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Infectious waste scheme for CBS labs

If you are working with human fluids, body parts, etc., you need training in blood-borne pathogens. Call DEHS at 612-626-6002. 

1. Is waste a liquid (such as culture media) in a self-contained, autoclavable container (tube, flask, etc.)?

  • a. YES: Autoclave it for 60-90 minutes. Discard the liquid down the drain (using hot water if the liquid includes melted agar) and wash the container as usual.
  • b. NO: go to #2.

2. Is the waste a sharp? (e.g. needle, scalpel, pasteur pipette contaminated with animal fluids)

  • a. YES: In lab: dispose of in red "sharps" container available from Stores (#CX40248). When full: close and tape shut. Put near normal waste can for custodial staff to pick up. They will put it in RED biohazard can in Bioscience loading dock. (Alternatively, you can use a disposal service... see Stores catalog)
  • b. NO: go to #3.

3. Is waste contaminated with any microorganism, including virus that you are using in your lab?

  • a. YES: Go to #4.
  • b. NO: Go to #5

4. Can it be autoclaved? (e.g. petri plates, tubes, disposable plastics, etc.)

  • a. YES: Put material into a sturdy, transparent, autoclavable, leakproof container. It may be useful to label the bag with autoclave tape and place it in a special biohazard area in the lab (or a special tray) so all in the lab know it needs to be autoclaved. (Bags are available from Stores, e.g. #CX10014. These used to be orange...but the standards have changed so you should now be using transparent bags.)

    Autoclave it for 60-90 minutes (yes...much longer than you might autoclave your media!). After autoclaving, let cool until you can handle it. Pour the excess liquid (including agar if still liquid) down the drain with hot water. Put non-hazardous discardable materials (e.g. plastics) into a bag (NOT ORANGE OR RED) and put in normal trash. (The point is to have the decontaminated material easy to pick up by the custodial staff.) For hazardous glass (broken glass, pasteur pipettes, etc.), it can be treated as other hazardous glass... see #5a.
  • b. NO: Put in BROWN Biohazard bag (Stores, e.g. #GC20028). Do not use these bags for anything else! Put near the regular waste can. Custodial staff will pick up and put into GREY Biohazard container on Bioscience loading dock.

5. Is waste hazardous glass (broken glass pasteur pipettes, microscope slides, coverslips)?

  • a. YES: Put in a broken glass discard container (sturdy cardboard box lined with sturdy plastic bag and marked as "broken glass discard"; commercially prepared boxes [broken glass disposal cartons] are available from scientific supply vendors, e.g. Fisher, VWR, CMS). When full, close bag, seal box with tape and place near normal trash for custodial staff to pick up.
  • b. NO: Discard in normal trash can, which should be lined with a plastic bag. Be sure it is before you use it. Custodians are to take the bag out of the container rather than handle the waste itself.