Biological Waste

EHS Biological Waste Disposal WCMC

Biological/regulated medical waste is generated in diagnosis, treatment and immunization of humans or animals, in research pertaining thereto, or in production and testing of biologicals. Biological waste may include animal waste, cultures and stocks, human blood, blood products, tissues, cell lines and body fluids, human pathological waste, recombinant DNA, infectious agents, isolation waste and sharps. A summary of biological waste disposal procedures are provided below, and the entirety of the PDF icon waste disposal procedures are available on the EHS website.

WCM EHS Sharps Waste

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 it is biological contaminated or not. Sharps include but are not limited to:

  • hypodermic, intravenous or other medical needles
  • scalpel blades and razor blades
  • Pasteur pipettes and serological pipettes
  • blood vials

1300 York Avenue, Oxford Building, S-building, and other main campus locations (excluding Weill Greenberg Center): Sharps are collected weekly via the Sharps Collection Request.

Weill Greenberg Center: Sharps are collected every Tuesday.

RR Building and NYBC: Sharps are collected monthly.

Offsite clinical locations: Contact EHS to set up sharps disposal services.

WCM EHS Red Bags

Red Bags

Utilize red bags for solid, non-sharps wastes and small (<10ml) vials with sealed caps (e.g., eppendorf tubes or cryovials).


To request additional red bags for areas serviced by WCMC Housekeeping, please call (646) 962-9912.

Red bags are collected nightly by WCMC Environmental Services, who provide housekeeping services.

Offsite clinical locations: Contact EHS to set up red bag disposal services.

WCM EHS Tissue Culture

Tissue Culture and Other Biological Waste Liquids

Tissue culture and other biological waste liquids must be properly disinfected and assessed for chemical and radiological hazards prior to disposal.

Chemotherapeutic Waste

Chemotherapeutic agents are highly toxic agents. All related wastes, including bottles, vials, syringes, IV-bags, etc. must be properly segregated, managed, and disposed. Contact EHS to evaluate the proper management and disposal of chemotherapeutic agents. Additional training may be required.

Animal Tissues and Pathological Wastes

Vertebrate animal tissues and carcasses should be disposed through the Research Animal Resources Center (RARC). It is important to adhere to the procedures specified by RARC and approved by AAALAC.

Invertebrate animal tissues and carcasses not administered through the RARC must be disposed via standard red bags or sharps bags (if contained in sharp-like containers).

Human Pathological Waste

Recognizable human tissues, organs and body parts are regulated under various state laws regarding the proper disposal of human remains. Each case will be considered individually. Contact EHS to determine the appropriate means for disposing of human pathological waste.

WCM EHS Red Biohazard Bag

Select Agents and Biosafety Level 3 Waste

Select Agents and Biosafety Level 3 waste must be disposed as specified in the Select Agent and Biosafety Level 3 manuals. Contact EHS for assistance or additional information.

Related Links

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Go to the staff directory for individual contacts within EHS. You may also use the Weill Cornell Medicine online directory to search for faculty and staff.

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Weill Cornell Medicine Environmental Health and Safety 402 East 67th Street
Room LA-0020
New York, NY 10065 Phone: (646) 962-7233 Fax: (646) 962-0288