RLS follows federal, state and local requirements for the disposal of wastes designated as biological or infectious by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC). Adhering to these regulations, as well as good management practices, ensures that the University is operating to protect the safety and health of all members of the NYU community and to protect research, equipment, facilities and the environment.
What is Regulated Medical Waste (RWM)?
NYS DEC defines RMW/Biologiccal Waste as material generated in research, production and testing of biologicals or health care such as:
- Animal waste
- Human pathological waste
- Human blood and blood products
- Needles and syringes (sharps)
- Cultures and stocks (microbiological materials)
- Other infectious materials (e.g. materials contaminated with infectious agents)
What is Sharps Waste?
Sharps waste includes any glass, metal, or plastic instruments or items that have the potential to cut, puncture, scratch, or abrade skin, whether they are contaminated or not. These include, but are not limited to:
- Hypodermic, intravenous or other medical needles,
- Hypodermic or intravenous syringes with/without a needleor other sharp attached,
- Scalpel blades and disposable microtome blades, razor blades,
- Pasteur pipettes and serological pipettes,
- Blood vials,
- Needles with attached tubing (“butterflies”),
- Culture dishes, and
- Broken and unbroken glass and plastic ware, including microscope slides and cover slips, in contact with infectious agents.
Sharps must be placed in authorized red sharps containers.
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.
Do I need to decontaminate my waste before disposal?
Certain biological waste requires the generator to decontaminate (e.g., autoclave or chemical disinfection) prior to disposal. This include:
- Biological waste liquids to be disposed of via sink drain.
- Infectious agents and recombinant DNA designated BSL2 or higher.
- Biological wastes mixed with radioactive wastes requiring disposal via Radioactive waste program.
- Biological wastes mixed with hazardous chemical wastes requiring disposal via EHS hazardous waste program.
- Do not autoclave containers or other receptacles containing bleach.
How do I dispose of glass pipettes or slides not contaminated with biological materials?
Laboratory glassware not used for biologicals or other hazardous materials may be disposed of in a lab glassware box. Laboratory glassware is any item that could puncture regular waste bags and therefore endanger waste handlers. It includes cleaned and emptied, whole or broken glassware, bottles, flasks or vials.
Never dispose of the following items in these boxes:
- Grossly contaminated or glassware that can not be deordorized must be disposed of via the hazardous waste program and may not be placed in glass boxes,
- Liquid waste (any amount),
- Sharps (needles, blades, lancets, scalpels, etc.),
- Regular trash,
- Glassware with biohazardous or infectious materials of any kind.
Does Biosafety provide sharps containers?
No. Silver Complex PIs Contact your building manager for sharps containers. All other locations the PIs must purchase their own containers from any lab supply company.
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.