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Infectious Waste Disposal Flowchart 1. Does the waste contain any radioactive materials? a. Yes—Dispose as RADIOACTIVE waste. Contact the Radiation Safety Officer at Safety and Risk Management for more information. b. No—Continue 2. Does the waste contain any hazardous chemicals (e.g. formaldehyde, ethidium bromide, polyacrylamide, heavy metals) or items with hazardous characteristics (e.g. ignitable, corrosive, reactive, or toxic)? a. Yes—Dispose as CHEMICAL waste. Contact the Chemical Safety Officer at Safety and Risk Management. b. No—Continue 3. Does the waste contain medical SHARPS or SHARPS contaminated with infectious organisms, genetically modified organisms, live or attenuated vaccines, rDNA organisms, or human blood (e.g. hypodermic needles, syringes with needles, Pasteur pipets, broken glass, pipette tips)? a. Yes— i. Minimize the handling of SHARPS. Needles will not be bent, sheared, broken, recapped, removed from disposable syringes, or otherwise manipulated by hand before disposal. ii. Carefully place used disposable needles and syringes in puncture- resistant containers used for sharps disposal. Sharps containers will not be beyond ¾ full. Contact Safety and Risk Management for replacement SHARPS disposal containers at https://www.montana.edu/wwwsrm/forms/waste/ iii. Use a brush and dustpan or forceps to handle broken glassware. iv. When sharps containers are full, contact https://www.montana.edu/wwwsrm/forms/waste/ for disposal. b. No—Continue 4. Does the waste contain non-contaminated, non-medical SHARPS (e.g. plastic pipette tips; microscope slides; cover slips; broken, clean glassware)? a. Yes—Collect non-contaminated SHARPS in a glass disposal box. These can be obtained from Safety and Risk Management. Close and tape the box shut when it is ¾ full. Dispose of Box in the trash. b. No—Continue 5. Does the waste contain animal carcasses, tissues, or organs that have been contaminated with infectious organisms or rDNA? a. Yes—Contact the Animal Resources Center Director or Manager b. No—Continue 6. Does the waste contain cultures of infectious organisms, genetically altered organisms, live or attenuated vaccines, or rDNA organisms? a. Yes-Separate liquid cultures from other contaminated waste. i. Liquid cultures may be chemically or physically decontaminated. a. Chemical disinfection. Before disinfection: Choose a disinfectant that has been proven to kill the microorganism you are working with. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for handling the disinfectant and wear appropriate protection. Contact the Chemical Safety Officer to determine if the disinfectant can be poured into a sanitary sewer. To disinfect a culture, add the amount of concentrated disinfectant into the culture so that the final use-dilution will be that which is recommended. Allow the culture-disinfectant solution to sit for the manufacturer’s recommended length of time for disinfection. After the appropriate contact time, the culture can be disposed of in the sanitary sewer (drain). If you have a heavy bioburden, you may have to increase the concentration of disinfectant. a. Physical decontamination—steam sterilization in an autoclave Autoclave liquid cultures in a spore-tested autoclave at an approved temperature for the appropriate amount of time using a liquid autoclave cycle. Sterilized cultures may be disposed down the drain into a sanitary sewer. ii. Other waste: agar plates, culture tubes, paper towels, bench paper, gloves, etc. Collect the waste in high strength polymer autoclave bags. Do not place waste into the bags that may poke through such as applicator sticks, Pasteur pipets, or swabs. Label each bag with autoclave tape and/or a chemical indicator strip. Autoclave the waste in a spore-tested autoclave at the approved temperature for the appropriate time. Utilize autoclavable containers and procedures developed for your department. After autoclaved waste has cooled, dispose of in the regular trash. b. No—Continue 7. Does your waste require incineration? a. Yes—Contact Safety and Risk Management b. No—continue 8. If the answer to each item above is NO, then trash disposal is permitted!
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