Recombinant and Biohazardous Waste

All recombinant and biohazardous material must be rendered inactive prior to disposal. Contaminated clothing and equipment must be decontaminated using suitable method or disposed of as biohazardous waste. All sharps must be disposed of in a biological sharps container that does not allow for easy access to the contents.

The following are acceptable methods of discarding waste.

Waste Disposal Using Risk Management Services

All biohazardous and recombinant nucleic acid material must be packaged properly for disposal through Risk Management Services (RMS). Most buildings with biological laboratories have designated collection points, some of which are in cold rooms. Complete the Chemical Waste Pick-up Form to request a pick-up.

The following is required for proper waste packaging:

  • Waste must be double bagged in red or orange bags.
  • Bags must be closed with ties or tape.
  • No sharps or sharp-like objects, including contaminated broken glass and pipette tips, unless contained in puncture resistant devices.
  • Check bags for punctures.
  • Sharps containers specifically designed for needles/syringes must be sealed but do not require bagging.
  • All sealed boxes must be placed in the bags.
  • Bags must be placed within the collection containers; do not overfill.
  • Containers cannot contain loose waste; everything must be in a bag.
  • Containers must be kept closed and cannot exceed 75 lbs.
    • Risk Management will not pick up waste containers if they are overflowing or not inside the container.
    • Do not use these containers for liquid waste, carcasses, or recognizable human anatomical remains. These types of waste can be collected separately with a request to Risk Management Services.
  • If waste may become odiferous, put in a red bin in a cold room.
  • Animal carcasses have designated cold room collection points in Animal Care facilities.

Contact Risk Management Services for additional red bins, for more frequent pick-up, or with questions concerning biohazardous waste collection.

Contact Research Laboratory & Safety Services with questions concerning other biological safety issues at (520) 626-6850.

Autoclave Usage

Autoclaving to render waste noninfectious is the preferred method used at the University of Arizona to treat recombinant and most pathogenic waste before disposal. See Autoclaves for information.

Other Waste Options

  • Liquid waste can be brought to 10% bleach for fifteen (15) minutes and disposed of down the
    drain. Halogenated solvents, flammable solvents, phenolic compounds, and corrosive materials (6
    9) may not be poured down the sink.

Contact Research Laboratory & Safety Services at (520) 626-6850 or with questions or for assistance.

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