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What Kinds of Waste do Laboratories Create?

Nov 4, 2016


The medical field produces a significant amount of waste, from trash to biohazardous waste. Medical laboratories are no exception, accounting for a significant portion of all medical waste. For the sake of safety many things used in labs are single use, causing a significant amount of discarded waste. Laboratories create many different kinds of waste, three kinds to be exact, and each type of waste requires specific disposal procedures. Let’s look at the types of created in laboratories, and how to dispose of them.

RMW- Regulated Medical Waste

Regulated medical waste is waste that has been contaminated in some way by blood or other bodily fluids and is considered biohazardous. This waste poses a significant risk of spreading infection, and therefore needs to be disposed of properly for both compliance and safety. For RMW to be disposed of in compliance with state standards, it must be disposed of in properly labeled waste containers, clearly marked biohazardous and color coded. Once the waste is disposed of in containers a waste removal company comes to take the waste and dispose of it properly, either by incineration, thermal treatment, or chemical treatment, to ensure it is free of infectious organisms.


In addition to medical and biohazardous waste, sharps must also be put in specific containers to prevent injury and the risk of infection. Items such as needles, razor blades, broken contaminated glass, and slides and coverslips must be disposed of in containers clearly marked sharp, and then double bagged. In addition, all sharp disposal boxes should have a poster nearby with information about what items must go in the box. Like with RMW, double bagged sharps containers should be disposed of by a reputable medical waste company.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste may include biohazard waste, but is not limited to infectious materials. Hazardous waste includes anything not safe for humans, and can include things contaminated by chemotherapy or similar drugs. Chemicals from cleaning supplies and likewise are also considered hazardous waste and must be properly discarded to prevent contamination or injury. Hazardous waste, like with RMW must be disposed of in properly marked and color coded containers, which in turn should be removed by a waste removal company.

Proper removal of medical waste in laboratories is essential, both for safety and for compliance. Improper removal can put others at risk, while also putting the lab or medical facility at legal risk. Working with a reputable waste removal company can put your medical facility at ease, knowing they are well versed in proper waste removal and regulatory compliance. Every laboratory and medical facility have the responsibility to dispose of hazardous materials properly, but once that has been done there is still a need for that waste to be removed from the premises in a safe and compliant manner. After waste has been removed from the lab or medical facility, a waste removal company can safely and effectively discard the waste, whether by incineration, thermal treatment or chemical treatment.

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