McMaster University

McMaster University

Biohazard Waste Disposal

Our work environment generates different types of waste. We produce recyclables, regular garbage or hazardous wastes every day. It is important to direct waste so it can be managed effectively. You should ensure incompatible wastes are not mixed together as this may cause disposal problems. Please ensure that a supervisor of McMaster has formally reviewed the protocols that will result in the generation of hazardous waste before you start a project.

McMaster's Hazardous Waste Policy is found here.

Experiment To dispose of chemical waste including batteries please refer to the FHS Safety Office Waste webpage or the EOHSS Chemical Waste webpage.

Recycle Bin

To dispose of recyclables or regular waste, please refer to the policies in your particular laboratory. Recycling at McMaster, FHS Safety Office Waste Website

Animal parts

Although it may be food grade material, any animal part used at McMaster for non-food purposes should have formal approval for use and be returned to the appropriate areas within McMaster for disposal. This also applies to preserved animals for dissection. Contact the FHS Safety Office at 24956 or EOHSS at 24352 for assistance in approval and identifying the appropriate disposal.
Microscope Before any old equipment can be disposed, a number of items need to be reviewed. Does it have a refrigerant? Previous biological use? Previous radiation use or radiation source? Previous chemical use? Hazardous gases? Is it recyclable /reusable? Contact the FHSc Safety Office at 24956 or EOHSS at 24352 for information.
Biohazardous Wastes

All biohazardous wastes, (also known as biomedical waste) regardless of your laboratory location, processed as outlined below. It is the waste generator, you, who is responsible for decontamination and packaging of your biohazardous waste items safely for the workers involved in transport and disposal.

   
  Any item which may "appear" to be associated with biological agents should NOT be disposed of into regular waste. This would include anything with a biohazard symbol on it, be it empty or not. It would include unused plates, culture media, transport vials, drug vials, medical tubing, pipets or other items which could reasonably be expected to contain hazardous biological material. Although this is not legislated, in practice, this has been the area of greatest concern to waste handling staff.
   
  Weight of the waste is limited to the safe lifting weight for the waste handler (25lbs). Waste containers have been created in a size that will be within safe lifting weight when filled to the correct 3/4 level. If you have extraordinarily heavy waste, please decrease the volume placed into each container. Never overstuff a waste container. Containers found to be too heavy will not be removed and will need to be repackaged by the generator.
 

