Environmental Health and Safety

Chapter Three — Biological Wastes

I. Microbiological Waste

Microbiological waste can either be treated on-site in the lab or can be given to EHS for disposal. The following requirements must be met when treating biological waste in the lab.

A. Record Keeping

All lab personnel who treat and dispose of microbiological waste on site in accordance with the guidelines described below, must keep the following records.

  1. date of treatment;
  2. amount of waste treated;
  3. method/conditions of treatment;
  4. name (printed) and initials of person(s) performing treatment; and
  5. written procedure for the operation and testing of any equipment used and a written procedure for the preparation of any chemicals used in treatment.

B. Performance Monitoring

A minimum 4 log10 reduction shall be demonstrated on routine performance testing using appropriate Bacillus species biological indicators. This testing needs to be performed on autoclaves that are used to treat special waste. EHS has a program in place for the testing of autoclaves.

C. Treatment Methods

Acceptable methods of treatment of microbiological waste include:

Steam Disinfection

  1. To allow for sufficient steam access to or penetration of the waste, the waste shall be:
    1. packaged according to the recommendations provided by the manufacturer, and
    2. loaded into the chamber so as to not exceed the capacity limits as set by the manufacturer.
  2. When subjecting waste to steam under pressure, the temperature in the chamber of the autoclave must reach at least 121°C and there must be at least 15 pounds per square inch (psi) gauge pressure for at least 30 minutes.
  3. The autoclave must be operated according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Chemical Disinfection

  1. Use a chemical agent that is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Department of Agriculture as a disinfectant and in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions; or
  2. Immerse the waste for not less than three minutes in:
    1. A freshly prepared solution of household chlorine bleach diluted 1:10 (volume/volume) with water; or
    2. A solution of 70% by volume 2-propanol (isopropyl alcohol).
  3. Waste that has been immersed in a liquid chemical agent must be thoroughly drained before disposal.

D. Disposal

Microbiological waste which has been treated in accordance with the methods described above can be disposed of through the regular trash as long as the following procedures are followed:

  1. Place a label on the original bag or container stating "treated in accordance with 1.136 of the TAC SWFHCRF" (available from EHS, Hazardous Materials Division), and
  2. Place the bag or other container into another bag or container that is a different color and is opaque, e.g., a black trash bag.

Note: If treated waste is in a liquid form it can be disposed of through the sanitary sewer.

II. Animal Waste

Disposal

Carcasses and Body Parts of Animals

Carcasses and body parts of animals that have not been preserved must be double bagged to prevent leakage and kept frozen until pickup by EHS or transferred to the Animal Resources Center. Carcasses and body parts of animals that have been preserved must be separated from the preservative (refer to the chemical waste section of this manual for the disposal requirements of the preservative) and double bagged to prevent leakage. Submit a Biological Wastes and Sharps Request for Disposal form to EHS when the waste is ready for pick-up.

Whole Blood, Serum, Plasma, and/or other Blood Components from Animals

All should be disposed of through EHS. Place into a non-breakable, closeable container. If you need advice on what kind of container to use, call EHS Lab & Biosafety Coordinator at 471-3511. Submit a Biological Wastes and Sharps Request for Disposal form to EHS when the waste is ready for pick-up.

Bedding of Animals Intentionally Exposed to Pathogens

This waste can be treated on-site in the lab as long as all the requirements listed under Microbiological Waste are followed. Another option is to submit the waste to EHS for disposal. Place the waste into a Biohazard bag (these bags are available at EHS). Submit a Biological Wastes and Sharps Request for Disposal form to EHS when the waste is ready for pick-up.

III. Human Blood and Blood Products Waste

Disposal

Human Blood, Serum, Plasma, other Blood Components, and Body Fluids

All should be disposed of through EHS. Place into a non-breakable, closeable container. If you need advice on what kind of container to use, call EHS Hazardous Materials Division at 471-3511. Submit a Biological Wastes and Sharps Request for Disposal form to EHS when the waste is ready for pick-up.

Disposable Items Contaminated with Human Blood or Body Fluids

IV. Pathological Waste

Disposal

Pathological waste must either be preserved or kept frozen until pick-up by EHS. Submit the waste to EHS for disposal. Place the waste into a Biohazard bag (these bags are available at EHS). Submit a Biological Wastes and Sharps Request for Disposal form to EHS when the waste is ready for pick-up.