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Which biohazard waste container is best?

Have you ever noticed the special trash bins at medical offices or hospitals? They’re actually specialized receptacles called biohazard waste containers, and they allow for safe disposal of specific types of waste and sharp objects. While many medical facilities use biohazard waste containers, they’re used at the residential level as well.

In so many words, biohazardous waste includes anything that can communicate diseases. It’s a fairly large category that includes used bandages and diabetic testing supplies. Biohazard waste containers are effective at keeping these items relatively inaccessible once they’re inserted until they’re emptied or disposed of appropriately.

To learn more about biohazard waste containers, keep reading our buying guide, which includes important information on how to choose the right one for your needs. At the end, take a look at our top recommendations, such as our number one choice, Witt Industries’ Metal Biohazard Waste Container. This four-gallon foot pedal container is OSHA-compliant and features a galvanized lining.

What to know before you buy a biohazard waste container

Types of biohazardous waste

Three types of biohazardous waste include materials soaked in bodily fluids, sharp hazardous waste, and medications. As this waste is contaminated, it can spread diseases. For that reason, biohazard containers have a “one way in, one way out” design to prohibit access except for disposal or recycling by approved waste management agencies.

Who uses biohazard waste containers?

As expected, doctors’ offices, hospitals, and other medical facilities have at least one biohazard waste container in every room. Many individuals have these containers for home use as well, for disposing of diabetic testing supplies, used bandages, or medical pet waste.

Types of containers

Trash can style biohazard waste containers are usually hands-free and operated by a foot pedal to minimize contact points. They’re made with metal components and are dent- and rust-resistant.

There are also containers featuring specialized openings to make disposal quick and easy, as well as inaccessible once inserted. These containers are often disposed of entirely and are picked up by private collection services.

What to look for in a quality biohazard waste container


More often than not, biohazard waste containers are red, though some are white or silver. These colors are striking and easy to notice in a room, especially since they display the official biohazard emblem. The size of the symbol varies between containers, and if the emblem is on the smaller side, you can affix a larger biohazard sticker over it.


For safety reasons, biohazard waste containers are puncture-resistant. This is particularly important when disposing of sharps such as needles, slides, or broken glass. These containers are usually made from galvanized steel or thick commercial-grade plastic.

Safety standards

Despite variations in design, biohazard waste containers must adhere to FDA and OSHA regulations. Certain containers also adhere to EPA regulations. Without the seal of approval from these entities (which is indicated on product specifications) these containers are just considered trash cans and cannot be used for biohazardous waste disposal.

How much you can expect to spend on a biohazard waste container

Small biohazard waste containers cost $8-$12 and are usually intended for small-office or residential use. Mid-size containers and sets cost $20-$40 and may include separate receptacles for waste and sharps disposal. Larger containers intended for commercial or medical use usually start at $40.

Biohazard waste container FAQ

Q. How large are the capacities of biohazard waste containers?

A. The smallest containers range in size from two to four gallons, and mid-size containers are around four to eight gallons. The largest containers, which are usually used in medical or commercial settings, are 10 gallons or larger.

Q. Where can I find more information about the biohazard waste container’s safety rating?

A. While it’s usually listed on the packaging, reach out to the manufacturer directly regarding the container’s design as it pertains to safety standards and testing. You can also research the manufacturer to assess their overall reputation and product quality.

What are the best biohazard waste containers to buy?

Top biohazard waste container

Witt Industries’ Metal Biohazard Waste Container

Witt Industries’ Metal Biohazard Waste Container

What you should know: OSHA-compliant design with heavy-duty construction.

What you’ll love: Reliable pedal mechanism and simple, seamless design. Easy to empty waste.

What you should consider: Opening and closing the container is noisy.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top biohazard waste containers for the money

Kendall Healthcare’s Sharps Container

Kendall Healthcare’s Sharps Container

What you should know: Simple option for sharps disposal that holds up to 100 needles.

What you’ll love : Affordable. Slimline design for residential use.

What you should consider: Made from plastic, and not as durable as metal receptacles.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

OakRidge Products’ Sharps and Biohazard Waste Disposal Container

OakRidge Products’ Sharps and Biohazard Waste Disposal Container

What you should know: Fuss-free rotating opening makes it easy for single-handed disposal.

What you’ll love: OSHA-approved and meets EPA requirements. Built-in port to facilitate needle disposal. Comes in a pack of two.

What you should consider: Slightly larger footprint than similar rectangular containers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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