Biological waste containers are labeled and have closed lids

All biohazardous waste is to be collected and separated from other types of waste generated in the laboratory, it also must be packaged, contained and located in a manner that prevents and protects the biohazard release at the producing facility at any time before ultimate disposal.

Biohazard bags used for collecting and autoclaving waste must be placed in solid waste containers to prevent ripping and tearing, which may result in releasing of the biohazards. These containers must be labeled with a biohazard sticker and kept closed except when adding waste to minimize exposure to lab personnel.

Temporary containers can be used on the benchtops and inside biosafety cabinets and should be emptied into main containers at the end of the day.


  • NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules. April 2019. Section IV-B-7-d-(1), (2) and Appendix G.
  • Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories. HHS Publication No. (CDC) 21- 1112, 5th Edition.
  • MSU Biosafety Manual
  • MSU Bloodborne Exposure Control Plan
  • MSU Waste Disposal Guidance

Corrective actions:

Select appropriate container for the size of the biohazard bag. These are examples of acceptable temporary containers:

a. Plastic container with swing lid

Plastic container with swing lid

b. Metal (autoclavable) container with swing lid

b- Metal (autoclavable) container with swing lid

c. Laboratory plastic beaker with Large Petri dish used as a lid

Laboratory plastic beaker with Large Petri dish used as a lid

Place biohazard stickers on the sides and lids of the container. Keep containers closed when not in use.

Empty temporary container at the end of each working day.

Ideally containers should have foot pedal for opening without hands