Skip to Main Content
Environmental Health and Safety

Biomedical Waste Management Plan

June 2023


The University of North Florida contains areas where instruction, research and medical treatment occur.  These areas generate waste materials that may contain blood, tissues, body fluids or other potentially infectious material.  Therefore, a written plan to properly manage this waste and control the spread of infection is required by the State of Florida, Department of Health. 

The following policy document is developed in compliance with Chapter 64E-16 of the Florida Administrative Code.  It provides minimum sanitary practices relating to the management of biomedical waste, including segregation, handling, labeling, storage, transport and disposal.  This applies to all areas on campus where biomedical waste is generated.  Currently, this includes the Student Health Care Center, the Department of Natural Sciences, the College of Health, and the University Arena training room.


  1. Biomedical Waste - Waste materials generated from teaching, research or health care activities, which may present a threat of infection to humans.  Examples include tissues, body parts, blood and blood products, body fluids from humans and other primates and waste materials, which may contain human disease causing agents or be saturated with blood or body fluids (sharps, wipes, bandages, absorbents, gloves, etc.). 
  2. Biomedical Waste Generator - Any facility (or person) that generates more than 25 pounds of biomedical waste in a 30-day period. 
  3. Body Fluids - Human secretions that have the potential to harbor pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis.  Examples include blood, blood products (plasma), lymph, semen and vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal, synovial (joint), pleural (lung), peritoneal (abdomen), pericardial (heart) and amniotic (birth) fluids.  Unidentifiable body fluids shall also be considered biomedical waste.   
  4. Decontamination - The process of removing pathogens from objects or surfaces, thereby rendering them safe for handling. 
  5. Puncture Resistant - Containers that are able to withstand punctures from contained sharps. 
  6. Segregated - The process of separating biomedical waste from all other wastes. 
  7. Sharps - Biomedical waste that is capable of puncturing, lacerating or penetrating the skin.  Examples include scalpels, syringes, needles, razor blades, pipettes, petri dishes, flasks and test tubes. 
  8. Sharps Containers - A rigid, leak and puncture resistant container, designed primarily for the containment of sharps and clearly labeled with the biohazard symbol. 
  9. Sterilization - The process or procedure that renders a biomedical waste non-infectious. 
  10. Storage - The holding of packaged biomedical waste for a period of more than three days.


Biomedical waste is generated and segregated from non-biomedical waste in the following campus locations:

  1. Student Health Care Center, Building 39A 
  2. Biology Department, Building 59
  3. College of Health, Building 39 
  4. University Arena, Building 34

These areas have been equipped with biomedical waste receptacles containing red bag liners.  Both the receptacle and liner are affixed with the following biohazard symbol, or equivalent: 


Biohazard bags are used for the collection of non-sharps biomedical waste at all points of origin.  All biohazard bags meet the impact and tear resistance requirements of ASTM D-1709-91 and ASTM D-1922-89, respectively.  Proof of these criteria is available at each point of origin either by letter or catalogue description.  These red, biohazard bags are placed into leak proof, puncture resistant outer containers with lids.  These containers are then removed by a licensed biomedical waste disposal firm.  Clean containers and new bags are then replaced at each point of origin.   

Biomedical sharps waste is collected in puncture resistant containers at the point of origin, as needed. All biohazard containers are red in color and contain the international biohazard symbol and the phrase: Biohazardous Waste or equivalent. 


According to 64E-16, FAC, all biomedical waste bags and sharps containers must be labeled with the generator’s name and address.  If the labeled bag is placed in a box or leak proof tub, the box or tub must also be labeled with the transporter’s name, address, registration number and 24-hour telephone number.  Items placed in the biomedical waste bag or sharps containers are exempt from labeling when the waste bag itself is labeled.  

Storage areas at each point of origin are located in buildings under contract with a licensed pest control firm.  The storage areas have tile floors and can be easily decontaminated should a leak or spill occur.  Each point of origin has controlled access away from student and pedestrian traffic.

A 30-day storage limit is in force at each point of origin. For biohazard bags, the clock begins when the first waste item is placed in the receptacle, and the liner/bag must be disposed of (full or not) once 30-days has passed. For sharps, the clock starts when the container is full and sealed. Once closed, sharps containers should be disposed of within 30-days. The following information outlines the pick-up schedule for each storage area. 

Generators who do not receive pick-up by the appointed time should contact EH&S at extension 2019.  

No biomedical waste shall be compacted by the generator at the point of origin.   

No biomedical waste shall be removed from the receptacle or point of origin except by a licensed Biomedical waste disposal firm.  

No biomedical waste shall be mixed with radioactive or hazardous chemical waste.  


All spills and surfaces contaminated with biomedical wastes shall be decontaminated immediately upon discovery.  Decontamination can be accomplished with a 1:10 mixture of ordinary household bleach and water (5,000 ppm chlorine). This can be used on solids and in liquids. Exercise caution, as chlorine gas can be irritating to the mucous membranes and eyes.  Use in a well-ventilated area with protective gloves, gown and goggles.  All contaminated materials should be treated as biomedical waste and disposed of in biomedical waste containers. Liquids can be decontaminated as above and flushed down a sanitary sewer. Surfaces should be wet wiped with the bleach solution above and allowed to air dry to ensure sufficient contact time.  

Upon discovery of a spill or leak:

  1. Don protective gear such as gloves, safety goggles, lab coat or gown.
  2. Use disposable sorbets such as pillows or granules (kitty litter) to soak up any fluids present. Dispose of as biomedical waste. Solids and sharps should be scooped up or picked up with tongs, forceps, etc. Place sharps in a sharps container.
  3. Cleanse the area with soap and water for gross removal.  Dispose of materials as biomedical waste.
  4. Decontaminate the area with the bleach solution above or equivalent.  Dispose of all material as biomedical waste.  Non-disposable items should be decontaminated with the bleach solution above.

Requests for assistance or reports of spills should be directed to EH&S at extension 2019. After Hours reports should go to the University of North Florida at extension 2800 or dial 911.


All personnel who handle biomedical waste shall receive training prior to handling and annually thereafter. Training shall consist of information regarding hazards of exposure to biomedical waste, protective methods, decontamination, disposal and emergency procedures.  Training received as part of the UNF Bloodborne Pathogens program will suffice for biomedical waste training.  Training can be arranged through the office of EH&S at extension 2019 or the Student Health Care Center, extension 2900.

Record Keeping

Receipts from the licensed biomedical waste disposal firm will be provided following each pick-up.  They will be retained by the generating department for a period of three years.  Please contact EH&S at extension 2019 if you do not receive such a receipt.  

Records of annual training in the handling of biomedical waste shall be retained for a period of three years by the impacted department.  

The permit for registration of biomedical waste generation is to be displayed in the area of generation.  Requests for copies can be made by calling extension 2019.