Biohazardous Waste

*NEW* The Laboratory Waste Handling Poster is now available. It offers a quick visual guide to sorting, handling and disposing of laboratory waste streams.

Biohazardous waste from risk groups 1 or 2 must be disposed of using the SFU specified autoclave bags and bag holders.

Please note the colour of bags to use are based on the containment level required for the research project. Level 1 waste must only be placed in the clear autoclave bags. Level 2 waste must only be placed in the orange autoclave bags. All biohazard bags (level 1 and 2) must be placed in a labeled bag holder, either a metal rack or a sturdy plastic container labeled with a biohazard sign.

Once full, all bags must have a piece of autoclave tape adhered to the bag. Tape with hatched markings should be used for level 1 waste. Tape with the word "autoclaved" should be used for level 2 waste. The bags should be loosely closed to allow steam penetration into the bag.

Level 1 Biohazardous Waste Procedure

Please follow the instructions below for preparing your level 1 biohazardous waste for pick-up:

  1. Before placing the waste bags into the plastic containers, decontaminate the outside of the bags with a suitable disinfectant. 
  2. Affix a label to the plastic container/bin indicating that it is biohazard level 1 waste.  For more information see the Labelling Guideline.
  3. Seal the bags loosely with hatched autoclave tape.
  4. Use the online request system to request pickup. Requests may be made for a single pickup or a recurring (weekly) pickup.

Hazardous waste collection is scheduled at Burnaby campus every Tuesday and Friday between 10:00am and noon. Surrey campus collection is every Thursday between 10:00am and noon and Vancouver campus pickups are scheduled as needed. In order to have a timely pickup, ensure that a contact person is available on the requested pickup day and time.

Level 2 Biohazardous Waste Procedure

All level 2 biohazardous waste must be autoclaved on site and then placed in the designated bins in each autoclave room for pick-up by the waste disposal company. The following autoclaves can be used for treatment of level 2 biohazardous waste:

  • SSB 6113
  • B8213
  • K9605
  • BH 9805
  • ARC: ACF 6703 and TT 6475.1


Sharps containers are designed to contain needles, scalpel blades, razor blades, and similar items.  All biohazardous sharps (from all risk groups) are to be disposed of in hard red plastic containers that say "biohazard" or have the biohazard symbol on them. A sharps container table provides more information.


In accordance with Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Bacillus stearothermophilus bioindicators are used weekly to ensure that autoclaves used for sterilizing research waste are achieving appropriate steam penetration and temperature. Records of each autoclave tested are held in the EHRS office. Many departments have their own autoclaves. Please check with them to ensure you are following proper procedures.