Medical Waste Management

Medical Waste Management

May 17, 2014

On this page:

What is “Medical Waste”?
Training Requirements
Medical Waste Segregation, Containment and Transport
Liquid Biohazardous Waste
Containment of Medical Wastes at Points of Generation
Non-sharp solid waste
Serological Pipettes
Human Tissues
Animal Tissues/Carcasses
Chemotherapy-exposed materials
Pharmaceutical Waste
Potentially Contaminated Equipment
Sharps Wastes
Pre-treatment of Solid Medical Wastes Generated in BSL-2+ Laboratories
Packaging and Transport of Solid Medical Wastes from Generation Sites to Accumulation Sites
Location and Access to the UCLA Campus Medical Waste Accumulation Sites

Materials which may be contaminated with potentially infectious materials, blood or materials involved in diagnosis, treatment, immunization and research for human beings or animals must be segregated from the general municipal waste stream.  Medical waste management regulations and guidelines are designed to protect the people who handle, transport and dispose of the waste; protect the environment; protect the public; and minimize regulatory liability.

 The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Medical Waste Management act regulates how medical waste are collected, contained, labeled, handled, stored, transported, treated and disposed.  Here is a checklist to help your lab stay in compliance with medical waste.

What is “Medical Waste”?

“Medical Waste”, as per this regulation is defined as:

(1) Waste generated during:

  • Diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals.

  • Research pertaining to the activities specified in subparagraph (A).

  • The production or testing of biologicals.

  • Home-generated sharps use

  • Trauma scene clean-up

(2) The waste is either of the following:

  • Biohazardous waste.

  • Sharps waste.

Within the above definitions, the CDPH requires segregation of four types of Medical waste (whether solid, liquid or sharps):

  • Biohazardous—materials which may be contaminated or exposed to human materials or infectious agents, but does not contain any other hazards below.

  • Pathology-- human surgery or recognizable animal carcasses specimens or tissues which have been fixed in formaldehyde or other fixatives.

  • Trace Chemotherapy- waste contaminated through contact with, or having previously contained, chemotherapeutic agents, including, but not limited to, gloves, disposable gowns, towels, and intravenous solution bags and attached tubing which are empty (items that are not empty are discarded through Chemical Hazardous waste).

  • Pharmaceutical-- prescription or over-the-counter human or veterinary drug, which is not a controlled substance, and environmental chemical hazard (RCRA regulated) or radioactive.

In general, all SOLID AND SHARPS medical waste generated from locations listed in the UCLA Campus Medical Waste Management Plan are hauled and treated off-site by a CDPH permitted hauler and treatment facility (Stericycle, Vernon CA, 213-263-6400). Biohazardous medical wastes are autoclaved and landfilled; whereas the Pathology, Trace Chemotherapy, and Pharmaceutical medical wastes are incinerated.

All LIQUID medical waste must be decontaminated on-site using a validated method appropriate for the hazards in the sample and disposed appropriately, as described below


CDPH requires specific permits for the following activities:


  • UCLA’s permit covers any site on the main UCLA campus or within 400 yards of the campus as long as the site follows the internal UCLA practices and policies).

  • Sites outside of the 400 yard perimeter must obtain their own generator permit, plan and adhere to the conditions of the permit, including maintenance of all medical waste records and tracking documents for at least 3 years

Materials of Trade Exemption Conditions (replaces the Limited Quantity Hauling Exemption Permits)

  • Intended to permit individuals to transport small amounts (<35.2 lbs) of regulated medical waste from the point of generation to the central point of accumulation at UCLA.  Typically used for community-based health care or sampling activities.  Those wishing to transport limited quantities must:

  • Contain the medical wastes in sealed, leak-resistant containers during transport that are secured from tipping.

  • Transport medical wastes in a trunk or compartment in which passengers are not riding.

  • Restrict waste containers from food, drink and materials which may contact these.

  • Do not transport unauthorized personnel or use the vehicle for other purposes while transporting medical wastes. 

