Biohazardous Waste Disposal

Introduction

The management of biohazardous waste is administered by Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) in accordance with State of Texas regulations and University policy developed in conjunction with the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC). It is the responsibility of each researcher/units to properly dispose of any biohazardous waste that is generated as a result of research, teaching and other activities.

These guidelines have been developed to assist in that responsibility. They address the most common general categories of biohazardous wastes and are not intended to be all-inclusive or to supersede any alternate waste management procedures specified in research protocols as approved by the IBC. If you have questions contact EHS.

Note: If your IBC protocol specifies alternate procedures, follow your protocol.

Biohazardous Waste Definition

Biohazardous waste is defined as materials containing:

  • Infectious agents (to human, plants, animals)
  • Biological toxins
  • Materials derived from humans and primates (blood, body fluids, tissues)
  • Human and primate cell lines (including recombinant)
  • Recombinant animal cell lines
  • Recombinant microorganisms
  • Transgenic animals (vertebrate and invertebrate)
  • Materials derived from transgenic animals (body fluids, tissues)
  • Transgenic plants
  • Recombinant materials such as plasmids, DNA/RNA, synthetic DNA

Liquid Waste

Biohazardous liquid wastes - are liquids containing biohazardous waste.

Disposal Method:

Decontaminate by treating with an appropriate disinfectant. The amount of contact time will depend on the chemical used and the material decontaminated. For specific procedures, refer to your approved protocol or contact EHS.

Solid Waste

Biohazardous solid wastes - are solids that contain biohazardous materials or lab waste that has come in contact with biohazardous materials. These include:

  • Culture media
  • Personal Protective Equipment (contaminated)
  • Plasticware including pipette tips
  • Transgenic plants including soil

Disposal Method(s):

Option 1: Place material in an autoclave bag, close bag loosely, attach a strip of autoclave tape and autoclave. Apply “treated” label and place in black garbage bag for disposal in trash. Record treatment on autoclave waste treatment record form.

photo of autoclave bagAutoclave bag

photo of autoclave bag with treated label attached“Treated” label

photo of treated bag placed in black trash bagTreated bag placed in black trash bag for disposal.

Option 2: Place in biohazard waste container and contact EHS for pickup.

sharps containers

Sharps: Dispose into sharps container

contaminated glassware trash boxes

Glassware: Decontaminate for re-use or dispose in sharps container. Do not use glass trash boxes for glassware contaminated with biological materials.

Transgenic Animals and Materials

Transgenic animals and materials includes animals (vertebrate and invertebrate) and materials (tissues and infected bedding) from transgenic animals.

Transgenic insects: Freeze, then autoclave or place in biohazard container

Transgenic animal carcasses/tissues: Place in 2X biohazard bags and place in freezer

Animal bedding from animals shedding pathogens: Place in biohazard waste container.

Disposal Method: Place in appropriate container. Request EHS pickup.

Non-transgenic Animals / Tissues

Non-transgenic animals or tissues include animal carcasses/tissues not infected with infectious agents.

Disposal Method: Place in double bags and place material in freezer and request EHS pickup.

Used Animal Bedding

Used animal bedding includes bedding from animals that is free of pathogens or biological toxins

Disposal Method:

Can be disposed as conventional trash. Containers should be secured.

Request Pickup

To request a pickup by EHS, complete the Disposal Request Form (PDF) and email to EHS-HazardousMaterials@austin.utexas.edu.

References: Texas Administrative Code 30 TAC 330.1207(c)

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