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Are your containers compliant?

Updated: Feb 18, 2020


The United States does not require what color waste containers should be, only that they are color-coded. OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogen Standard addresses the issue in 29 CFR 1910.1030(d) by requiring only that all employees "recognize the containers as requiring compliance with Universal Precautions." It is necessary that your company or organization do. This way, all workers consistently can practice waste disposal protocol.

Medical Waste Classifications

Regulated Medical Waste or Clinical Waste or (Bio) Medical Waste must be classified as follows:

  • If a Category A: UN 2814 or UN 2900, as appropriate.

  • If a Category B: UN 3291.

Color Coding 

Remember, most of these are not all federally regulated, but they are common practice in the states. 

  • Red (or fluorescent red-orange) The only federally regulated color that is used in #medicalwaste #sharpsdisposal #biohazardwaste containers. It is used to indicate that the enclosed material consists of #biohazardous waste. This is also the color used for #sharps containers.

  • Yellow This is typically used for containers that hold trace amounts of chemotherapy waste. Some facilities use it on linen containers. 

  • Black This holds RCRA regulated hazardous materials such as P-listed drugs. 

  • Blue/White This is the color often used for non-RCRA pharmaceutical wastes, like antibiotics.