  • The person transporting medical waste under the Materials of Trade Exemption must provide a form or log to UCLA Biosafety, which contains the following information:

  •  The name of the person transporting the medical waste

  • The number of containers of medical waste transported

  • The date the medical waste was transported.


  • Required for transporting medical waste on public roads or thoroughfares outside the scope of the Material of Trade (formerly, the LQHE) requirements. Stericycle maintains the hauling permit for medical wastes from the UCLA site. UCLA personnel should not transport medical waste outside the scope of the LQHE.


  • Any facility with performs terminal decontamination of solid medical waste prior to releasing into the environment (e.g., placing in the municipal waste, disposing into landfills), must have a treatment permit.

  • None of UCLA’s autoclaves are permitted by the CDPH for terminal decontamination of medical waste. All autoclaved wastes must continue to be discarded through the medical waste stream to ensure proper terminal decontamination through the permitted treatment sites by Stericycle.

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Training Requirements

Any personnel who are generating, segregating, packaging, transporting or treating their wastes are required to be able to document Medical Waste Management and bloodborne pathogen training to comply with the regulatory requirements. Training must be obtained within 90 days of initiating work and at least once every 3 years. Here is a link to the training website (

Medical Waste Segregation, Containment and Transport

Hazardous wastes (to people or the environment) must be segregated for treatment prior to disposal in non-hazardous waste streams. Hazardous wastes include materials which may be contaminated with radioactive hazards, chemical hazards and biohazards. These must be separated from each other for disposal into separate hazardous waste streams.

If waste materials are contaminated with multiple types of hazardous materials—mixed hazardous wastes (e.g., radioactive biohazards or chemically-contaminated biohazards), all hazard types must be addressed for treatment and/or disposal.

A general hierarchy exists within hazardous wastes, related to the degree of difficulty and regulatory requirements required for disposal. Radioactive wastes stand at the top of the hierarchy, followed by chemical hazardous waste, and lastly by biohazardous wastes. Because biohazards can often be deactivated by chemical or physical methods, when presented with a mixed waste scenario, the most straightforward method for disposal is often to decontaminate the biohazards and then dispose through the higher hazardous waste stream. If decontamination cannot be accomplished without generating higher risks (e.g., chemicals and radioactive materials must not be autoclaved), contact the Biosafety office for assistance.

The 4 medical waste streams (biohazard, pathology, trace chemotherapy, pharmaceutical) must be segregated and labeled for appropriate disposal. Biohazard wastes are autoclaved and landfilled; pathology, trace chemotherapy wastes and pharmaceutical wastes are all incinerated. Therefore any materials which may have potential trace chemical hazards (e.g., fixed tissues, trace chemotherapy wastes) cannot be placed in biohazard waste containers, and must be segregated into the appropriate incineration medical streams.

Waste segregation, treatment and responsibilities should be fully detailed in each laboratory’s Biosafety manual. The plans for disposal of these materials should be made prior to generating hazardous wastes.

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Liquid Biohazardous Waste

Any liquid biohazardous waste which contains other chemical hazards, including trace chemotherapeutic agents or fixatives, decontaminate the biohazards as described below, but dispose through chemical hazardous waste stream (Hazardous Waste office URL/contact).

If collecting liquid biohazardous waste in vacuum aspirator flasks, these must be maintained inside the biosafety cabinet and the vacuum protected with an inline HEPA filter to protect the house vacuum line.

If not other chemical hazards are present in the liquid

  • Liquid biohazardous wastes must be collected in a vessel with a tight fitting lid and kept in secondary containment if stored outside of the biosafety cabinet. All containers must be clearly marked with the words “BIOHAZARD” and the universal biohazard symbol.

  • Liquid wastes (e.g., spent mammalian or microbial culture media or supernatants, human fluids (plasma, serum) or cell lysates are collected treated with an appropriate chemical disinfectant that have been validated as effective against the likely or known biohazards in the waste materials. These methods should be documented in the laboratory-specific SOPs and reviewed and by Biosafety.

  • An example of a common broad spectrum liquid disinfection SOP (used for many human BBP-containing wastes):

  • Just prior to disposal, add >1 part household bleach (Clorox containing >5% Sodium hypochlorite) to 9 parts Biohazardous waste (such that the final concentration is >0.5% Sodium hypochlorite).