Representative Biohazardous Waste Items

  @ Biosafety Level 1 @ Biosafety Level 2
Disposable Tissue Culture Plates / Flasks / Containers Aspirate liquids. Place empty containers in plastic bag and tie closed. Discard into double bag-lined cardboard biohazard box. Bleach added to container to minimum 10% bleach** solution, sit 30 minutes INSIDE BSC, then aspirate. Place, empty decontaminated containers in bag INSIDE BSC and tie closed. Spray out bagged waste and discard into double bag-lined cardboard biohazard box.
Solid Media Petri Plates and Slants Place into plastic bag and tie closed. Discard into double bag-lined cardboard biohazard box. (Preferable to tape plates into stacks of 5-6 plates) Place into plastic bag and tie closed INSIDE BSC. Spray out bagged waste and discard into double bag-lined cardboard biohazard box. (Preferable to tape plates into stacks of 5-6 plates)
Pipette Tips: Eject tip into plastic container. When 3/4 full, close container, tape lid closed. Discard in double bag-lined cardboard biohazard box. Rinse with 10% bleach** by pipetting, eject liquid into 10% bleach container, eject tip into plastic container INSIDE BSC. When 3/4 full, close container, tape lid closed. Spray plastic container out of BSC and discard in double bag-lined cardboard biohazard box.
Serological Pipettes or Plastic Transfer Pipettes: Place pipette into bag and tie closed. Discard into double bag-lined cardboard biohazard box. Rinse with 10% bleach** by pipetting, eject liquid into 10% bleach container, place pipette into bag INSIDE BSC and tie closed. Spray out bagged waste and discard into double bag-lined cardboard biohazard box.
Pasteur Pipettes: Place into sharps container. When 3/4 full, close container, tape lid closed. Discard in double bag-lined cardboard biohazard box. Rinse with 10% bleach** by aspiration, place into sharps container INSIDE BSC and close container. Spray out sharps container. Discard into double bag-lined cardboard biohazard box.
Unused plasticware Unfortunately must go into the biomedical waste stream, since there is no way of outside staff to know if it has come into contact with biohazards or not. Unknown = contaminated. BE FRUGAL WITH YOUR PLASTICWARE. Discard with other solid wastes. Unfortunately must go into the biomedical waste stream, since there is no way of outside staff to know if it has come into contact with biohazards or not. Unknown = contaminated. BE FRUGAL WITH YOUR PLASTICWARE. Discard with other solid wastes.
Reusable glass items: Soak in a bin filled with 10% bleach** for 30 minutes, wash, autoclave if required, reuse. Soak in a bin filled with 10% bleach** for 30 minutes INSIDE BSC, wash, autoclave if required, reuse.
Collected Decontaminated Solid Wastes: All SOLID, BAGGED biohazardous waste items are discarded into the "biomedical waste container" (double bag-lined cardboard biohazard box). All SOLID, DECONTAMINATED, BAGGED biohazardous waste items are sprayed down with 70% ethanol INSIDE the BSC, the bag is wiped down then discarded into the "biomedical waste container" (double bag-lined cardboard biohazard box).
Liquid Wastes: Add enough bleach to make a 10% v/v bleach** solution, let sit 30 minutes. Aspirate. Add enough bleach to make a 10% v/v bleach** solution, let sit 30 minutes INSIDE BSC. Aspirate.
Collected Decontaminated Liquid Wastes: Once decontaminated, pour down sink with copious (lots) of water. Let cold water run for minimum 5 minutes. Once decontaminated, pour down sink with copious (lots) of water. Let cold water run for minimum 5 minutes.
Contaminated Clothing or other Textiles: If you have an autoclave available for decontamination of pathogenic wastes (not common --> ASK autoclave operator first), then you may bag the item in an autoclave bag, send for autoclaving, then send for laundering. If you do not have an autoclave available (in most cases), you must soak the item in a bin of 10% bleach** for 30 minutes, rinse well then air dry. (Please do not put wet items in the the laundry bags, it will mold if left to sit for a long period of time.) Send for laundering. Your last option is to discard the item into a plastic bag, seal tight then dispose into biohazardous waste. If you have an autoclave available for decontamination of pathogenic wastes (not common --> ASK autoclave operator first), then you may bag the item in an autoclave bag, send for autoclaving, then send for laundering. If you do not have an autoclave available (in most cases), you must soak the item in a bin of 10% bleach** for 30 minutes, rinse well then air dry. (Please do not put wet items in the the laundry bags, it will mold if left to sit for a long period of time.) Send for laundering. Your last option is to discard the item into a plastic bag, seal tight then dispose into biohazardous waste.
Biohazard Sharps Waste (syringes/needles, scalpel blades, broken glass, glass slides or any item that has a sharp edge and would pierce or cut the skin.) Dispose directly into a sharps container. Once the sharps container is 3/4 full, close it, secure it closed with tape, and deposit it into the double bag-lined cardboard biohazard box. Dispose directly into a sharps container INSIDE BSC. Once the sharps container is 3/4 full, close it, secure it closed with tape, spray it out of the BSC and deposit it into the double bag-lined cardboard biohazard box.
Contaminated Carcass, Parts and Tissues Waste Should be double bagged and stored frozen until such time as they can be returned to the CAF for disposal. Follow CAF standard operating procedures. Should be double bagged INSIDE BSC and stored frozen until such time as they can be returned to the CAF for disposal. Follow CAF standard operating procedures.
For your own protection, do not mix decontamination solutions! Some chemical combinations produce toxic gas when mixed.

(**or use other decontamination solution AS PER MANUFACTURERS directions)

clear-bagged waste at bench or in BSC >>> deposit into double bag-lined biohazard box

Please make sure your new, empty biohazard box has TWO liners before you start using it.

BAG-BAG-BOX!!!!

 

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Level Double-A conformance, W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0