Biomedical Waste Management Color Coding

by | Aug 4, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Everyone knows that the disposal of biomedical waste has to be done in a specific manner so as not to damage the environment or endanger the safety of the patients or medical staff. The methods used are highly dependent on the type of medical waste that needs to be disposed of.

Biomedical waste management is vital to ensure that waste is stored, transported, and treated correctly. Value Dumpster Rental Jacksonville takes care of all your garbage needs so you don’t have to worry about it. Our disposal methods are certified and hygienic so you can rest assured that the waste will not pose a risk to the environment, caregivers, or anyone else who comes into contact with it. We are proud to be an eco-friendly company that stays up to date on their list of hazardous items, thus making it cheaper for organizations to manage their waste management costs.

What are the different types of biomedical waste?

The waste produced in hospitals, labs, veterinary clinics, or at the dentist’s, has to be handled in a specific way. There are 4 main types of medical waste and all need to be handled differently:


General medical waste


Infectious medical waste


Hazardous medical waste


Radioactive medical waste

Why is there a need for biomedical waste color coding?

The main purpose of color coding is to help people distinguish between the different types of biomedical waste. The waste is sorted into different categories with each category pertaining to a single color.

Color coding represents the very basic principle that all waste doesn’t go to the same place. To properly dispose of biomedical waste, you need to know what materials go where. In the past, biomedical waste was handled by incineration instead of going to landfills but nowadays there exist more practical and modern ways to handle the waste.

Color coding for biomedical waste

Below is a summary of the color classification codes for different types of medical waste:

1. Yellow

Yellow covers most types of infectious biomedical waste. The waste can be collected in yellow containers or plastic bags but in the case of liquids, these have to be collected in separate leak-proof containers. Some of the waste that is collected in containers with a yellow lid includes:

  • Pathological waste
  • Soiled infectious waste (contaminated with blood)
  • Clinical lab waste
  • Pharmaceutical waste such as expired meds

2. Red

Red-colored containers are used for contaminated hazardous waste. For disposal, the contaminated hazardous waste is destroyed using a medical waste shredder.

Containers with a red lid may also be used to hold anatomical waste. This refers to animal carcasses or body parts arising from healthcare that are non-infectious.

3. White / Translucent

These are used for sharps such as needles or glasses that are capable of inflicting puncture or cut wounds. The sharps should go into containers that are leak, tamper, puncture, and leak proof.

White may also be used for radioactive medical waste but the color may vary slightly in different countries. The radioactive waste has to be sealed in a lead container.

4. Black

Black is used for general medical waste. The black plastic bag may be used on its own or placed inside a black container.

Wherever necessary, the waste may need to be autoclaved to sterilize it before prepping it for disposal.


Biomedical waste management color coding ensures that medical waste is sorted for proper disposal. By adhering to the classification process, companies and organizations find it easier to manage their waste management costs and keep their institution free from contamination.