  • Allow for >10 minutes disinfection to ensure proper decontamination.

  • If no other hazardous materials are in the wastes, waste disinfected with bleach can be flushed down the sink with large amounts of water.

  • If disinfectants other than bleach (e.g., formaldehyde, Wescodyne, acids or stronger bases) or if there are other hazards in the waste liquid, wastes must be subsequently disposed through either chemical or radioactive hazardous waste streams as appropriate.

  • Consider that organic materials, detergents and hard water may impede the function of some disinfectants, so the procedure for decontamination may need to be altered to address the concentration, contact time and choice of disinfectant.

  • Ensure that the chemical disinfectant selected must be compatible with materials inside the waste containers. Bleach may be incompatible with ammonium-based materials or acids, generating chlorine gas.

  • Autoclaving is not an appropriate terminal decontamination method for liquid biohazardous wastes, unless the autoclave has been permitted by the CDPH and all records and validation has been maintained. Contact Biosafety ( or 310-206-3929) for further information.

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Containment of Medical Wastes at Points of Generation

Non-sharp solid waste

CDPH requires a double containment system at the site of generation. Waste must be collected and maintained in:

  • A compliant red biohazard bag, kept inside

  • Secondary lidded, rigid resistant container

Bags (Primary Container)

  • Use red biohazard bags to contain biohazardous or medical waste. Do not use orange or clear biohazard bags.  [Note: red bags are compliant for all medical waste; however, users may wish to substitute yellow bags for Trace Chemo waste or white bags for Pathology waste- if they meet the standards, below]

  • Bags which will be placed into the vendor barrels must be certified and marked as meeting the ASTM D1922 (tear resistance) and D1709 (dart resistance) standards.  Information on compliant bags and a compiled list of compliant bags can be found at this link.

  • Biohazard bags must be labeled with the word “BIOHAZARD” and the international biohazard symbol

  • Bags must be sized to fit the secondary container (do not tape it on the edges)

  • Bags must never be re-used

Secondary Biohazard Waste Containers

  • Red biohazard bags in use must be kept inside rigid, leak-resistant containers at all times.

  • A secondary waste container in a clinic or lab must be lined with a red biohazard bag and ready for waste.

  • The secondary container must have a lid that fits and it must be lidded when not in use.

  • The container must be rigid and solid-sided. Do not use hampers or wire baskets. Do not tape bags to the wall or equipment.

  • The container must be able to be sanitized when soiled (no cardboard, Styrofoam or other porous materials).

  • The container may be of any color.

  • The container must be labeled with the word “BIOHAZARD” and the international biohazard symbol on the lid and all sides so that the label is visible from any lateral direction.

  • Biohazard waste containers must be smooth, non-porous and non-organic to facilitate sanitation. Containers must be sanitized when soiled (e.g., using 10% household bleach for 10 minutes).

Guidelines for Solid Waste Accumulation and Containment at Site of Generation

  • Lids must be kept on containers unless the container is in use or the container is empty.

  • Never remove waste from the Biohazard waste container once placed into the waste bag.

  • Liquids or soggy items which may result in leakage are permitted in the solid waste bags. See instructions for disposal of liquid biohazardous wastes.

  • Do not place items on top of waste containers (clipboards, Kimwipes). All items around the waste containers must be non-porous, smooth and cleanable.

  • Generators of biohazardous wastes have 7 days from the initiation of accumulation to properly package and transport the Medical Waste accumulation site for disposal if stored at room temperature (90 days is permissible if stored below 0̊ C).

  • Do not over fill red biohazard bags. The lid must be able to fit tightly on the container and the bags must be able to be tied or taped closed easily without pushing down the wastes.

  • Do not tamp down wastes inside the bags or shake sharps container to “make room” for more wastes.

  • Do not use red biohazard bags for anything other than for medical waste (e.g., regular trash, transporting non-waste items, or for covering equipment such as microscopes).

