Environmental Health and Safety
Administrators and principal investigators are responsible for ensuring that biohazardous wastes generated by University units are collected and disposed of in a safe and sanitary manner.
These procedures do not apply to radioactive materials, chemicals, or human bodily fluids.
For disposal procedures for radioactive animals and other radioactive biohazardous wastes see 9.60 or contact the Radiation Safety Office; telephone 335-8916.
For disposal procedures for hazardous chemical wastes see 5.66 or contact Environmental Health and Safety; telephone 335-3041.
Human Bodily Fluids
If the biohazard is a human bodily fluid, refer to the department's bloodborne pathogen plan or contact Environmental Health and Safety; telephone 335-3041.
Improper or Illegal Disposal
When biohazardous material is improperly disposed of, the principal investigator or supervisor is responsible for cleanup and proper disposal.
Workers are not to handle biohazardous materials which are not packaged and labeled in accordance with procedures in this section. If workers encounter packaging and labeling irregularities, the workers are to notify the responsible principal investigator or supervisor.
Principal investigators or supervisors are responsible for determining which wastes generated by University laboratories are biohazardous.
Environmental Health and Safety considers the following materials to be biohazardous:
- Recombinant DNA
- Oncogenic viruses
- Infectious agents
- Blood and blood-contaminated materials
- Animal carcasses and parts
- Chemical carcinogens in tissue mediums
- HEPA filters from biological safety cabinets and BL-III facility exhaust ducts
If questions arise regarding biohazards, contact Environmental Health and Safety. Telephone 335-3041.
Facilities Operations incinerates small items of biohazardous waste at the WSU pathological incinerator.
Some large items must be transferred to large off-campus incinerators or other disposal facilities.
Small Waste Items
Small waste items fit in a 13" x 13" x 27.5" container.
Obtain biohazard disposal boxes from Central Stores. Boxes, complete with labels and two plastic bag liners, are available in the following sizes:
13"x13"x13.5" Item Number 49954
13"x13"x 27.5" Item Number 49955
Place small animals and other biohazardous waste items in plastic liner bags (containing biohazard label). These waste items are to be double-bagged and sealed with duct tape or twist ties prior to boxing. Care must be taken so that pipettes and other sharp items do not puncture the bags. (Refer to 4.25 and 4.26 for sharps and glass disposal procedures.)
Place the biohazard bags (double-bagged) in biohazard boxes. Tape the box lid closed.
Autoclaving biohazard bags prior to placement in biohazard boxes is not necessary since the material will be incinerated.
Disposal of Plastics
Biohazardous waste that is comprised mostly of plastics, (e.g., pipettes, petri dishes, etc.) can be placed in either the small or large biohazard boxes. The plastic content in each box must not exceed 12 pounds. Twelve pounds of plastic fills a large box approximately 2/3 full. Eight pounds of plastic completely fills a small box.
For a large box with 12 pounds of plastic, add approximately 3.25 gallons of water. For a small box with eight pounds of plastic, add approximately 2.25 gallons of water. For boxes that contain different weights of plastic, add one quart or one liter of water for each pound of plastic added per box. The addition of water minimizes air emissions and opacity violations when the materials are incinerated.
Double-bag and tightly seal all plastic waste. Ensure that no leaks in the bags occur prior to boxing the waste.
A blank label is present on each biohazardous waste box. The person responsible for the waste legibly prints the following information on the label:
- Name and telephone number of the principal investigator(s) or other responsible person.
- Identification of the waste contained in the box (e.g. rat carcasses).
- Identification of the amount of water, in pounds, added to boxes containing plastics. This information is required to avoid incineration charges for added water weight.
For a box containing 12 pounds of plastic, the water weight is 27 pounds. For a box containing eight pounds of plastic, the water weight is 19 pounds. For boxes containing different weights of plastic and water, one quart or one liter equals 2.1 pounds and one gallon of water equals 8.3 pounds.
- Identification of the hazardous agents present in the box (e.g. infectious agent, if applicable).
- Identification of the building and laboratory or room number where the waste was generated.
