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Biological Waste


  • Waste contaminated with biological agents, and all sharps, whether contaminated or not.

    • Medical waste (anatomical material, blood, blood-soiled articles, and sharps as defined by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) regulations as Special Medical Waste
    • Microbiological cultures
    • Human Cell cultures
    • Human blood and blood products
    • All contaminated disposable labware (culture dishes, pipet tubes, tubes)
    • Clinical specimens (human blood, other potentially infectious materials)
    • All needles and syringes

    Packaging and Disposal Guidelines

    Sharps (needles, syringes, scalpel blades, etc.)
    1. Place intact sharps, whether contaminated or not, in a puncture resistant "sharps" container. 
    2. Do no recap, bend, remove, or clip needles.
    3. Fill 3/4 full, snap the lid close and secure with tape.  Do Not Overfill.
    4. Complete and submit a Hazardous & Regulated Waste Removal Request Form to EHS.
    Non-sharp Solid Waste for Autoclave
    1. Collect in autoclavable bags without the word "biohazardous" or the universal symbol for biohazardous material; clear or white bags are preferable.
    2. Place filled bags into an autoclave PL pan for transport from the laboratory to the autoclave.
    3. Add the appropriate amount of water to the bag and close loosely to allow steam to escape.
    4. Autoclave the pan and bag at 121 degrees Celsius for one hour.
    5. Allow the pan and autoclaved material to cool; put the autoclaved material in the building dumpster.
    6. Do not autoclave chemical or radioactive wastes.
    Contaminated Glass and Pasteur Pipets Treat by one of the following two methods:
    1. Decontaminate the glass by autoclaving, or soaking in 10% bleach for 30 minutes, then place in a sturdy cardboard box, tape closed, and dispose of in the building dumpster; or,
    2. Contaminated glass may be discarded into a sharps container and handled according to the instructions for "Sharps."
    Liquid Waste
    1.  Add household bleach to a final concentration of 10%, wait 30 minutes, then rinse down the sink with copious amounts of water.
    2. Alternatively, a disinfectant that is known to be effective against the organism may be added to an appropriate concentration, wait 30 minutes, then rinse down the sink with copious amounts of water.
    Animal Carcasses
    1.  Place animal carcasses/tissues into a plastic bag.  Doublebag all carcasses when zoonotic agents are present.
    2. Place bag in freezer until removal.
    3. Disposal of animal carcasses/tissues is coordinated through the IACUC.