  • Do not place items, including all sharps broken glasses, wires, needles, in the red biohazard bag that can pierce the bag. Place them inside a sharps container.

Serological Pipettes

Cardboard biohazard “Safe Keeper” devices are not permitted for use for medical/biohazard waste disposal in the state of CA as they do not meet the requirements as a lidded, rigid, leak resistant container which can be sanitized.

Because serological pipettes tend to pierce the bag during handling, UCLA waste generators have two options to discard serological pipettes to avoid compromising the bag:

1. Double-bag the serological pipettes as solid waste, taking caution in handling to avoid bag penetration.

2. Segregate them as sharps waste (see below).

Human Tissues

  • Human remains (cadavers, body parts or recognizable tissues or organs) should be retained or returned to the UCLA Donated Body Program for proper cremation and disposition. If these materials were not obtained through the program, then return them from the site from which these were obtained.

  • Small pieces of tissue (unrecognizable as human)—fixed or unfixed—may be disposed through the Pathology waste stream (for incineration). These are contained at the site of generation and transported to the accumulation site similar to Biohazardous wastes (double containment—inside a biohazard bag which is contained in a lidded secondary container), but are eventually disposed into small red vendor barrels labeled “Pathology, incineration only” at the accumulation site.

  • Any liquid preservatives, such as formalin, must be decanted from the tissues prior to disposal of tissues as medical waste. Only solid tissue should be discarded in this manner. Preservatives are disposed of as chemical waste.

Animal Tissues/Carcasses - Contaminated with Human Bloodborne Pathogen materials, an Infectious Agent, Recombinant DNA (including viral vectors) or injected with Chemotherapeutic agents

  • Double bag animals and animal tissues inside red biohazard bags at site of generation. Do not put other trash such as pipets, vials, gloves, paper towels, in the biohazard bag with the animals.

  • Twist the bag closed and secure with an overhand knot or use of a zip, twist or non-porous tape closure.

  • If within a DLAM animal facility, place in the designated carcass waste freezer at that site.

  • If not within a DLAM facility, transport bagged animal carcass/tissue waste inside appropriately labeled secondary containers to the “Biohazard” freezer within the DLAM area (CHS 1V-203) during normal work hours. These will be disposed as Pathology waste and incinerated.

  • Liquid preservatives, such as formalin, must be decanted from animals prior to disposal as medical waste. Only solid tissues should be discarded in this manner. Preservatives are disposed of as chemical waste.

Chemotherapy-exposed materials

  • Materials which have potentially come in contact with, or previously contained, chemotherapeutic agents, including PPE, empty tubes, syringes, soiled animal bedding/caging from chemotherapy-treated animals must be segregated into the trace chemotherapy waste stream. This includes wastes generated from in vitro experiments, animal experiments or clinical care activities.

  • Chemotherapeutic agents are defined by the CDPH as an agent that kills or prevents reproduction of malignant cells. This includes Actinomycin-D, Mitomycin-C, GM-CSF, Interleukin-2, and Streptozocin. A list of examples of chemotherapeutic agents may be referenced at:

  • Items must be empty, such that no materials can be poured or scraped out of these items. Any containers which still contain chemotherapy agents which is able to be poured or scraped out of the vessel must be discarded as Chemical Hazardous Waste.

  • Solid trace chemotherapy wastes are contained at the site of generation inside a biohazard bag inside a lidded, solid sided secondary container with biohazard markings (similar to biohazard solid waste). Add a sanitizable label indicating the waste is trace Chemotherapy waste. Yellow color-coding of outside containers is often utilized to designate Chemo wastes.

Pharmaceutical Waste

  • Pharmaceutical Wastes refer to prescription or over-the-counter human or veterinary drug, which is not an environmental chemical hazard (as regulated by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) or is radioactive. Pharmaceuticals must be segregated from Biohazardous waste for disposal.

  • Pharmaceutical wastes include partially-used or expired drugs, such as partially-used anesthesia carpules, vaccine septum vials.

