Environmental Health and Safety

Biohazardous Waste - Containers

Regulations governing the selection, use and performance of containers utilized to collect and ship biohazardous waste are complex. In an effort to comply with the hazardous materials regulations, EHSEM offers a variety of containers that meet regulatory guidelines. From small bottles to large drums, EHSEM can provide a container suitable for the collection of chemical, biological and low-level radioactive waste.

When deciding on which container to use, consider the following:

  • Container Size - All hazardous waste generated at the University of Michigan - Dearborn must be removed from campus within 90 days from the day that waste is first placed into the container. Waste generators are required to call for a waste collection within 60 days of starting to fill the container to provide adequate time for EHSEM to collect and ship the material. Therefore, it is impractical to order a container too large to fill within 60 days. Available containers range in size from 1 liter to 55 gallons.
  • Container Material - Regulations governing waste management and transportation require generators to select a container that is compatible with you waste. Consult a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to find specific information about chemical properties and compatibility. EHSEM provides containers made of plastic, glass and steel.
  • Container Type - Some containers are specifically designed to collect solids, while others are designed to collect liquids. Containers that have a "Wide Mouth" are typically used to collect solids. Containers that have a "Narrow Mouth" are typically used to collect liquids. All "Closed Head" drums and carboys are used to collect liquids.
  • Waste Type - The type of waste generated may also affect the waste container choice. Sharps waste should only be collected in a sharps container. Additionally, specific containers are required for the collection of radioactive wastes. When generating hazardous waste, label and date the container at the time you first begin using it. Keep your waste container closed unless actively adding waste. Use proper segregation for incompatibles and secondary containment catch spills. Arrange for waste collection within 60 days to ensure that your waste is collected and shipped for disposal within 90 days. The hazardous waste containers available through EHSEM meet the needs of most waste generators on campus.