Can I dispose of biological waste in the regular trash if I autoclave it?

The following steps are required to be met prior to a department/principal investigator/generator of waste disposing of non-sharp solid biological/biohazardous waste in regular trash:

The Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Occupational Safety Manager must be contacted and permission obtained in writing (email accepted).  Department Chair awareness/permission should also be documented.

The decontamination must be done using a validated autoclave equipment (passed annual inspection by an outside vendor)  The autoclave should be able to record the temperature during each complete cycle to assure the attainment of 121°C or 250°F for a time appropriate to assure decontamination of the entire load.

Monitoring of the autoclave process through the use of biological or other approved indicators is to be accomplished by the investigator and maintained along with the temperature recording as proof of decontamination.

The department/principal investigator/generator of waste must maintain a data log record of the following information:

Autoclave User,
Date Used,
Materials Decontaminated,
Process Type,
Run Duration (Cycle Time),
Chemical/Biological Indicator Used,
Chemical/Biological Indicator Results

The above steps and information are required in accordance with the rules and regulations of the State of Georgia pertaining to Biomedical Wastes (391-3-4-.15).

Decontaminated wastes should not be transported in exposed red-bags or bags that are labeled as biohazardous material.   Place decontaminated waste into heavy gauge black trash bags.  Lab personnel are responsible for transporting wastes to the landfill transfer station or dumpster as determined by approval.  Custodial staff are not responsible for transporting this waste.

Autoclave tags should remain attached to the waste container.

If all of the above criteria cannot be met for any biological waste, a waste pick-up request should be submitted for the biohazardous/biomedical waste generated.  GS EHS will manage waste pick up and disposal.

Last updated: 2/21/2018

Office of Research Integrity • PO Box 8005, Statesboro, GA 30460 • General Inquiries: (912) 478-2359 • irb@georgiasouthern.edu