  • Two options exist for disposal of Pharmaceutical Waste:

1. Return the pharmaceuticals to the pharmacy from which they were obtained for reverse- distribution.

2. Collect in an appropriate Pharmaceutical waste container. These can be purchased from major scientific suppliers. Must be labeled with the words “Pharmaceutical” and “For Incineration Only”. These containers are not lined with Biohazard bags.

Potentially Contaminated Equipment

  • Equipment which has been used as medical devices or used to store or handle infectious materials (e.g., centrifuges, biosafety cabinets) must be fully decontaminated prior to disposal by trained personnel.

  • All exposed surface must be chemically decontaminated using an effective and validated disinfectant (e.g., a freshly prepared 10% bleach solution is a broad-spectrum disinfectant if in contact with surfaces for >10 minutes).

  • Equipment with inner plenums or tubing which may have become contaminated during use must be disinfected either by flushed with disinfectant or subjected to appropriate vapor or gas disinfection methods. If vapor or gas disinfection is required (e.g., for biosafety cabinet filters), please contact TSS (1-800-877-7742) to make arrangements.

  • After disinfection, remove all biohazard labels on the equipment prior to disposal.

Sharps Wastes

Sharps waste refers to waste items with acute rigid corners, edges, or protuberances capable of cutting or piercing human skin. All sharps waste must be collected and disposed in proper sharps containers.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Needles, including hypodermic needles (equipped with or without attached syringes, safety caps, catheters or tubes), acupuncture needles

  • Pins, including dissecting pins

  • Blades, including razor blades and scalpels

  • Root canal files

  • Fine wires

  • Glass which is contaminated with biohazards or trace chemotherapeutic agents. This includes Pasteur pipettes and blood vials contaminated with biohazardous waste.

Sharps Containers

  • All sharps containers must be lidded, rigid, puncture resistant and leak resistant. Cardboard does not meet this requirement.

  • Sharps containers must be maintained upright.

  • Sharps containers may be of any color but must be labeled “Sharps Waste” or with the international biohazard symbol and the word, "BIOHAZARD”.

  • Chemotherapeutic sharps containers must additionally be labeled with “CHEMO” markings to distinguish it from the Biohazard sharps. Typically Chemotherapy sharps containers are often yellow in collow.

  • If a sharps container is being re-purposed for containing other hazardous sharps items (e.g., chemically-contaminated sharps or radioactive sharps), ensure that all biohazard symbols, wording and references (UN3291) are fully removed or completely defaced. Ensure the container is clearly and appropriately labeled for the types of sharps inside (e.g., “Radioactive sharps ONLY”). Ensure there is no potential confusion between the biohazard sharps or other containers.

  • Color-coding (red coding for biohazards; black for chemical or radioactive hazards; green for non-biohazardous sharps) is encouraged as this may help ensure clarity.

  • Do not line a sharps container with a red bag.

  • Affix the lid on the sharps container before use (leaving the flap open for disposal during collection).

  • Never allow sharps to accumulate higher than the “fill line” of the sharps container (approximately 2/3 full). Sharps should never stick out of the opening of the container.

  • After the “fill line” has been reached, permanently close and secure the lid on the container and transfer to the Medical Waste Accumulation site within 7 days.

  • Do not push down items or jiggle containers, as these may expose one to other hazards.

  • Never remove the lid, fish items from, or re-use a sharps container on UCLA campus.

Pre-treatment of Solid Medical Wastes Generated in BSL-2+ Laboratories

  • As our vendor, Stericycle, cannot transport wastes that are categorized as Category A Infectious Substances by the Department of Transportation (and IATA) as medical waste, typically handled in BSL-2+ laboratories, on-site pre-treatment of these wastes must be performed to reduce the risks prior to transport.

  • Pre-treatment is typically accomplished by steam autoclaving.

  • Do not autoclave chemical hazards or radioactive materials, as this may increase risks. Consult with Biosafety (; 310-206-3929) for assistance in SOP development.

  • Do not autoclave human or animal tissues or carcasses.

  • After autoclaving, these medical wastes are still considered biohazardous medical wastes and contained, secured and transferred to the medical waste accumulation site accordingly. This is because the autoclaves at UCLA are not permitted by the CDPH to allow terminal decontamination.

