Medical Waste Disposal


Federal, state and municipal regulations require that medical waste be disposed of in an approved container. Medical waste includes hypodermic needles, lancets, test strips, small quantity medical waste, and other medical devices having corners, edges or projections capable of cutting or piercing the skin, or that pose a safety hazard to the Custodians and other personnel who handle waste. This type of waste is often contaminated with blood or bodily fluids. Medical waste cannot be disposed of in the trash. If you generate this type of waste, please follow the procedures listed below.

  • Purchase an approved sharps or medical waste disposal container from a local pharmacy, physician or hospital.
  • Immediately transfer any used needles or other contaminated waste into the container to minimize possible injury to anyone.
  • When full, the container should be taken to an authorized disposal site. For further information on local sites, call the King County Hazardous Waste Hotline at 206-296-4692.
  • Some pharmacies will dispose of your medical waste if you purchase the medical device from them; please check with a pharmacy for further information on their disposal program.

Individuals who have improperly disposed of medical waste will be subject to UW disciplinary action and local laws, and he/she risks removal from the residence halls or apartments.