HSE Department
Newsletter for HSE biosafety officers
Health, Safety and Environment
Collection and disposal of hazardous biological waste
In recent weeks, a number of problems were noted relating to the collection of hazardous biological waste on the
Gasthuisberg campus. These included the following:
Blood-contaminated containers
Boxes left open
Incorrect use of containers
Improper waste disposal may pose health risks for everyone handling the waste and often creates logistical difficulties and
additional costs, which could easily have been avoided.
To avoid a recurrence of such problems, the main guidelines are reviewed below.
Ten commandments for the collection of hazardous biological waste
Use the approved containers for hazardous biological waste: yellow plastic drum, plastic-lined cardboard box and
sharps containers. These should be purchased via the Central Warehouse.
2. Limit the amounts of hazardous biological waste (HBW).
3. Waste removed from level 2 or 3 containment zones (e.g. L2, L3, A2, G2) should always be treated as hazardous
biological waste. Never place open containers outside the containment zone.
4. Never pour liquid waste directly into a yellow plastic drum, but always use a separate container. Cans containing
liquids should not be disposed of as such.
5. Make sure that each container is properly labelled.
6. Make sure that containers are free from contamination.
7. Check containers for leaks (leaking containers must be repackaged).
8. Avoid overloading containers to ensure that they can be properly closed and stacked on a pallet.
9. Do not exceed the maximum weight.
10. To meet traceability requirements, all containers should be labelled with the department’s identification number
For more detailed information, please see
If problems are noted with regard to collection of hazardous biological waste on the
Education and Research Campus, you may be contacted either by
the Workplace Safety and Environment Department (Leuven University Hospitals) or by the HSE Department (KU Leuven)

Collection and disposal of hazardous biological waste