  • Departments or laboratories using autoclaves must ensure these undergo routine preventative maintenance and validation to ensure proper function (do not rely on tape to ensure the calibration of the equipment).

General autoclave SOP:

  1. Transport bags in proper lidded secondary containers to the autoclave room. Do not leave waste unattended unless locked in the autoclave.
  2. Transfer closed bag to a leak-proof, heat-resistant autoclave pan or tube. Distribute the load as evenly as possible in the pan or tub.
  3. Place pan in autoclave. Do not over-load the autoclave. The waste should not touch the interior walls of the autoclave.
  4. Open the neck of the bag slightly to allow steam penetration to the inside of the bag.
  5. Place heat sensitive tape on each red medical waste bag, sharps container or other container. Note: the tape will indicate that the autoclave got hot, but is not used to validate that the proper temperature, pressure and time were maintained (for this, validate the autoclave regularly using bioindicators or service contracts)
  6. Close the autoclave door and secure it by tightening the handle firmly.
  7. Autoclave on the appropriate cycle, liquids or dry, depending on the items being autoclaved. Run the dry cycle for items with moisture content of 10% or less such as paper, plastics, lab-ware, sharps. Run the liquid cycle for items which may boil and need a slow exhaust.
  8. Autoclave the medical waste at an appropriate cycle. Typically, decontamination cycles are: 121oC, 15 p.s.i., for a minimum of 45 minutes. Your autoclave function may vary, so you may need to validate the autoclave to find the appropriate cycle. Increase autoclave time by a minimum of 15 minutes for more dense loads or loads with a high liquid content.
  9. After the cycle has completed, wait until the pressure in the autoclave chamber has fallen to zero before opening the autoclave. When opening the autoclave door, take precautions to avoid exposure to steam and hot surfaces or liquids. Crack the seal of the door and wait a few minutes for steam escape before fully unlocking the door. Stand back behind the autoclave door as you open it to prevent steam exposure.
  10. Allow liquids to cool several minutes before removing them from the autoclave (to prevent superheated liquids from boiling). Use heat resistant gloves to remove items from the autoclave.
  11. Close the autoclave door.
  12. Check that the autoclave tape has changed. If the tape has not changed re-autoclave the load. You may need to contact Facilities Management (5-9236) to repair the autoclave. If you need assistance in identifying another temporary autoclave to pre-treat waste, please contact Biosafety (; 310-206-3929).
  13. Transport and dispose of autoclaved/decontaminated medical waste in secondary containers and place in Stericycle’s biohazard waste barrel at the medical waste accumulation site.

Packaging and Transport of Solid Medical Wastes from Generation Sites to Accumulation Sites

  • Inner Biohazard non-sharp solid waste bags must be tied/closed at the site of generation before transport. Sharps containers must be closed securely before transport.

  • Wearing PPE, while the bag is still in the secondary container, close inner bags by collecting the top edges of the bag and twisting the neck of the bag several times. Do not push down to compact waste in the bags (potentially generating aerosols).

  • Tightly secure the twisted neck of the bag with a zip or twist tie, with non-porous tape (e.g., packing tape), or using an over-hand knot.

  • If desired, remove the closed bag to another compliant secondary container for transport. The transport container must comply with the requirements of a secondary container, above.

  • Decontaminate the outside of the secondary container with an appropriate disinfectant prior to transport. Remove PPE in the lab for safe transport to the medical accumulation site; however, bring PPE during transport to don at the accumulation site or for emergency spill clean-up operations.

  • Transport all closed bags inside a biohazard bag container equipped with a tight-fitting lid. The bags may not be transported in an autoclave pan, cardboard box or on a cart outside of a lidded secondary container. Bags may not be hand carried.

  • Do not set or store red biohazard bags on the floor, in an autoclave pan or cardboard box. They must be inside a biohazard bag container at all times except when inside an autoclave.

  • Store containers of biohazardous waste in a secure area such as a laboratory or autoclave room. Do not set or store them in the hallway or unsecure autoclave room. No individual without medical waste training and hazard communication should have access to medical wastes.

