Amendment to Biohazardous Waste Procedure

Posted in Announcements

The Office of Environmental Health & Safety has conducted a comprehensive risk assessment and review of the biohazardous waste disposal process at Georgetown University. Based on the results of this assessment, EH&S will be making changes to this process effective of February 1st, 2024.

The following guideline will outline these changes to the research community. Our hope is
that this new process will streamline and promote safety and efficiency. Georgetown University’s biohazardous waste procedures are in accordance with all regulations and guidelines set forth by federal and state agencies.

Regulated Medical Waste (RMW): Often referred to as biohazardous waste, RMW encompasses a range of waste generated in healthcare facilities and research laboratories.
It includes waste that may pose a risk of infection or injury to workers and the general public.


  • Contaminated materials
  • Used PPE
  • Blood saturated items
  • Cultures & stocks
  • Sharps enclosed in a sharp

Pathological Waste: This specifically refers to waste materials derived from human or animal tissues, organs, and body parts. This waste is typically generated in the DCM or anatomy teaching labs.


  • Surgical specimen
  • Excised tissue & organs

As of February, the research community may start disposing of all non-pathological regulated
medical waste in waste toters (marked with biohazard signs) that have been placed in all
autoclave rooms around the research facilities. This waste does not need to be autoclaved by research staff prior to disposal. EH&S staff will regularly inspect these areas and replace full toters as needed. Emphasis by the researchers in the following areas is critical to ensure safe and compliant disposal methods:

  • The biohazardous waste bags must be secured correctly and firmly to prevent any leakage; further guidance on this can be found [here].
  • NEVER overfill toters; if a container is full, then contact EH&S for assistance. In the
    meantime, place your waste in secondary containment in your lab.
  • Avoid overfilling bags with too much volume and/or weight.
  • Sharps containers must be close, taped and then placed in the toters. Dumping sharps out into the bins is strictly prohibited.

Pathological waste will be disposed of by the Department of Comparative Medicine staff in most cases. In some cases, such as anatomy labs, “Pathological Waste Pick-Up Request” can be submitted using this form. If you have any additional questions or comments, please contact us at