- Area number of the supporting organizational unit. Areas which commonly generate biohazardous wastes include:
Refer to the online computer application, WSUORG, for area numbers not listed above.
Weight Limit for Disposal
The total weight of a biohazard disposal box ready for removal by Facilities Operations waste collectors may not exceed 40 pounds. This limit includes both the weight of the waste and the weight of the container.
Transfer Waste to Storage Area
When each box is full, tape the box shut and transfer the box to the approved building biohazardous waste storage area serving the department generating the waste. Refer to the table below or contact Facilities Operations for the locations of University biohazardous waste storage and pickup areas; telephone 335-9075.
Facilities Operations Pickup
Contact Facilities Operations for pickup; telephone 335-9075. Routine pickup is available Monday through Friday.
Facilities Operations Pickup Locations for Biohazardous Wastes and Sharps
|Building||Schedule for Pickup||Pickup Location||Local Contact|
|Bohler||Call 335-9075||Schedule||Bohler 51, 335-0238|
|Bustad||Daily||Bustad 155-H (SE corner, inside the roll-down door to the loading dock)||Bustad 155N, 335-9696|
|Child Care Center||Call 335-9075||Schedule||335-7980|
|Eastlick||Tuesday and Thursday||Give to technician in Eastlick G-66A. Stored in G-63.||Eastlick G81, 335-3313|
|Experimental Animal Laboratory||Tuesday and Thursday||East loading dock||Clark 117, 335-8095|
|Foods Science and Human Nutrition||Call 335-9075||Schedule||FHN 232, 335-4016|
FHN 248, 335-1108
FHN 340, 335-5465
|Fulmer||Call 335-9075||Fulmer Annex 23, next to loading dock, give to clerk||Fulmer 23, 335-3325|
|Intramural and Recreation||Call 335-9075||Schedule||335-6639|
|Johnson Hall||Call 335-9075||Johnson 65, next to north interior wall|
|Johnson Tower||Tuesday||In cooler on Johnson Tower loading dock||Johnson Tower 117D, 335-5529|
|Laboratory Animal Resource Center||Call 335-9075||Inside NW loading dock by the interior double door, next to west wall||335-6246|
|McCoy||Daily||Green locked metal storage cabinet #1 on north end of west loading dock. Get key from central services manager in McCoy 150.||McCoy 335-0748|
|P.E. Gibb Pool||Call 335-9075||Schedule||335-3791|
|Radiation Safety||Call 335-9075||Schedule||335-7057|
|Veterinary Teaching Hospital||Daily||Room 1 /
|Wegner||Daily||Wegner 138 along SE wall. Contact technician in Wegner 334.||Wegner 334, 335-4026|
Wegner 124A, 335-8355
Those large animals (or animal parts) which are too large to fit in a 13" x 13" x 27.5" container are packaged and disposed of as follows.
Contact Facilities Operations for packaging, labeling, and transfer instructions for any large animal carcass or animal part.
Large animals or animal parts which are designated biohazardous waste by the principal investigator may be shipped to a large off-campus incinerator or may be packaged for incineration in the WSU pathological incinerator.
Some large animals may be designated by the principal investigator as noninfectious, however, the animal still may require incineration because alternative means of disposal are unavailable, (e.g., sheep are no longer accepted by rendering services). These large animals may be shipped off-campus for incineration.
Other Large Items
Contact Facilities Operations for packaging, labeling, and transfer instructions for other biohazardous materials which do not fit in a 13" x 13" x 27.5" biohazard box.
Large filters used in biological safety cabinets or used to filter air discharged from biosafety facilities must be double-wrapped in plastic and boxed. Label the boxes as described above for biohazard boxes. The boxes are disposed of by shipping to an approved off-campus incinerator. Contact Facilities Operations for disposal procedures for these filters.
Filters smaller than 40" x 32" x 22" are small enough to be incinerated in the WSU pathological incinerator. These filters must be double-wrapped in plastic and placed in boxes and labeled. (Label as described above for biohazard boxes.) Contact Facilities Operations for instructions and pickup.