  • Do not store red bags containing any amount of biohazardous waste for more than 7 days at a temperature above freezing (if below freezing, 90 days are permitted).

  • Do not store full sharps containers for more than 7 days at a temperature above freezing. Dispose of full sharps containers as soon as possible.

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Location and Access to the UCLA Campus Medical Waste Accumulation Sites

  • Medical Waste accumulation sites are available to UCLA generators in the following buildings, for which the UCLA Biosafety Office Manages:

  • McDonald Research Lab (MRL)

  • Warren Hall

  • Rehabilitation

  • Center for Health Sciences

  • Arthur Ashe

  • Biomedical Science Research Building (BSRB)

  • Engineering IV

  • Terasaki Life Sciences

  • Other sites, which are covered under UCLA’s registered campus medical waste plan, have been initiated and are funded and managed by departments. However, these sites are managed and records maintained by these individual departments. Special arrangements for authorization and access may be required for these sites, which include:

  • Molecular Biology Institute

  • Molecular Sciences Building

  • Franz Hall

  • CNSI

  • If individual departments or laboratories wish to initiate and fund waste pick-ups at their site, contact the UCLA Biosafety Office ( or 310-794-7745) to ensure compliance with the CDPH Medical Waste Act.

  • Only personnel with current Medical Waste Management training and associated safety training (e.g., Bloodborne Pathogens) may access the site.

  • Security of materials at the medical waste accumulation site must be maintained. It is the responsibility of the individual who has obtained the key to ensure that the security is maintained.

  • To obtain access to a UCLA site, an individual must demonstrate current training, be listed on the authorized personnel list of a current IBC-approved Biosafety protocol, and submit the following documents to the Biosafety Office (

  • A completed Biosafety Key Issuance Form

  • A completed Recharge Order Form (for the $10 cost of the key)

  • Upon verification of training and IBC status by the Biosafety Office, the user can make arrangement to pick up the key in the Biosafety Office (Strathmore Building 4th floor).

  • Keys should be returned to the Biosafety Office prior to departure from the laboratory or university.

Disposal of Solid Wastes at the Medical Waste Accumulation Sites

  • After donning PPE at the Medical Waste Accumulation site, transfer all closed red biohazard bags and sharps containers to the appropriate medical waste vendor barrel at the Medical Waste Accumulation Site. Ensure sharps containers are kept upright.

  • Ensure that the waste is segregated into the appropriate vendor barrel:

  • Biohazardous waste is placed in 44 gallon (large) red barrels for autoclaving/landfilling.

  • Pathology waste is placed in 20 gallon (small) red barrels for incineration.

  • Trace Chemotherapy waste is placed in 20 gallon (small) yellow barrels for incineration.

  • Closed pharmaceutical Waste containers should be placed upright next to the barrels for vendor pick-up. Pharmaceutical Waste containers are not placed in vendor barrels.

  • Do not overfill the vendor barrels. The lid must fit tightly and securely on the container.

  • Do not compact bags of biohazardous waste when placing them in a barrel.

  • Mixed wastes should be disposed through the appropriate higher hazard risk waste streams. Contact Chemical Hazardous Waste Office (, 310-794-5569) or Radiation Safety Office ( or 310-825-5689) for assistance.

  • Do not leave or dispose of non-medical waste items in any medical waste barrels or in the medical waste accumulation sites.

  • Ensure all lids are on barrels with waste and secure the site prior to leaving. Do not prop open the door or permit unauthorized personnel to enter the site.

  • If any spill, issues or problems occur (e.g., more barrels or type of barrel is needed), please contact Biosafety (; 310-794-7745) to coordinate with the vendor.

  • Stericycle will ensure all barrels have appropriate labels prior to transport. They document the numbers and types of waste picked up on-site and will require a signature to verify that these amounts are accurate. Anyone signing the manifests on behalf of UCLA will need to verify this information is accurate and understand the implications of inaccuracies. Do not sign if you have not been provided specific guidance and authorization from UCLA Biosafety.