I. Microbiological Waste
Microbiological waste can either be treated on-site in the lab or can be given to EH&S 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.
- date of treatment;
- amount of waste treated;
- method/conditions of treatment;
- name (printed) and initials of person(s) performing treatment; and
- 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. EH&S has a program in place for the testing of autoclaves.
C. Treatment Methods
Acceptable methods of treatment of microbiological waste include:
1. Steam Disinfection
To allow for sufficient steam access to or penetration of the waste, the waste shall be:
packaged according to the recommendations provided by the manufacturer, and
- loaded into the chamber so as to not exceed the capacity limits as set by the
- 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. The autoclave must be operated according to the manufacturer's instructions.
2. Chemical Disinfection
- Use a chemical agent that is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture as a disinfectant and in accordance with the
- Immerse the waste for not less than three minutes in:
- A freshly prepared solution of household chlorine bleach diluted 1:10 (volume/volume)
- A solution of 70% by volume 2-propanol (isopropyl alcohol).
- A freshly prepared solution of household chlorine bleach diluted 1:10 (volume/volume) with water
- Waste that has been immersed in a liquid chemical agent must be thoroughly drained before 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:
- a. Place a label on the original bag or container stating "treated in accordance
with ___ requirements" (available from EH&S)
- b. 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
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 EH&S 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 Request for Disposal form to EH&S 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 EH&S. Place into a non-breakable, closeable container. If you need advice on what kind of container to use, call EH&S at 646-3327. Place a request for disposal form to EH&S 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 EH&S for disposal. Place the waste into a Biohazard bag. Request disposal when the waste is ready for pick-up.
III. Human Blood and Blood Products Waste
Human Blood, Serum, Plasma, other Blood Components, and Body Fluids
All should be disposed of through EH&S. Place into a non-breakable, closeable container. If you need advice on what kind of container to use, call 646-3327. Request disposal form when the waste is ready for pick-up.
Disposable Items Contaminated with Human Blood or Body Fluids
Non-sharp items: 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 EH&S for disposal. Place the waste into a Biohazard bag. Request for disposal from EH&S when the waste is ready for pick-up.
IV. Pathological Waste
Pathological waste must either be preserved or kept frozen until pick-up by Safety. Submit the waste to EH&S for disposal. Place the waste into a Biohazard bag. Request disposal when the waste is ready for pick-up.