Large items contaminated with blood or blood-products or with infectious agents may be disposed of by packaging for off-campus incineration. Contact Facilities Operations for instructions for packaging and pickup.
Material may be autoclaved or sterilized by other means and disposed of with regular garbage and refuse.
Do not use biohazard bags for autoclaving nonbiohazardous waste. Use clear plastic autoclave bags and green autoclave labels available from Central Stores, item #54587.
After autoclaving, label autoclave bags with the name of the principal investigator, the room number where the waste was generated, and identification of the contents. Affix the green autoclave labels to the bags and dispose of the bags with regular solid waste.
Do not autoclave human blood or body fluids. Follow provisions of the WSU Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Control Plan. Copies of the plan are available from Environmental Health and Safety.
Material that has not been identified as biohazardous is not to be placed in biohazard bags or boxes. If nonbiohazardous material is placed in an orange biohazard bag, the material must be managed as biohazardous waste.
Nonbiohazardous animal carcasses may not be placed into dumpsters because the solid waste transfer station and landfill will not accept them.
Animal carcasses that researchers determine are nonbiohazardous may be disposed by the following methods:
- Nonbiohazardous rats, mice and birds will be accepted by the Veterinary Teaching Hospital as food for raptors. Call 335-0711 to make arrangements to drop off the carcasses at the Hospital or to request pickup.
- Other nonbiohazardous animal carcasses may be disposed of at the incinerator, however they must be double bagged and placed in a plain, nonbiohazard box. These boxes, complete with two plastic bag liners, are available from Central Stores in the following size:
13"x13"x27.5" Item Number 49955.
Other plain boxes may be used provided they are similar in size as listed above.
Legibly print the following information on the box:
- Name and telephone number of the principal investator(s) or other responsible person.
- Identification of the nonbiohazardous animal carcasses contained in the box (e.g., rabbit carcases).
- Building and laboratory or room number where the waste was generated.
- Area number of the supporting organizational unit.
Contact Environmental Health and Safety for further clarification or suggestions regarding disposal of hazardous materials not defined as biohazardous above.
INFORMATION AND TRAINING
It is the responsibility of the principal investigator or administrator to provide information necessary to protect any person who handles biohazardous waste.
Workers who handle biohazardous materials must be informed of the possible exposure hazards.
Workers are to be properly trained regarding handling and disposal of biohazardous materials.
The principal investigator or laboratory supervisor is responsible for training laboratory personnel. Laboratory personnel who handle biohazardous waste materials must be informed of:
- Whether the biohazardous material presents a threat to human health.
- The conditions under which such a threat occurs.
- The proper procedures and proper use of protective equipment.
Facilities Operations waste collectors who handle biohazardous waste materials must be informed of the identity of any biohazardous material which may present a health threat to waste collectors.
Facilities Operations waste collection supervisors are responsible for ensuring that waste collectors receive proper training. Training must include:
- Recognition of properly packaged and labeled biohazard containers,
- Proper collection procedures, and
- Use of appropriate protective equipment.
Transportation and disposal facility workers who handle biohazardous waste materials shipped from WSU must be informed of the identity of any biological agent present in the waste which may present a health threat to the waste transporters.
It is the responsibility of the principal investigator or administrator to provide information necessary to protect the environment during shipment or disposal of biohazardous waste.
Shipping and disposal personnel who handle biohazardous waste materials must be informed when:
- The biohazardous material presents a threat to the health of wild or domestic animals in case of an accidental release during shipment or disposal.
- The biohazardous material contains recombinant DNA.
The principal investigator or supervisor prepares a label or tag which includes required information. (See "Labels" above.)
Facilities Operations waste collectors are not to transport waste to be shipped and/or disposed off campus unless the waste is properly packaged and labeled.
SPILLS AND LEAKS
If a package containing biohazardous waste is leaking and releasing biohazardous materials:
- Notify other personnel in the immediate area of the release, and
- Call 911 and report the release to the emergency dispatcher.
Refer to table above, or print page 4.24.4 in the PDF version of the SPPM, for the Facilities Operations Pickup Locations for Biohazardous Wastes and Sharps.