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Regulated Medical Waste Management

Regulated Medical Waste (RMW) is material that may be contaminated with blood, bodily fluids, or other infectious materials.  RMW may also be referred to as “biohazardous” or “infectious waste”.  RMW must be properly handled and disposed of in order to minimize the risk of transmitting infection or endangering human health.  RMW that contains Bio Safety Level 2 organisms must be autoclaved or otherwise decontaminated prior to disposal.

RMW must be collected in rigid containers lined with red bags imprinted with the infectious waste biohazard symbol.  Any sharps or materials contaminated with infectious agents that may puncture a red bag must be deposited in a sharps disposal container.  
   
Consult the University’s Regulated Medical Waste Policy and Biological Safety Manual for specific information regarding management of biological agents and RMW.   

Reusable Sharps Containers

In 2009, the University changed the way in which ‘sharps’ waste was collected, replacing single-use containers with re-usable containers.  When full, these containers are robotically emptied, sanitized and reused.  A single container may be used as many as 500 times.  Stericycle provides metrics on the resulting carbon footprint reduction.  To see the effect of this program has had regarding Columbia’s activity, go to recycle Links:

Green Car icon Medical Center 2015
Green Car icon Morningside 2015

Please see the schedule table below for sharps container pick-up/drop-off service in your area, and contact information for other regulated medical waste services.

Building
Service Days*
Hammer
Tuesday, Friday
Black
Monday, Thursday
P&S
Monday, Thursday
Vanderbilt Clinic
Monday, Thursday
Presbyterian Hospital
Monday, Thursday
ICRC
Monday, Thursday
Russ Berrie
Monday, Thursday
Morningside campus (all buildings)
Tuesday, Friday
*All containers should be placed outside of labs first thing in the morning on the day of service

Contact Information

For replacement red bags -

  • Medical Center – Facilities (305-HELP; 305-4357), ext.3
  • Morningside – EH&S (854-8749)

To report sharps container pick-up/drop-off problems -

  • Medical Center – EH&S (305-6780)
  • Morningside – EH&S (854-8749)

For urgently needed replacement sharps containers between pick-up days -

  • Medical Center – Facilities (305-HELP; 305-4357), ext.3
  • Morningside – EH&S (854-8749)