Biological Waste Management and Disposal

Off campus facilities should contact the Biological Safety Office at (352) 392-1591 for guidance.


Segregation and Handling

Infectious, Potentially Infectious, or R-DNA Biological Waste

Waste items that are, contain, or are contaminated with:

  • human, animal, or plant pathogens
  • recombinant nucleic acids (e.g. rDNA)
  • human / primate blood, blood products, tissues, cultures, cells, or other potentially infectious material (OPIM)
  • cultures

This waste must be inactivated (e.g. autoclaved or bleach treated) before it leaves the facility.

Non-inactivated waste must be stored in the generating laboratory – do not leave unattended.

Waste biohazardous for humans must be labeled with the biohazard symbol.

Infectious waste must be kept covered and must be inactivated within 24 hrs.

Non-infectious Biological Waste

Waste items that are:

Used labware (tissue culture dishes and flasks, petri dishes, centrifuge tubes, test tubes, pipettes, vials, etc) from clinical or biomedical labs that is NOT contaminated with any of the biological wastes listed in Infectious, Potentially Infectious or R-DNA Biological Waste category above.

Gloves or other disposable personal protective equipment from clinical or biomedical labs that are NOT contaminated with any of the biological wastes listed in Infectious, Potentially Infectious or R-DNA Biological Waste category above.

Unused medical devices.

Blood, blood products, tissues, or items contaminated with these, from animals not known to, or expected to, contain pathogens.

This waste does not require inactivation before it leaves the facility.

Place this waste in the red bag-lined cardboard biological waste box for disposal.

Sharps Waste

Waste instruments that are intended to cut or penetrate skin:

  • metal lancets, scalpel blades, needles, or syringe/needle combinations

These must be placed in red, hard plastic sharps boxes, even if unused.

Close the sharps box when it is ¾ full and do not store closed sharps boxes for more than 30 days.

Sharps boxes are placed into the red bag-lined cardboard biological waste box for disposal.

If contaminated with infectious, potentially infectious, or rDNA, the sharps box must be autoclaved before disposal.

Biological waste items that can cut, but are not intended to do so (fragile glass, glass slides and cover slips, razor blades, pipettes and pipette tips), should be disposed of in a manner that prevents harm. Use:

    • Sharps Box
    • (smaller) rigid box that is then placed in a biohazard bag
    • plastic sleeve (to hold the pipettes together in a bundle) that is then placed in a biohazard bag

If contaminated with infectious, potentially infectious, or rDNA, the material must be inactivated before disposal.

Mixed Radioactive/Biological Waste

Call the Radiation Safety Office (352) 392-7359

Mixed chemical/biological waste

Call the Hazardous Materials Management facility (352) 392-8400 or the Biological Safety office (352) 392-1591.

Animal Carcasses and Other Animal Material

Return to the Animal Care Services facility (call 329-9210 for more information) or call the Biological Safety Office (352) 392-1591.

Animal carcasses and other animal material that may contain animal or human pathogens require containment (bags, sealed containers labeled with the biohazard symbol) before moving to animal disposal facilities

Human Remains/Tissues

Contact the Biosafety Office (352) 392-1591 or the State Anatomical Review Board (352) 392-3588 for information.


Biological Waste Packing, Labeling, & Transport

Biowaste Boxes

Sturdy, pre-printed cardboard biowaste boxes displaying the biohazard sign are used as the terminal receptacle. Line the box with a red bag.

Do not overfill; boxes must weigh less than 45 lb.

Tape all seams. Label with date, PI name, room number, and telephone number.

Do not keep biowaste boxes for more than 30 days.

Health Science Center personnel should call Building Services at 294-5500 for routine, scheduled biowaste box delivery, pickup, or  problems.  Labs not on a routine delivery should call 392-5775 to obtain occasionally needed biowaste boxes.  Personnel from outside of the Health Science Center should call 392-5775 to arrange to pick them up from HSC room  AG133.

Biowaste Bags

Do not put liquids into the bags. Label with date, PI name, room number, and telephone number.

Red biohazard bags are placed in a red bag–lined biowaste box for disposal.

The lab must order/supply these red bags (e.g. Fisher Scientific #01-828E autoclavable red bags for the 30 gallon cardboard waste boxes).

Sharp Containers

Label with date, PI name, room number, and telephone number

Close when ¾ full and place in the red bag-lined cardboard biowaste box for disposal.

Sharps boxes are free and delivered to Health Science Center personnel (294-5500). Personnel from outside of the health center must call 392-5775 and pick them up from room AG133 at the Health Science Center.  Alternatively, they can be ordered from Fisher Scientific or other lab supplies vendor.

Transport

Transport biohazardous waste outside of the lab (i.e. to an autoclave or incinerator) in a closed, leak-proof bag or container; bags must be contained in a leak proof tray.

Do not leave non-inactivated waste unattended.

Laboratory staff needing to transport properly packaged and labeled biowaste boxes to a secure storage/pick up area must protect the boxes from the weather and not leave the boxes unattended.


Training

All employees who handle biological waste shall be trained regarding the proper segregation, handling, packaging, labeling, storage, and treatment of biological waste. Refresher training is required annually.

Training may be accomplished through the UF Bloodborne Pathogen Training Program, informally in the lab setting, or through formal training programs set up by individual departments or divisions. For assistance, please call the Biological Safety Office at (392-1591).

According to Florida Statute (Ch. 64E-16 F.A.C.), records of the training session shall be maintained for each employee, along with an outline of the training program. Training records shall be retained for a period of three (3) years. If EH&S provides the training, EH&S will maintain the training record(s); if the PI or department provides the training, those entities are required to maintain the training record(s).