to stream-line the disposal of all non-fixed animal carcasses and parts.

  2. Trace Chemotherapeutic Drugs

    University labs that generate waste containing chemotherapeutic drugs, should contact DEHS Hazardous Waste Coordinator at 502-852-2956 for further assistance.

Dental School Clinics

The Dental School clinics should follow policy and procedures set up by Dental Infection Control personnel. Stericycle bar code labels can be obtained from the Dental School Infection Control Office.


Bio-hazardous biological waste (that does not contain Category A6, CDC select agent, or RG-3 material) – is material derived from the research and medical treatment of an animal or human, which includes diagnosis and immunization, or from biomedical research, which includes production and testing of biological products. Examples of bio-hazardous waste: tissue culture, microbial cultures and stocks of etiologic agents or recombinant nucleic acids or transgenic materials (plant or animal).

Sharps (that does not contain Category A6, CDC select agent, or RG-3 material) – Examples of sharps: needles, syringes with attached needles, capillary tubes, slides and cover slips, broken glass, broken rigid plastic, exposed ends of dental wire, scalpel blades, and razor blades.


Senior Associate Vice President for Operations


Environmental Health and Safety
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292


Revision Date(s): August 10, 2022

Reviewed Date(s): August 10, 2022

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