Biological Waste (Biohazardous/RMW): Biohazardous waste that is infectious and termed Regulated Medical Waste or "RMW" is that which requires biological inactivation, in an approved manner, prior to final disposal and includes:
* Note that biotoxin waste SHOULD NOT be labeled with the Biohazard label as it is hazardous chemical waste; EHS Biosafety and Hazardous Waste personnel collaborate to provide guidance on the inactivation (e.g., autoclaving or chemical) of toxins. See Biotoxins for more detail.
**Waste placed in sharps containers do not require inactivation prior to disposal.
Other Biological Wastes: These are biological wastes that are not known to be pathogenic to humans and are not regulated by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). These materials may be disposed in the regular waste stream without prior treatment; however, researchers should consider autoclaving or chemical inactivation prior to final disposal based on risk assessment and applicable grant or permit expectations. These materials include:
One of the most effect methods for the decontamination of biohazardous or infectious material is by steam sterilization. When autoclaving, specific requirements must be met in order to ensure proper inactivation and include:
Specific Requirements for Decontamination by Autoclaving are provided in the IBC’s Policy on Autoclaving.
Recommended "Autoclaving Safely" training is provided courtesy of EHS Biosafety and is available online here Log-in.
Solid biohazardous waste may be disposed of directly into a Contaminated Materials Container (CMC) where it will be removed by EHS or licensed waste contractor. These containers must be lined with a red bag. Once a CMC is full, the top must be taped closed and properly labeled with the generator's name, building, room number, phone extension, date and waste type (e.g., cell culture).
If your CMC is improperly prepared or too heavy, Housekeepers will notify you by placing the following pink label on the box.
ATTN: Your CMC box was not picked up because:
X Improperly packaged/labeled
X Overweight (30 lb. weight limit)
Questions? Call EHS at 434-982-4911
CMC Pick Up locations
CMC Drop Off locations (> 30 lbs., laboratorians responsible for drop off, otherwise CMCs will be removed by Building Services Housekeepers)
Other Locations not listed above
Contaminated Material Container (CMC)
The table below is designed to aid you in determining how to collect, decontaminate, and/or dispose of your waste. BSL-2 indicates biohazardous or regulated RMW waste and BSL-1 indicates "other" biological waste not known to be pathogenic or regulated.
|Type of Waste||Biosafety Level||Collection & Containers||Decontamination Method||Disposal|
Use autoclaveable, leak proof plastic (see IBC Autoclaving Policy)
Use double containment (pan)May use glass if necessary
|Sink (down the drain flushed w/ water)|
Use autoclaveable, leak proof plastic (see IBC Autoclaving Policy)Use double containment (pan) labeled with Biohazard label
ORChemically Inactivate (preferred method) with disinfectant--add bleach to make 10% solution
|Sink (down the drain flushed w/ water)|
May be collected in regular waste/trash receptaclesAutoclaving recommended using clear bags
|Place in regular trash|
|BSL-2||Autoclave in clear bags placed in double containment (pan) with Biohazard label||Autoclaving required||Place in regular trash|
|Place in CMC||No decon; tape and label appropriately||Place in lab for pick up by Housekeeping|
|Sharps||BSL-1 or BSL-2||
Sharps (needles, lancets, suture needles, blades, scalpels) MUST be placed in a sharps containerOther sharp-like materials in a form capable of puncturing skin (e.g., broken, contaminated glass) is placed in a sharps container
|No decon; close container when 2/3 full||
Disposed of by EHS
|Place in opaque bag||
Return to vivarium freezer(Radioactive must be picked up by EHS)
|Disposed of by EHS|
Place in red bag or opaque bag labeled with the Biohazard labelMay place contaminated disposable items in CMC
|Return to vivarium freezer||Disposed of by EHS|
|Other animal wastes (soiled bedding, cages, etc.)||Non-Biohazardous||Place in opaque/paper bags||Return to vivarium designated drop off location||Disposed of by CCM|
|BSL-2||Place in clear autoclave bags with Biohazard label||
ORReturn to vivarium designated ABSL-2 drop off location
|Disposed of by CCM|
* Animal carcasses or wastes that contain hazardous chemicals must be handled as indicated in the ACUC protocol. For general information on carcass disposal see this ACUC policy. Radioactive animal carcasses and associated wastes must be labeled (radioactive warning tape) and collected by EHS Radiation Safety. For more information on radioactive animal carcasses click here.
Human cadavers and recognizable human body parts require special handling. Please contact EHS Biosafety at 434-982-4911 for guidance.
When used in the research lab, these items can be disposed of in the regular waste stream as long as they are void of biohazards and/or hazardous chemicals. Examples of this material include:
For hospital-like waste not used in research (e.g., for patient care), please refer to the Medical Center's "Where Does all that Garbage Go" poster for appropriate disposal.
For CMC operations and pick up issues, contact Derek Snapp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 434-982-4911.
Regulatory questions, contact Ericka Pearce at email@example.com or 434-982-4911.