Waste Handling

The Environmental Management Department is responsible for maintaining compliance with the environmental regulations including proper handling and disposal of solid, hazardous, and bio-hazardous waste. All solid and liquid wastes generated on the campuses of Missouri State University are subject to determination as possible hazardous or bio-hazardous waste. This section provides guidelines for basic determinations for many wastes.

The Director of Environmental Management must be contacted to assist in making the determination before disposing of any waste that is not listed as routine disposable or recyclable solid wastes. If you have questions related to waste determination, contact the Environmental Management Department at EnvironmentalManagement@missouristate.edu or 417-836-8334.

In certain situations, campus waste generators may incur costs for waste disposal. Additonal detals outlining these situations can be found here.

Examples of Different Types of Waste

Potentially Infectious Medical Waste/ Biological Waste

Potentially infectious medical waste (PIMW) may consist of the following:

  • Cultures & stocks
  • Pathological wastes
  • Human blood & blood products
  • Sharps- needles, syringes, razor blades, scalpels, etc. Click here for more information.
  • Animal carcasses & bedding
  • Biological or discarded materials contaminated with blood, excretion, exudates or secretions from humans
  • Laboratory wastes such as specimen containers, disposable gloves, lab coats, masks & aprons

PIMW must be placed in appropriate medical waste containers; typically in marked red bags/boxes.

Sharps have particular management requirements.

Sharps containers must be:

  • rigid
  • non-breakable/puncture resistant
  • impervious to moisture/ leak proof
  • have a self-closing lid
  • red in color with universal biohazard label 

Hazardous Waste

  • Chemical lab wastes
  • Paint solvents
  • Photographic chemicals

Non-recyclable Solid Waste (Disposed into Sanitary Trash)

  • Thermal fax paper or adding machine tape
  • Foil, wax, plastic lined or laminated paper (juice boxes, fast food liners, pet food bags)
  • Mylar/acetate
  • Original blueprints
  • Paper towels & napkins
  • Photographs


  • Mixed paper
  • Plastic containers
  • Alkaline, lithium, button, rechargeable, and lead acid batteries
  • Motor oil
  • Printer cartridges
  • Telephone books & magazines
  • Smoke detectors

Universal Waste

  • Fluorescent bulbs
  • Mercury containing devices
  • Outdated pesticides