Medical and Health Care Risk Waste

Medical waste and Health Care Risk Waste (HCRW) include pharmaceutical and diagnostic waste, as well as infectious waste - containing hazardous biological agents

Examples include spent or outdated medicines or drugs, pharmaceutical waste, blood and blood vials, malignant tissue, soiled bandages and liners, surgical wraps, soiled sharps and Petri dishes, soiled personal protective equipment, medical devices, animal waste, human pathological waste, and any material that contains or has been contaminated by hazardous biological agents.

Medical and HCRW is generated in research and diagnostic laboratories, pharmaceutical and health care facilities, sanitary services, and by individuals discarding medication and materials containing potentially infectious human body fluids. 

Rhodes University Procedures

Rhodes University requires all staff and students to adhere to its socially and environmentally responsible hazardous waste disposal practices, in line with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Each laboratory, pharmaceutical or health care facility, and sanitary service provider should manage the medical waste and Health Care Risk Waste generated in its area of responsibility.

  • Infectious Health Care Risk Waste should be placed into designated, labelled bins, lined with red plastic bags, in the relevant laboratory or research facility.
  • Store in a freezer (-5°C or colder) until disposal.
  • Outdated medicines or drugs should be placed in sealed, labelled containers.
  • Rhodes University Health Care Centre will accept expired medicine from staff and students.
  • Only approved hazardous waste collection services should be used - Compass Waste collects from RU every second Tuesday.

Return to main Hazmat Waste Disposal page.

More Info

Return to Rhodes University's Safety front page. Questions/Suggestions? Contact safety(at)

Last Modified: Thu, 01 Jun 2017 11:19:02 SAST