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Regulated Medical Waste at SUNY Plattsburgh

SOP Number: 14.005
Effective Date:  12/01/89
Review Date: 12/3/2013
Replaces: 14.004
Review by: C. Eldridge/C. Schwennker

Compliance Procedures for 6NYCRR Part 364


Regulated Medical Waste (RMW) as defined under Part 360 and 364 includes any medical solid waste that is generated “in the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals, in research pertaining thereto, or in the production or testing of biological…”

  1. Cultures and stocks of infectious agents and associated biologically contaminated, including: cultures from medical and pathological laboratories; discarded live and attenuated vaccines; and culture dishes and devices needed to transfer, inoculate and mix cultures.
  2. Liquid waste human blood, products of human blood, items saturated and/or drying with human blood, or are now caked with dried human blood.
  3. Sharps that have been used in animals or human patient care or treatment or in medical, research or industrial laboratories, including hypodermic needles, syringes (with or without the attached needle)… Also included are types of broken or unbroken glassware that were in contact with infectious agents, such as slides and cover slips.
  4. Contaminated animal carcasses, body parts, and bedding of animals that were known to be exposed to infectious agents during research (including research in veterinary hospitals), production of biological, or testing of, pharmaceuticals.

Other Types of Regulated Medical Waste

Other types of RMW include:

Glass – Includes, decommissioned lab ware, test tubes, culture tubes, microscope slides, cover slips, Pasteur, other glass pipettes and anything else made of glass that could reasonably be construed as used in a laboratory with infectious material. Collect in a burn bin. When reasonably full, place in a red autoclavable bag, seal the bag and tag it as above.

Plastics – Includes Petri dishes, culture vessels, culture tubes, test tubes, gloves, pipette tips, weigh boats, beakers, flasks, pipettes (5,10,25,50 ml), spectrophotometer cuvettes, syringes without needles and anything else made of plastic polymer that could reasonably be construed as used in a laboratory.

Sharps – Includes needles, razor blades, scalpel blades, scalpels, microscope slides and cover slips. Please note: there are two acceptable locations for microscope slides and cover slips (sharps container or burn bin). Be sure that the laboratory of origin is clearly identified on the container. Yellow sharps containers can be used for non-infectious sharps.

Blood Spill Clean-Up Kits – These are pre-packaged kits used by the janitorial department for cleaning up small amounts of blood. All the contents are put in the included “Red Bag” for disposal.


1. Packaging and Storage

All bags used for containment and disposal of RMW shall be red in color. All college generated RMW, except for sharps, shall be contained in red bags clearly labeled as “BIOHAZARD” or with the universal warning sign, which are impervious to moisture and have sufficient strength to resist ripping, tearing or bursting under normal conditions of usage and handling. These red bags shall be secured so as to prevent leakage during storage, handling or transport. Enclosed in each red bag shall be two floatable identification tags. Each department generating RMW shall designate adequate storage space to store their RMW until the scheduled pick up date by the Bioserve waste disposal company.

  1. Containment of regulated medical waste shall be in a manner and location which affords protection from the environment and limits exposure to the public.
  2. Maintain the regulated waste in a nonputrescent state, using refrigeration when necessary.
  3. Store the regulated waste in a manner that affords protection from animals and does not provide a breeding place or a food source for insects and rodents.

2. Labeling

  1. The outermost surface of the containment system will be marked with a water-resistant identification tag containing College Name, Address, Identification of Waste and Date of Shipment.
  2. Inner containers, including red bags, sharps and fluid containers, will be marked with two floatable indelible ink tags containing College Name and Address.

3. Collections and Transportation

Sharps containers from the students should be brought to the Infirmary for collection.

The Environmental Health and Safety Department will regulate the holding area in the basement of Hudson in room OBCL03. This area will include a secure holding container for the waste bearing the proper labeling for biohazard. There will also be a freezer in this building for storage of waste that may require protection from deterioration.

Two copies of Medical Waste Tracking form 47-14-10 will be required for transportation pickup. One copy will stay with the transporter. The other will be forwarded to the Environmental Health and Safety Office for recording. These manifest records will remain on file for three years. Each manifest will contain quantity by weight. Bioserve, the contracted RMW transporter, will weigh and record each container presented for disposal.

Removal and Disposal of Regulated Medical Waste


RMW is picked up and disposed of by Bioserve Pickups are scheduled for the Student Health Center and in Hudson Main every two weeks. The athletic training room in the Fieldhouse is emptied as needed. The pickup schedule is attached and can be modified to accommodate the needs of the campus. Contact Environmental Health and Safety with any questions or concerns.


Special red containers must be used for the storage and disposal of RMW. They are two types: (1) red bags; and (2) red fiberboard or rigid plastic containers, as explained below. All containers must be leakproof, and must be labeled as “BIOHAZARD” or with the universal warning sign.

Glass: Collect in glassware box (available from your Department). When reasonably full (do not overfill), place in a red autoclavable bag, seal the bag and tag. Contact Environmental Health and Safety for pickup from your laboratory.

Plastics: Collect in a suitably sized red fiberboard or plastic container lined with two clear or opaque autoclavable bags. It is recommended that two or more – 5 ml or larger plastic pipets - be bundled together before placing in the waste bags to prevent puncture. When reasonably filled, the bags shall be autoclaved for at least 30 minutes in the 20”x 20” autoclave in the basement of Hudson Main. When cooled the autoclaved bags should be placed in RED autoclave bags and sealed and tagged with the contents (plastics) listed, as well as the date and laboratory of origin. The bag should then be placed in the hall freezer on the second floor of Hudson for pick up; again, make sure the originating laboratory is clearly indicated on the tag.  In the event that any bag is discovered lacking the identification of its originating laboratory, all college personnel, without exception, are expected to contact the Environmental Health and Safety office and report the occurrence immediately. Administrative action will be taken for failure to properly label each bag, as well as failure to report observation of such.

Sharps: There are rigid red plastic containers that are leakproof and puncture resistant, labeled “BIOHAZARD” or with the universal warning sign. They are for the disposal of RMW that has the potential to cause percutaneous (through the skin) injuries, and include: needles, syringes, scalpels, razors, glass slides, etc., and any other sharp items, irrespective of whether or not they are contaminated with infectious agents. Do not attempt to remove needles from the barrels of syringes; the total needle and syringe assembly shall be placed in the sharps container. When full, contact Environmental Health and Safety for pickup. As described in “b”- immediately above - make sure the laboratory/department of origin is clearly labeled on the container, and immediately report any occurrence where a sharps container is observed that fails to display the laboratory or department of origin.

Segregation: RMW must be segregated into sharps, fluids (quantities greater than 20 cubic centimeters), etc. See “Procedures,numbered 1 through 3” above.

For more information, visit: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Regulated Medical Waste Division.

Environmental Health and Safety Department Point of Contact

Cathleen Eldridge, Associate Director
Office: Sibley Hall 421
Phone: (518) 564-5009
Fax: (518) 564-5082
Email: [email protected]


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Contact Information

Cathleen Eldridge, Director
Phone: 564-5009
Fax: 564-5082
Email: [email protected]

Location and Hours:
136A Service Building
Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm