Red Bag Waste

Materials that are classified as Regulated Medical Waste (Red Bag Waste)

Regulated Medical Waste (RMW) refers to items regulated under federal, state and/or local regulations. This includes agents that are infectious to humans, associated Biologicals (serums, vaccines, antigens, and antitoxins), and includes but is not limited to, cultures and stocks of infectious agents, pathological waste (tissue, organs, body fluids, anatomical parts (animal or human)), human blood and blood products (includes items that are saturated with blood), culture dishes and devices used to mix, inoculate or transfer cultures, and personal protective equipment (gloves, mask, gown etc…) used in the handling of such waste. All Pasteur Pipettes and sharps (e.g., needles, syringes, blades, scalpels, broken glass, glass tubes used in experiments involving RMW, regardless of contamination) are considered Regulated Medical Waste. Animal wastes (body parts, body fluids, blood or bedding originating from animals known to be contaminated with infectious agents or from animals inoculated during research, production of Biologicals or pharmaceutical testing with infectious agents) are considered Regulated Medical Waste. Organs and tissues which have been fixed for cytological/histological examination using hazardous chemicals must be processed as hazardous waste, except for blocks of tissue preserved using paraffin or similar embedding materials (dispose of as RMW).

Packaging of Regulated Medical Waste for Disposal

Regulated Medical Waste shall never be disposed of as conventional garbage. All Regulated Medical Waste shall be place in specialized cardboard or reusable plastic containers for transport and disposal. These containers shall have the words "BIOHAZARD" and the generator's name and address printed on them or have stickers with such designation adhered to the containers. Each cardboard container shall have two red liners placed inside: an outer liner with the generator's name and address pre-printed on it and an inner liner with no pre-printed information. Assemble cardboard containers in appropriate manner indicating “this side up”. The reusable plastic container shall have one red liner, with the preprinted generator's name and address, placed inside. It is imperative that these supplies be kept under strict control so they can only be used for what they were intended. The Building Management of each facility shall provide the necessary supplies or call the FCM Client Services Center at x81001.

Regulated Medical Waste shall be transported from New York University property by a licensed vendor to a licensed treatment facility. Coordination shall be through the New York University Environmental Health and Safety Department (998-1450).


What are Sharps?

“Sharps waste" means any device having acute rigid corners, edges, or protuberances capable of cutting or piercing, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

  • Hypodermic needles, hypodermic needles with syringes, blades, needles with attached tubing, syringes contaminated with biohazardous waste, acupuncture needles, and root canal files.
  • Broken glass items, such as Pasteur pipettes and blood vials contaminated with biohazardous waste.
  • Any item capable of cutting or piercing that is contaminated with trauma scene waste.

Sharps" must be placed in authorized red sharps containers that can be acquired through the building manager's office or FCM Client Services Center (x81001).

Managing of Sharps and Sharps Containers

All sharps shall first be placed into specialized sharps containers prior to being placed in the lined cardboard or reusable containers used for transport. Sharps containers are made of a rigid, puncture resistant material (i.e. plastic). The Building Management shall supply the containers. The outside of the boxes/reusable containers should be marked "SHARPS".

Please avoid the following:

At no time shall sharps be placed inside the lined cardboard containers without first being placed in the sharps container or disposed of as conventional garbage. The containers should be closed when ¾ full to avoid using pressure to close and creating an unsafe condition to you and the transporter.

Storage and Disposal

Glass Pasteur pipettes and slides NOT used for bio-hazardous and/or infectious materials may be disposed of in the Laboratory Glassware box. However, any labs that handle bio-hazardous or infectious materials ANYWHERE in the laboratory, MUST dispose of ALL sharps in "Sharps" container. Disposal procedures can be found in the Sharps Quick Tip (.DOC).

Need Sharp Containers or Pickups?

Please call the FCM Client Services Center (81001) for sharps containers or to schedule a pickup.

Sharps from Housing Facilities

To provide proper disposal of used hypodermic needles (for medication-dependent individuals) from Student Housing and Real Estate properties, and to prevent injuries among housing staff and NYC Sanitation workers, an arrangement has been made with NYU Student Health Center to accept spent Needles

Each user of hypodermic needles should place it in a coverable puncture resistant container (coffee can, plastic container or commercially available sharps container). The container should not be over packed so that it can be covered and sealed properly.

Full containers should be brought to the Student Health Center, Pharmacy area on the 4th Floor of 726 Broadway during regular business hours.